What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lingro is a free website that helps kids learn languages using a variety of online tools. Kids can look up words or load Web pages and click on words that Lingro will translate. The site keeps track of all the words you translate, as well as all the pages you visit, keeping a history of your learning process. This means the site is saving data, so there's proof if kids visit any inappropriate sites.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- reading comprehension
- cultural understanding
- global awareness
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- asking questions
- conveying messages effectively
- multiple forms of expression
Engagement, Approach, Support
Site's design is basic, but it's clean and without distractions. It's too bad that there's only one game, but kids could have fun adding words to the dictionary.
Memorization is the primary way kids will learn on Lingro, but they'll also look at a word's context to see if they can guess its meaning.
There's enough clear help to use the site with no problems; the site also has developer tools and a blog.
What's it about?
LINGRO is a free website that helps kids learn languages and invites them to contribute their own knowledge. It has a standard dictionary that translates words in 11 languages and a Web viewer that allows you to load a Web page and click on any word to get an immediate translation. You can also download a browser plug-in that does the same thing but has a wider reach (for example, it can translate Facebook, which the Web viewer is unable to do). Create and categorize word lists that can then be used in games (though a flashcard activity is currently the only game on the site). You also can insert a Mini Dictionary or badge into your own website, allowing other people to translate it. To add a word to the site's dictionary, click on the dictionary builder and then choose a language. A list of words that haven't yet been translated by the community will appear; choose a word from that list and add your own translation.
Is it any good?
The neat thing about Lingro is that it can help language learners at any level. If you're almost fluent in English but just need a few words translated from the Huffington Post, you can click on only those words. This should help with context and confidence. The site is free, but it's also crowdsourced, which means that all the information may not be entirely accurate. It also means that languages aren't equally represented; it's possible to translate almost any word from English to Spanish using Lingro, but there are only a few words you can translate from French to Spanish. The site also promises games, but the only one is a flashcard activity that's helpful for learning but not much of a game.
Families can talk about...
With your kids, watch a foreign movie with subtitles in the language of your choice. Explain how subtitles work and how they can help you become more familiar with a language over time.
If you speak another language, talk to your kids about what it's like to be bilingual. Why is it important or helpful?