The Web Project

The Web Project - Introduction and Project summary:

Dear Kent,

Thank you for your e-mail, I was very pleasantly surprised. I am very glad you took enough interest in our website to write me. I visited your site and found it very informative with a lot of interesting projects. Cooperation in this matter sounds like an excellent suggestion. I would definitely be interested in discussing this further.

I would here like to tell you a bit about the web project and what is behind it.

I have myself worked as a Swedish and English teacher here in Helsinki during the last 9 years, and in -99 I opened up my own language training school. As technology has become more important, the way of finding material has been more and more concentrated to the web. I have myself signed up with many English sites that offer material for teachers, but as Swedish is a very "small" language, the recourses found on the web are quite limited. As I have about 8 years worth of both English and Swedish material on my computer, I decided to set up a website for teachers where they can download material to use in class. We started this web page in the beginning of February this year, so it still has a long way to go.

In the past I have found that creating custom made material for students has always been very much appreciated, therefore I hired a computer programmer to make some tools as per my requirements. At the moment there are 15 tools, and I have ordered another 15, so in a few months we should have 30 or more. I myself think the tools are quite straight forward and easy to use, but demos on how to use all the applications and options for the tools will also be added in a near future.

The pictures came into the projects as I know a Canadian artist who happened to be looking for freelance work and I decided to give her a go, and put in an order of 2500-3000 pictures. We are now up to about 1000, but I have had to hire another artist to help her out. The idea behind the clipart is that several of the tools are supported the clipart gallery and the basic dictionary with the words for the pictures, therefore you are able to make bilingual material, to and from any of the 11 languages I have had the lists of the pictures translated to until now. It is going to be a material bank with 3000 basic words and pictures to be used in many different ways for both children and adults when learning a foreign language. We have English, Swedish, Finnish, German, Icelandic, Danish, French, Russian, Estonian, Portuguese, Spanish at the moment, and a Rumanian translator has been hired to translate the word categories during the summer. My plan is to have about 40 languages available on the website (to start with, the European languages, moving into other parts later on) including some of the Asian languages.

As this is an ongoing project and all the people working on the different parts of this are working on freelance basis, including me being able to only work some hours in the evening due to teaching during the day, it will probably take about 2 years until it is finished. I received a letter from Kulturfonden Finland-Danmark and Kuturfonden Finland-Norge that they are accepted our application and that they are willing to sponsor a small part of the project: the Danish and Norwegian language translations. The Danish wordlist material has already been translated and I have ordered the grammar material to be written during the summer (for the tool fill in the blank, as well as the interactive part fill in the blank). The Norwegian will probably be set up during the summer.

I intend to write to the ministry of education here in Finland and perhaps if I can find an EU project this would be suitable for as well, just to find out if they would take an interest in this.

The aim this summer is to add more ready material into the material bank, add more grammar exercises for teachers to custom make through "fill in the blank", more pictures (the next category is flags, and an interactive game to name the country and the capital...should be up and running in June) and more tools.

I have not done much PR for the site as it is not ready yet, but we have an average of about 100+ visitors per day, but naturally I would like to promote the site, so just adding it to your page under links to be researched is great.

I am looking forward to hearing from you and finding out more about your projects and any possible cooperation in the future you would suggest.

Best regards

Veronica Gilhooly

Learnwell Oy-The Language Menu
Sandviksgatan 2 B
00180 Helsingfors, Finland
+ 358 50 531 1453
veronica.gilhooly@welho.com
office@thelanguagemenu.com
www.thelanguagemenu.com
 

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Some example outputs from the project

Board game generator
Choose between 3 sizes, add pictures from the clipart gallery or write your own texts, questions or grammar exercises, and let your students work on their grammar or vocabulary through playing a game. You can also make up your own flash card questions for the board games with the flash-card generator, laminate and use together.

The Bingo maker has 3 possibilities, make your bingo boards with pictures, mix pictures and words or just use words, and choose your bingo board size according to your own needs. Our clipart gallery gives you hundreds of possibilities for this tool. Choose or randomise. Just create, generate a pdf-file and print. With the refresh button you can change the pictures in seconds.

Crossword maker
Create two types of crosswords in no time. Crossword puzzles are an easy way to practice vocabulary. Use the vocabulary from our clipart gallery to create bilingual crosswords in a several categories.

