I don’t actually have an iPhone. Guess I am not quite that cool. I do have an iPod Touch though, so I must be kind of kù. And so with all of my coolness, I sometimes keep watch for apps that would help me or students or faculty. I’m a helpful person. Here are some apps I recently learned about that might help you:
eStroke Animated Characters $4.99 – A great way to see character production. If you struggle or are anal about that kind of thing. But also has really nice reference dictionary built in.
Chinese Flashcards II $4.99 – Produced by ChineseLearnOnline.com. Audio mode looks interesting. Contains 1000 words from HSK 1 List.
I’d like to see a Chinese menu app. I’ve always struggled when it comes to reading Chinese menus. There is so much variety. It could list the dish name with all the typical or optional ingredients. And maybe when you shake the phone it randomly provides a decent selection of food for how many friends are eating together. Anyone else have a good app idea? Or has anyone already developed my Chinese Menu app?
Flashcards are a staple for language learners. Carrying a flip book or rubberbanded stack of index cards with characters on one side and pronunciation and definition on the other is a great just-in-time study tool. But let’s get a bit more with the times and look to the web for help with creation – and your next test will be róngyì times ten!
1. Ediscio – Feature rich flash card system largely focused on the Leitner system of grouping known and unknown cards into stacks to practice at different intervals. Registration is required. You can download cardboxes and print if you want. Plenty of other features too, including graphical progress charts and graphs.
2. Ting – A flash application. I like flash. All based off of PCR texts, but the database is downloadable and therefore customizable. Audio downloads are part of the system. Nice.
3. Vocab Chinese – A java application. Nice features including sentence level practice with audio files. Not really a flashcard application creation tool except that you can add your own items if you follow the procedure for doing so. Based on Integrated Chinese text series.
I didn’t look too hard for these. Anyone else have favorites?
On the drive home today we were chatting about rules for turning in assignments. My wife, a French teacher, said one of her new rules is that she will not grade anything which has not been spell-checked. Decent rule for French. And I explained how students were always turning in papers with cuò zì (incorrect characters). Are there good checkers for cuò zì? And if so, are they still called spell-checkers?
Play is one of the most natural learning activities on the planet. The animator is playing with words and images in ways the real world cannot behave. Great animators have the largest blank-canvas playground in the universe. And the same playground is yours as a language learner – get out there and be creative with the language. Here are some Chinese animations or animators that might help encourage you. Jiāyóu!