Technology and Authentic Materials

Getting started

Right off the bat, if you don't know squat about technology, I suggest that you motor on over to A Communications Technology Module for the Foreign Language Methods Course  and get yourself up to speed on the various communications technologies that are available to you as a classroom foreign language teacher.

This site also includes a section on pedagogical issues involved in implementing technology in FL instruction.  The National Standards are addressed and sample lesson plans are given that use many of the technologies discussed in the module.

Carrying on

If you are already pretty savy about these things, congratulations!  Here are some pages you might want to keep handy if you decide to try your hand at creating some web activities using authentic materials.

Multimedia Development for International Communication
This is the entire syllabus and course description of a multimedia course taught in the fall of 1997 by Robert Ponterio and Jean LeLoup.  It has links to many "how-to" pages about communications technologies, materials development, copyright issues, sound, photo, and video editing, plenty to keep you busy for quite a while.

California FL Teachers Project
Several web activities developed by FL teachers during the yearly CA Project Institute.  Also some tips for writing web activities, reading strategies, and a page that discusses Internet options in the classroom.  You will find many examples of web lessons here, but you need to evaluate the quality yourself.

Web-Based Activities for Foreign Languages
 Pat Pecoy of Furman University has many good ideas for activities development covering vocabulary, grammar, listening comprehension, and information discovery.  She offers several suggestions for different activity formats.

Some good models of activities on-line for FL instruction and learning:

Some people have already done lots of work for you!  Check out and use the following pages -- they were created for FL educators to use in their classes.

Spanish Language Exercises
Juan Ramón de Arana has created many different types of exercises that cover topics from grammar to vocabulary to art and literature.

Taller Hispano
Pages loosely based on topics from the original Destinos series.  Contains digitized video, audio, photos, and activites with forms that students can fill in and submit to the instructor.   Project created by Jean W. LeLoup and funded by the United States Air Force Academy Department of Foreign Languages. Site is continually updated.

French Civilization
I know you are Spanish teachers, but you must see this amazing site created by Marie Ponterio.  Hey, if YOU can't use it, tell your French colleagues.  They need to know about this site!  Over twenty topics about French culture and civilization with a large variety of formats, digitized video, audio, and photos. A virtual tour of France is also included.   The project was funded by the SUNY Office of Educational Technology and the original construction was over two years in the making.  Site is continually updated.

Finding authentic materials on the web

Collections of authentic materials on-line
An excellent place to start.  You will find collections of collections here, no need to reinvent the wheel in your spare time.  Also present are links to on-line newspapers and magazines in many target languages.  For aural comprehension, several links to streaming sites for audio and video are listed by language.

Evaluating web sites

Not everything out there is good.  In fact, about 90%+ is garbage.  In order to help you evaluate what you have found in terms of usefulness for your classroom, try using these evaulation forms:

Guidelines for reviewing and evaluating web pages

Evaluation of web lessons

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