Word search
Just enter the words you wish to have hidden, with or without clues. The tool creates a worksheet with answers quickly and ready to print. Use it with the multilingual clipart gallery.

Fill in the blank
Create your own worksheets. In a hurry? Use our database with hundreds of sentences to choose from.

Make your own flashcards
Just add a sentence you wish to have on the flashcard, generate a pdf document and print. For longer lasting material to be reused, laminate the cards. Use this tool to make up discussion themes for your class, bilingual word drills or informative cards. You may also choose a picture from the clip-art card gallery and add your own text next to the picture, and print.

Label the pictures
It works with pictures, with or without hints and/or answers. Perfect for bilingual use as well. Just choose the native language and let the students write the vocabulary in the target language.

Matching exercise generator
Use the generator to make up your own worksheets with pictures, add your own text or just a word for your students to match the picture with the text.

Multiple choice
Make your multiple choices worksheet quickly with the worksheet generator. Write your question and give some alternatives and create a pdf document. It only takes a minute. Use for vocabulary drills, bilingual exercises, explanations, maths, questions and answers worksheets etc.

Missing words
Add a text to the missing words generator, choose the interval of the words to be missing, decide on the fontsize and print your pdf file and the worksheet is ready to use. Now you have a text with missing words and a small word bank to choose the right word from.

Split words
Split the words in two, let your students put them together, with or without hints. Excellent to practice suffixes and prefixes with, or just to work on vocabulary. Write the word in two parts, add a hint if you wish, and print your pdf file. Easy to make.

Framework
Choose this tool when you want your students to fill in words in the framework, pictures or words chosen from our clipart gallery write the words yourself. Can also be used for bilingual students to translate the "hint" words. Choose between the normal setting or black background. You may also print answers.

Scrambled sentences
Write a sentence and print a pdf document. The generator scrambles the sentence and you have a ready work sheet for your students to practice word order with. Easy as one, two, three.

Word spiral
The word spiral works in the same way as the crossword, but the program generates the squares in a spiral. You may also make up a spiral that has the first and last letter intertwined. A tool for bilingual use as well.

Lined
A tool to make written exercises for your students. Use your own words, choose words or pictures from our clipart gallery and ask your students to explain what these items are used for, how to use them, write a sentence about the word, add synonyms for the word. Quick and easy for all levels.

To experience the resources above go to: http://www.thelanguagemenu.com

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Project updates 2007

We have now added Norwegian to the languages and we are updating the existing language wordlists to comply with the new few hundred pictures we have added. Tool number 17 will be up this week and we also have a new interactive game countries, flags and capitals to be added. Discussion cards are being added at the moment(example in portuguese attached), next week also Romanian material will be found i the material bank. A lot of Romanian grammar is already available in "fill in the blank"-tool.

We have plans to add many more features this year.About 25 tools, 20 interactive games, audio files, grammar songs, powerpoints in different languages, one first draft version in pdf format(the pp is too big to email) is attached for you to see what we have started with. These are sort of interactive, to beused in class with oral exercises that you click on.

These will all be translated to the languages we offer) and a feature that will enable teachers to sign in, give internet assignments to the students and being able to follow up on this through a follow up system to make sue the students have practiced x amount of times or reached the target.

 

We have added a few hundred new pictures to the site and another tool, Categories, as well. This week we also intend to add another 16 languages:
Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Serbian, Turkish, Hungarian, Vietnamese, Polish, Dutch, Bhasa and Greek. This will add up to 30 all toghether and the language pairs that teachers are able to make bilingualmaterial with will then be 1740 different ones.

In the past couple of months I have received a lot of requests from different universities and schools from all over the world, requesting languages like Maori, Arabic, Chinese and Japanese, hence the reason for the additions.

I have also organized a group of teachers in different countries (and some here in Finland) who are willing to start developing material for the material bank and the tool "Fill in the blank" where we have several thousand sentences ready now). We have about 20 languages ready to go from September onwards.

Due to promoting the site via the Internet, we have about 300+ members now, and the site also has quite a lot of visitors on daily basis.
 

Suggested links to other sites

Download a file with useful links to sites dealing with the LWUTL languages

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Last edit: 21-12-2010

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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