We live in a global world. With the advent of modern technology, lines on a map no longer determine the parameters of our daily interactions. This increased capacity for global communication makes it more important than ever that we increase our understanding and respect of the world's diverse cultures. Studying a foreign language is a good way to begin developing such an appreciation.
By learning how its speakers think and form their ideas into words, foreign language study provides keen insight into how another culture operates. Additionally, learning a second language provides opportunities to make new friends; to travel to distant places; to enjoy a different culture's songs, plays, and poetry; to improve the knowledge of one's own language through comparison and contrast with the foreign language; and, finally, to build practical skills for potential future use.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a rich language of gestures and hand symbols. Each gesture represents either a concept, a word or a letter. At the Michigan State University's American Sign Language (ASL) Browser Website, you can look up video of thousands of ASL signs and learn interesting things about them.
The ASL Fingerspelling site has a number of tools for novices and experts alike to help develop proficiency at fingerspelling. The site features a standard dictionary to learn the basic finger shapes and a fingerspelling converter where you can type in a word and have it graphically spelled with signs.
The Ethnologue tries to bring together the best information available on the languages of the world.
The iLoveLanguages Page is a comprehensive catalog of language-related Internet resources. Contains links in the following categories: Languages & literature, schools & institutions, linguistic resources, products & services, &internships, dictionaries, and language lessons.
An English-French Picture Dictionary for kids. Also links to related web sites for many of the words.
This picture dictionary can help youngsters learn some new words in German.
This English-Portuguese picture dictionary will help younger students learn some Portuguese, the language spoken in Brazil.
This English-Spanish picture dictionary helps learn some basic words in Spanish.
This site serves as an index to online language dictionaries for over 200 different languages.
Join other foreign language teachers at the official American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language website. This is the only national organization dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages.
E-mail Classroom Exchange (ECE) helps classrooms to meet, correspond, and interact with other classrooms through the Internet. Users can search, browse and contact classrooms listed in the online database or submit a profile of their own classroom.
Meet international students and find out about their experiences learning English.
The English language has its rubber baby buggy bumpers and packs of pickled peppers. Practice your language skills with tongue twisters from other languages.
In each country, proverbs and sayings provide insights into simple truths and beliefs of the people. At this website, some learners of English share the meanings of proverbs from their own countries.
Learn foreign languages and about the different world cultures.
This site provides basic vocabulary terminology for over seventy different languages. Simply indicate the language you speak and then click on the flag of the country whose language you would like to learn about. You can even download RealAudio files to make sure you get the pronunciation correct.
An outline of technologies that can be used by teachers of foreign language courses.
This site features a number of general foreign language resources. Additionally, it lists information about a few language-specific sites.
A free On-Line journal for second and foreign language educators.
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- Cary, Stephen. Working with Second Language Learners: Answers to Teachers Top Ten Questions. Heinemann, 2000.
- Collins, S. Harold, et al. Songs in Sign. Garlic Press, 1995.
- Curtain, Helena Anderson and Carol A. Pesola. Languages and Children, Making the Match: Foreign Language Instruction for an Early Start Grades K-8. Longman Publishing Group, 1994.
- Degalan, Julie and Stephen Lambert. Great Jobs for Foreign Language Majors. NTC Publishing Group, 2000.
- Flodin, Mickey. Signing for Kids: The Fun Way for Anyone to Learn American Sign Language. Berkley Publishing Group, 1991.
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- Tokuhama-Espinosa, Tracey. Raising Multilingual Children: Foreign Language Acquisition and Children. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000.
- Wren, Christopher S. The Cat Who Covered the World: The Adventures of Henrietta and Her Foreign Correspondent. Simon & Schuster Trade, 2000.