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Fluency for Free!


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Slideshow from the Fluency for Free talk at the 2013 Festival of Ideas.

Slideshow from the Fluency for Free talk at the 2013 Festival of Ideas.

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  • 1. Welcome to Fluency for Free FLUENCY FOR FREE Melanie Leggatt, Modern & Medieval Languages Melanie Leggatt Ian Mackey, Information Services Modern and Medieval Languages Ian Mackey Information Services
  • 2. What you can achieve with a computer, a network connection and your inspiration Based on a graduate training session entitled The Web, my browser and me
  • 3. And no money
  • 4. Historically, an assumption that success was guaranteed if you threw cash at an expensive language-learning package
  • 5. Or indeed locked students in a language lab with grammar aids
  • 6. The truth lies elsewhere
  • 7. In your own enthusiasm and ability
  • 8. You can avoid the financial cost – it's time and effort that count
  • 9. Lots of useful resources online, but no shortcuts
  • 10. Indeed the true skill likes in navigating through the piles of detritus to find the hidden gems
  • 11. A bit of a gallop so lots of supporting links available online after the session if you sign the attendance sheet and leave your email
  • 12. Primarily – that this isn't you
  • 13. Quite the opposite – that you're bubbling over with ideas about what you'd like to do
  • 14. You just need the tools to make it happen
  • 15. Introducing you to these tools, where to find them and the possibilities is the focus of this session
  • 16. The good news is that today we are spoilt for choice because of Web 2.0 and be
  • 17. Before we go any further, an aside about Web 2.0 – just what is it?
  • 18. Initially with Web 1.0 we all tooled up and went shopping, then something changed. . . We stopped being merely consumers and started creating instead. Web 2.0 meant write access for all!
  • 19. Lots of people posted their own resources and made them freely available for sharing
  • 20. The good news for us is that this included language geeks!
  • 21. So, we have whole world of digital creativity to explore
  • 22. So which pieces of the jigsaw will you need?
  • 23. Gateways Human-reviewed listings of the best sites around
  • 24. Gateways Examples
  • 25. Sites like and Wordreference provide excellent online dictionaries
  • 26. Sites like Memrise and Busuu provide excellent online vocabulary resources
  • 27. Sites like Lang-8 allow you to connect with native speakers who will Help you with your written language – of course you need to help them too
  • 28. SOUNDS Tunein has a comprehensive listing of international radio stations playing online
  • 29. SOUNDS Forvo 2,102,797 words 2,173,421 pronunciations 306 languages
  • 30. SOUNDS On demand audio recordings from native speakers Of course you have to help out others too. Try Rhinospike
  • 31. The written word ICDL provides free access to childrens' books with their limited vocabulary Excellent for beginners!
  • 32. The written word Online newspaper and media listings provide useful links for more advanced learners!
  • 33. The written word Online newspaper and media listings provide useful links for more advanced learners!
  • 34. TOOLS Generate your own flashcards to help extend your vocabulary and grammar with Anki
  • 35. TOOLS Italki: Skyping to improve your language skills
  • 36. TOOLS DuoLingo offers totally free high-quality online courses
  • 37. TOOLS Internet Polyglot also offers totally free high-quality online courses
  • 38. TOOLS Join active online forums like the one at Fluentin3months
  • 39. INSPIRATION Benny Lewis' account of how he went from mature monoglot to polyglot
  • 40. INSPIRATION Follow the most productive blogs
  • 41. INSPIRATION Follow the most productive blogs
  • 43. SERIOUSLY!
  • 44. If you can drive a web browser you can do it!
  • 45. So how do we find the stuff to get started?
  • 46.
  • 47. Thankfully for us, publishing is now as easy as falling off the proverbial log
  • 48. And if you can use a web browser and drive a word processor it's easy to do it with style too
  • 49. 1,000s of people blog on Wordpress so it can't be that difficult, can it?
  • 50. You don't have to publish for everyone to see until you're ready It can be somewhere for you to organise all your favourite links, record your thoughts and your progress
  • 51. Treat it like your personal language learning diary
  • 52. But if you do decide to share your experiences you become part of the online language learning community too
  • 53. And remember you can do it anonymously!
  • 54. And you can enjoy knowing you've reciprocally shared back
  • 55. Which neatly takes us back to systems like Diigo to help us manage all this information
  • 56. – curating and displaying your favourite content created by you and others
  • 57. Looking forward: what next?
  • 58. Explore the links on the page we'll supply you with
  • 59. Don't forget to give it a go and have fun!
  • 60. Questions
  • 61. Onward to the practical!