Putting the Fun Back in Teaching: Cool Online Resources
Teaching languages has always been a rewarding profession, as well as being a great way of meeting new people, especially if you are teaching while travelling. What's more, these days, the nuts and bolts of teaching are not as staid as they once were - with the abundance of online educational tools, many of which are free, teachers and students can enjoy themselves while discussing the finer points of the past subjunctive.
Language Trainers' Accent Game is one such tool that is fun to use with students, from beginners to advanced. We brought together English speakers with diverse accents, from Austria, England, to South Africa, and got them to each speak a line of poetry by Rudyard Kipling. The result? Very different accents! You have to guess both the country the person is from, and the city they are from. Easy? No. Put it this way, I am a native English speaker and I only got about half of them right. Language Trainers also made a Spanish version of the Accent Game.
Accents are often one of the most difficult aspects of a new language to grasp - but also one of the most useful fundamental. Say you speak English very well, but can't understand someone from Scotland. Not helpful! So the Accent Game is a great way of working on accents. Students can compare their score at the end to other people's scores - and of course, repeat the game as many times as they like to improve their grasp of accents.
Among other free teaching resources for teachers, Language Trainers' online language Level Tests are a quick, easy and effective way of measuring a student's language ability. We offer free level tests in more than 15 different languages. The results are instant and tell the student how their score relates to internationally-established standards. We outline what the person's current language skills are, making it easier to determine what they need to do to progress with the language.
Because we love language so much, we're also in the middle of researching and writing a trolley load of language reviews of films, books and music. What's so special about that, you ask? Well, these aren't ordinary reviews, the likes of which you read daily in the newspaper. Rather, they are all about language and its wonderful, diverse uses, in films, books and music from every corner of the world. With reviews covering everything from early 20th Century Romanian novels and the Realist tradition, to gritty 1990s Russian cinema, to alternative Afrikaans rock music, language learners are sure to find something that interests them, as well as enriches their experience of the language.
Language Trainers hires teachers all over the world, to teach any language. We provide individually-tailored language training on a one-on-one or small group basis to busy people who need language skills for business, family and travel needs. We are always looking for new teachers, so please apply via our online form and one of our recruitment team will be in touch with you.
Sophie Davies is Managing Editor at Language Trainers.