Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Foreign Language Bill in US Congress

Just a quick heads-up about this bill. From the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL):

Congressmen Holt and Tonko have sponsored HR 6036 which will provide significant levels of funding at the national, state, and local levels for language education. Please help get co-sponsors for this bill so that Congress will realize how important this legislation is for students in the US and for building our nation's language capacity!

Where to go:
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (includes useful links to get started)
Article from Asia Society: New Language Bill Introduced in Congress

Saturday, September 18, 2010

SpanishDict: A very helpful app

I’m reading the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, but of course in Spanish (Los juegos del hambre). Currently I’m reading the second book En llamas (Catching Fire).image

This series came highly recommended by several friends. When I read the description, I must admit I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I trusted my friends, so I bought the first book. I flew through it and enjoyed every minute of it.

But wait, the title of this post is about an app, right? Well, I don’t usually travel with a regular dictionary, but I always have my iPod Touch with me. Several months ago I downloaded the free SpanishDict app to test it out. While reading the first book I had to look up a few words. (I mainly do not look up every unfamiliar word because usually I can get the meaning within context.) Well, I was able to find every word in the dictionary section of this app (over 100,000 entries) and there were a few obscure words, let me add.

Frankly, I was impressed. What’s nice is that I don’t have be online to use it since I just have an iPod Touch. (There is an option to look up further meanings which requires you to be online, but I didn’t need to at the time.)

You can learn about the other features (phrasebook, word of the day, word game) using the links below.

Oh, by the way, they have a video podcast as well which is also free.

Where to go:
SpanishDict App on iTunes
SpanishDict Blog (post about the app)
SpanishDict Video Podcast on iTunes
Los juegos del hambre