Category Archives: Resources

Spot It! New LRC Game

Do you like fast-paced language learning games for you and up to 7 friends?

Then check out Spot It!, the newest game available in the LRC. Spot It! comes in Spanish, French, Italian, and German, and Chinese and Arabic versions of the game are currently being made by LRC employees.

There is one and only one similarity between every pair of cards. Be the first to spot the similarity between two cards, whether its the same symbol, the same word, or a word corresponding with a symbol, and you get the point! A guide showing the correct word-picture combinations are also available.

The words/items used are very common (i.e. cat, window, boat, car, etc.), making this a great game for beginners to learn different nouns or for more advanced students to review old vocabulary.

New Game at the LRC: Letter Dice

letter dice

Ever wanted to play scrabble, bananagrams, or boggle in another language? With Letter Dice, you can do all three! Shake up the 13 dice in their tin, roll them out and and see what words you can spell. The game includes three suggested variations, but feel free to come up with your own!

Letter Dice:

Set a time limit for each player, then throw the dice. Use the letters shown to create words and connect them like you would in scrabble or bananagrams. At the end of the time limit, total the numerical value of all the words played (letters used in more than one word count twice) and then subtract the value of the unused letters to get that player’s score. Then repeat the process for each player. Play as many rounds as you want!

Letter Yatzi:

Throw the dice and decide on a word to try to make with them. You don’t have to have all the letters available at first. Put the ones that help you aside and re-roll the rest. From the re-rolled, put aside those that help make your big word and re-roll those that don’t. If there are not helpful letters in the re-roll, you still have to put one aside. Repeat until all the letters have been used to make the word or put aside. If you can make a word using all 13 dice, your score for that word is doubled!

Vocabulary:

This one is a bit like Boggle. As a team, use the dice to make a single (preferably long) word. Then from the letters in that word, think of as many other words as you can. The person who comes up with the last word is the winner. You could also just use the dice to actually play Boggle in your second language. Roll the dice and arrange them in  a grid then play!

Since we have two tins of dice, you can have double the fun. Use more dice to make bigger words or accommodate common conjugations or plurals in your second language. You can also play any of these variations alone, play against yourself and see how much you can improve!

WordPress logo

LRC Workshop: WordPress

The blog that you are reading now is built on WordPress!

WordPress is a versatile platform for creating blogs and websites. On March 2 and 24, I presented a workshop to faculty members about how to use this platform for their classes or as a professional home page.

As inspiration, I presented examples of WordPress pages created by Gettysburg College faculty members and others outside of the College. If you’d like to create your own, you can get started with a free site at WordPress.com.

Betsy Lavolette

Betsy Lavolette is the director of the Gettysburg College Language Resource Center.

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“Who Is It?” can help you practice a language!

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If you’re like us, and you love to explore languages while having some fun, come play the other awesome version of “Guess Who?” simply titled “Who Is It?”! If you’re familiar with Guess Who? the rules are the same! Two players each pick out a character and attempt to guess which character the other player has chosen from the board. An example is asking, “does your character have brown hair?” and, if the answer is yes, the player that asked the question can put down all the characters without brown hair, leaving only those with brown hair as possibilities!

The great thing we’ve discovered is that if you get a friend or peer that is learning the same language as you, you can both practice your adjectives while playing! This can be a great tool for elementary or beginner learners of any language and can even be used in a classroom setting!

Workshop: Mobile apps for language learning & teaching – Google Drive for collaboration

I am a little late in here but we all know how crazy an end of a semester can be.
A month ago, on December 2nd, I co-presented a workshop with Dr Betsy Lavolette about mobile apps for language teaching and learning, and I was dealing with Google Drive.

After a quick overview of the Google suite, I presented Google Drive in the light of the three different ways you could use it: web-based, right from your desktop (the computer app), and eventually the mobile app. The latter was our main focus, especially through the notion of collaboration.

Presentation & description Google drive - Mobile app
Presentation & description Google drive – Mobile app

As we were dealing with collaboration, we actually dived into it through a workshop collaboration on a Google Document called How can we use Google drive for teaching and learning?“. Altogether, we operated a synchronized brainstorming on this question, from different “locations” (here, different computers).

Google Drive is an amazing tool when it comes to working together. It is part of the Google suite, which offers a significant cloud space among other things, and is very complete. It is really user-friendly, and Google is so big nowadays that our students are more than likely to have a Google account. You may be able to work with it right out of the box!

French Scrabble!

french scrabble

In addition to Spanish and Italian Scrabble, the LRC now has French Scrabble! It’s a great way to practice spelling and vocabulary while having lots of fun, regardless of level.

