These were my bookmarks as of May 2014. Things have changed some since then, so perhaps I will update at some point. But I still think many of these links are useful, so I’m posting it.
Tonight I’m exhausted and so I don’t feel up to explaining Dual Instruction Schools, which was my original plan for a post. Instead, I’m going to share with you a variety of websites I currently have under my language folder on my bookmarks. I hope some of these resources will be useful to you.
General Linguistic Info
ACTFL (American Council for Teachers of Foreign Languages) has this guide on ranking students language levels (Novice- Beginner (Low to High)- Intermediate (Low to High) – Advanced (Low to High)). If you are curious where you stack up, or what is necessary to be considered at different levels, it can be an interesting read, though a bit repetitive in parts.
This site provides information on endangered languages, a topic near and dear to my heart. Many languages are being wiped out due to the widespread use of English and other tongues. (Also as a result of peoples being dispersed due to genocide and commercialization.) When a language is wiped out, often forms of knowledge and wisdom inherent to the language are wiped out as well. Please educate yourselves on this topic- as linguists, it is truly a cause to be cognizant of and something to work to change.
Multi-Language Learning Sites
I already gave a product review on this, but it is a still a great beginner site. It offers several languages in a game like format, with additional opportunities to translate real text. It primarily offers European languages right now, but they seem to be adding quickly.
I haven’t played with this one yet but it looks promising. Mostly vocabulary instruction, but it does have several Asian languages, in addition to the European ones. (Small update- I’m a HUGE Memrise user now- so I definitely owe this one a separate article now.)
$$$ Again, one I haven’t used BUT this site hooks you up with one on one tutors for the language of your choice. It does cost money, but if you are willing to pay (particularly if you are having trouble locating tutors for the language of your choice), what a great find! It also might be a great choice if you are trying to up your speaking level before a major trip. (Small update- I’ve used the FREE parts of this site now and have looked into tutoring, just haven’t had a need to take the plunge as I currently have a local speaking partner.)
Khatzumoto has been around for a bit but isn’t always easily found by new language learners. While not a personally a big fan of his method, he does provide a lot of good resources and tips for learning Japanese. He also shares a lot about how he personally learned Japanese- and who knows? Maybe his strategies are right for you. There’s a lot of information there, so pace yourself. You can also follow him on twitter @ajatt.
Going to admit right now that I am not the best at navigating this site. However, if you are familiar with video/torrent sites, you probably won’t have lots of trouble. Basically it is a collection of Japanese videos, both anime and real action J-dramas. Lots of listening practice!
Some of these youtube channels are great; others are more culture driven and actually are produced in English. Still, if you are looking for places to start, a list is always helpful.
Kanji and Kana learning games… need I say more?
This will be the site I play with FIRST this summer. Video lessons for beginning Japanese- it looks kickass. Check it out!
My current FAVORITE site. Bill Vicars has provided what I’ve searched for over many YEARS- a quality way to learn ASL. Most local library only offer dictionaries, which fails to expose one to the grammar and structure of ASL. In addition, I don’t know anyone deaf or hard of hearing in my community to practice with. This site has given me the tools I need to finally make the progress I’ve wanted for so long.
Some of this site is free, other portions require a fee. However, quality ASL sites can be hard to find, so here is a good start for your sign language learning endeavors.
Another great starting point, with complimentary workbook.
So what’s this? Only the motherload of ASL resources. Consider it a combo of Netflix and Youtube for Deaf culture and media. There are deaf movies, instructional ASL videos, and documentaries on Deaf culture all available to you. You do have to sign up- if you are a student or teacher it’s free.
Here are some basic Spanish listening opportunities, divided up by level and complete with transcribed copy. They have a lot of different countries and dialects represented.
This site is geared towards kids. That said, kids’ materials sometimes jazz up an otherwise monotonous language study routine. Flashcards can become dull and sometimes you just want something fun. Why not ignite your inner child with a sing-a-long or storybook read aloud in your new target language?
Well, this is an incredibly long list but I hope you find it useful. I’d be happy to share any resources any of you find particularly useful- just hit up my mailbox with links and notes so we can share the language love. And as I’m unable to come up with a clever quote mashup with the words Language or Polyglot, here are some words some cats would like you to learn.