Discovering Web 2.0 Tools...
Our second assignment in my ETC class was to evaluate an application or tool chosen from the Go2Web2.0 website. After looking here and there, I decided to narrow my search and limit to my main passion and content I teach: the study of foreign languages. Then I randomly chose Livemocha from a “palette” of about eighteen different applications, read the brief description of what it was about and felt interested right away. Livemocha is the largest online language-learning community in which anybody interested in languages can sign up and start learning English, Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, or any of the other 25 languages offered immediately. I created an account as if I was an English speaker wanting to learn Spanish, and noticed that the courses are divided in four levels from beginner to advanced, and comprise language learning skill builders such as writing, speaking, listening, and vocabulary practice with flashcards reviewed by native speakers.
Also, I found that the phrase arcade and interactive videos are very appealing to any language learner, as well as the community site. Here you can make friends from all over the world who are also learning a foreign language, and are eager to practice the language studied with native speakers. There is, on the other hand, a tab called “Explore Culture”.
In this section any member can post a picture on what life is like around the world or share something interesting about his/her country. Another way to interact with other Livemocha members is through the “exercise submission” section where a learner can send his writing exercises for peer reviews or feedback. I definitely found this website very useful and appealing. Even though it isn’t free, it’s cheaper than a hiring a tutor or enrolling in a course at a community college or any other private institution, and the best thing of it is that anybody interested can learn on his/her own pace without having the pressure of attending any place and having to modify a routine or schedule.