You can play the same way as English Scrabble, with 2-4 players and words placed horizontally or vertically, players rotate turns, the game ends when all letters in the bag have been used and once one player finishes all of their letters. For a fun, new twist on a classic, you can incorporate the “tulies spéciales”. Each player gets three of the special tiles to use in addition to the normal 7. One of these three functions the same as the blank tile, but is worth 3 points, while the other two can be used to claim empty spaces for your next turn. There is also a variation for team play.

If you’re a French beginner, use a dictionary while you play to learn new words! Come down to the LRC to play! Jouons!

Language exchange from your phone: HelloTalk

HelloTalk is a free app (for iPhone, iPad, and Android) that students can use to do language exchanges with people from around the world.

HelloTalk profile

To get started, you create a profile that includes basic information about yourself, such as your name, age, gender, location, and first and second language proficiency. You can also include text and audio introductions.

Based on your profile, people will contact you through the app to do a language exchange via text and/or audio. You can also search for people who are native speakers of your second language.

HelloTalk correction example

HelloTalk includes tools for making corrections, which makes it helpful for language learning. In addition, you can send images and drawings to your partner.

Why not try it out? You have a chance to improve your second language and even make new friends!

Betsy Lavolette

Betsy Lavolette is the director of the Gettysburg College Language Resource Center.

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New Game at the LRC: Italian Scrabble

 

The LRC has now added the Italian Scrabble board game to its extensive collection of novels, dictionaries, computer games, and board games. You are encouraged to visit the LRC and play Italian Scrabble, regardless of your fluency level in Italian. Playing Scrabble is a fun and easy way to practice your Italian!

The Italian version of Scrabble has the same rules as English Scrabble: 2-4 players (giocatori), words must be horizontally or vertically placed, each player gets one turn, the game ends when all letters in the bag have been used, and once one player finishes all of their letters.

Feel free to stop by the LRC and play a game of Italian Scrabble with your friends!

Spanish Scrabble!!

Scrabble Post

That’s right! We now have a Spanish edition of Scrabble available to play with during office hours at the LRC! It’s a great way to practice your Spanish vocabulary & spelling with friends and peers!

The game has the same rules as English Scrabble: 2-4 players, words must be horizontally or vertically placed, each player gets one turn, the game ends when all letters in the bag have been used, and once one player finishes all of their letters. What’s new about this edition? It includes every letter in the Spanish alphabet such as: Ñ, RR, and LL !

Just because you aren’t fluent doesn’t mean you can’t play! If you’re a Spanish beginner, you could be to use a dictionary whilst you play and learn new words! So come on over! Vengan a jugar!

New game at the LRC: Dixit

dixit box

We have a fun new game in the LRC that can be played in any language! Dixit uses beautifully illustrated cards that players then have to either describe or match to another player’s description. We encourage you to use your second (or third, or fourth) language to play Dixit. Beginners can use single word descriptors and advanced language learners can put together an entire story about their card if they want.

One player chooses a card from their hand and, without showing the other players, gives a clue about the card. This clue can be a direct description, a proverb that relates to it, a story, a pop-culture reference… Anything goes as long as you use your language skills. Let’s use the following three cards as examples:

footstepsfuture picgood and evil

Left: 黒いです
Kuroi desu
It’s black

Middle: 未来の写真
Mirai no shashin
Picture of the future

Right: 時間が眠っているあいだ、二つの大きいな力が戦っている
Jikan ga netteiru aida, futatsu no ookiina chikara ga tatakatteiru
While time sleeps, the two great powers fight

These examples are in Japanese, but Dixit can be played in any language. Even if you only know a few words, you can try something like the first example. If you don’t know a word that you want to use, there’s no shame in looking it up. Rather, it’s an excellent way to supplement your vocabulary. Then you can teach the new word(s) to someone else! You could also try playing in pairs or teams. Two heads are better than one! You can work together to come up with something more correct or complex in your target language. Team members can also work together to figure out what the clue means in English. Then they can better match one of their cards to the clue and play it.

Once all the players/teams have submitted a card that they think matches the clue, all the cards are revealed. Everyone then votes on the card that they think the clue was originally based on. Scoring is based on how many people find that card.

Dixit can be played with as few as 3 people (with some minor adjustments) according to the traditional rules. However, you could also just use the cards to practice vocabulary, creating sentences, or other oral skills on your own or with only one friend. Try drawing a card and making up a story to go with it, or identifying all the visual attributes of the card. Beginners can try naming all the colors used, nouns, or something that uses equally basic language skills. You can do this individually or team up with a friend to help each other and check each other’s work. Alternately, try telling each other stories based on the cards and see if your partner can understand. If one of you is artistic, you could even describe the card and have your partner draw it.

You can also use Dixit to practice dictation. While one player gives their hint or describes the card orally, the other player(s) write what they hear. This could be especially useful for languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic which have writing systems other than the Roman alphabet that English uses.

Dixit is incredibly flexible, with so many different ways to play, it can be both fun and educational for all language learners regardless of skill or language. Come try it out!