Tuesday 2 September 2008

Multimedia Vocabulary Website

Babbel is one of the few really effective vocabulary building websites that I've seen on the web. It's actually a social network and can help you to make friends for language exchange etc, but the core of the site is it's interactive multimedia vocabulary building exercises.
These work with words being presented along with images and the sounds of the words. The exercises then move on to recognition of the sounds of the words and then you have to spell out the words for the images as you see and hear them. I know this all sounds a bit PPP (Present, Practice, Produce) but for EFL or MFL students working alone, I still think there is some value in this.
The site isn't only for learners of English, but also has exercises in Italian, French, German and Spanish.

This is one of the great strengths of the site because it draws on students from more languages, it makes it possible for students to connect with and practice their language with users from the target language.

As always it would be wise to be careful with this and to protect your students' privacy etc, but there certainly is some potential here and I do like the design of the vocabulary building activities so for that alone, it's worth the free registration.

Hope you enjoy it.

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Nik Peachey

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