More Top Websites for Spanish Students
By Roger Moore
In order of importance the top three websites for Spanish students are: (1) my own webpage; (2) Wikipedia; and (3) the BBC.
1. My own webpages: http://etcdev.hil.unb.ca/Roger.Moore and http://web.me.com/rogermoorepoet
I use my webpages to post course outlines, to keep classes up to date, to correspond on FAQs and to detail what is happening in the world immediately around us. I also use it to post student responses, student work, and articles that will be of interest to students. I have permitted selected students to add to this webpage and it has been a source of information for all the students in the class. Since leaving teaching, I have taken down most of the class orientated materials, but bibliographies, an art gallery, a partial grammar designed to help students with in class problems, and some cultural material still remain.
2. Wikipedia: www.wikipedia.org/
I invited students in all my classes to access Wikipedia, first in English and/or French, our source languages, and then in Spanish, our target language. This style of access achieved several purposes:
(a) It showed that information on a multitude of topics was available at the click of a mouse;
(b) It showed that the information given in English, French, and Spanish was never quite the same as there were historical, racial and cultural differences in the set out and study of many topics;
(c) It encouraged students to check out their web information across several online sources;
(d) It encouraged further exploration both in the additional references and the bibliographies; and
(e) It encouraged students to continue their studies with further online searches and with visits to the university library.
3. The BBC website: www.bbc.co.uk/
The BBC website specializes in the immediate world wide news. It has a multitude of access points to this news, including written pages, audio podcasts, and videos. These videos are not only in searchable indices; they are also in multiple languages. Thus, material can be accessed originally in English and French (our source languages) and then followed up in Spanish (our target language). Live videos and podcasts on matters of immediate interest make language learning via the BBC a true multi-media experience that renders textbook and in class grammar exercises basically redundant. It also allows each student to pursue his or her language learning in a context that he or she chooses and with which all students are comfortable as they are in control of what they read, research, listen to, and watch.
Roger Moore, Professor Emeritus, Romance Languages Department (Spanish), St. Thomas University, and 3M National Teaching Fellow.
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