I noticed last year that many of my student use their hand held devices to look up words for spelling or meaning, for correct verb conjugation and for translation. However, I also found they were frequenting websites that I did not necessarily approve of. My solution for the upcoming school year is to offer them the permission to use their devices IF they are willing to stick to the websites that I have posted up on my board. Currently, I have 4 websites I'd like them to use on a regular basis.
Dictionnaire Larousse - I have these in paper format at the back of the room and honestly, students rarely use them however I am hoping to change that this year. It's hard to get them to understand that when we don't know a word in English we don't look it up in another language to find it's meaning.
I know there is a lot of debate about the use of translators in an FSL classroom, particularly online ones. However, I have this pennant pointing them to Word Reference. I like this site because it does not translate whole sentences, it provides great examples of the word used in context and allows students to easily select the correct vocabulary term as opposed to just picking the first one that pops up.
Bon Patron is great for editing student composition. I refer them to this site often. It will help students pick out the most obvious grammatical errors. It does not catch everything but certainly points them in the right direction. I like this site because it will explain the grammatical rules to the students when they hover over the highlighted text. Students can correct short texts for free or you can purchase an annual subscription for 15$ but my students never have.
Are there any other websites you would want students to be able to easily access? I'd love to hear from you!
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