Tag: language

Language Lab Intro – Outline


Introduction of Staff/Media Center

  • Introduction to installed software
    • Skype
    • Can 8
    • Antidote
  • Overview of online resources
    • Dictionaries
    • Spell check/Grammar
  • Windows and Mac language settings
  • Language specific sites
    • News
    • Entertainment
    • Helpful Hints


Wordchamp – Creates mouse overs for all the words on a given page with dictionary definitions.  Great resource for introducing students to online newspapers or books in the public domain.

Project Gutenberg – Great site of public domain books.  Also works in conjuction with the site above.

The Mixxer – Organize language exchanges with native speakers via Skype.  Students can speak with their partner during our outside of class.

Babble – if you’ve seen the rather expensive Rosetta Stone software and like the principle, this is a good site.  It’s basically flash cards of words and phrases with audio.  Students add groups of vocabulary to their list and progress as they master each group.

Livemocha– rather traditional vocab and grammar excercises, though “friends” can leave comments and text anyone else on their site.  Integrates the tandem principle into the exercises with learners commenting on each other’s writing.

BBC Languages – BBC languages are very good.  They also integrate multimedia well and continue to more advanced levels than most other sites.

Google – Google tricks  – Search within site:.de  site:.fr  site:.es

Broadband TV – Watch Television from other countries

Youtube – Localized youTube  ex.  http://www.youtube.de

Language Lab Intro


Dickinson College’s language departments have a wide variety of technologies to provide authentic language resources, extend the classroom, and bring students in contact with native speakers.  Language courses frequently organize language exchanges via Skype, create multimedia projects in the target language, and use software that allows students to practice the four basic skills.  Interested professors should contact Todd Bryant, Dickinson’s Language Technologist, at bryantt@dickinson.edu.

Can 8 is  a language learning system that allows students to listen to audio or video tracks then respond verbally or with a written response.  Student answers are recorded and can be monitored by the professor.  Standard multiple choice, true/false and fill in the blank questions are also available.  Questions can be organized for assignments, test reviews or oral exams..

Skype is widely used in the language departments to coordinate language exchanges with native speakers.  Todd Bryant created a website called The Mixxer that connects language learners with each other.  This is an open site for anyone in the world to connect with.  Because of this, we are able to connect our students with individual language partners either during a lab hour or outside of class.

Antidote is a program used in the French department and is a plugin that appears within Microsoft Word to aid in students spelling and grammar while writing.  In addition to providing corrections, the software links the incorrect words or phrases to reference books of French grammar built into the program.


Language Faculty & Students


Instructor Led-Overview


20-30 Minutes-In Class Time


  • Learn about language software available in labs
  • Learn about online resources that will aid in language learning
  • Learn the multilingual functions available on OSX and Windows
  • Learn where the Media Center is located and how to get technology assistance

Want to know more?  Contact  mediacenter at dickinson.edu to set up a consultation.  You can also get a sneak peek of what we cover in our training by looking over our Training Outline.

Gaming in the Media Center

Did you know that our Language Technologist, Todd Bryant, is a scholar in educational gaming.  Did you just get turned off because I used the term ‘educational gaming’.  Worry not, most of these games are the same ones you want to play, but maybe with a little twist added to them (shhh…you might just learn something while you play).

We have Civ 4 that includes a mod written by Todd which includes a historical simulation of the western world in 1492. This modded version was written for, & played in, Professor Ed Webb’s Empires Course while they researched the Aztec empire. Another mod will be built by students during the Fall ’11 semester in Professor Michael Fratentuano’s Global Economy Course with topics covering resource scarcity, globalization and conflict in world powers and Africa.

We also have a range of contemporary games modded to be played only in foreign languages to achieve language immersion.  Some of these include: The Sims 3, Prince of Persia & Mass Effect and others will be added over time.  A game called Peacemaker is available that chronicles & analyzes the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and puts you in charge of trying to solve it.  You will understand just how complex the issues are the drive the conflict.

Finally, we have 2 console systems in the Media Center.  A Japanese Wii & a German Xbox with Kinect are available for check out.

Want to know more?  Check out this slick video our student employee Brennan created!

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