iPod/iPhone Apps

I LOVE iPhone. It comes everywhere with me. It shows me movies when I am bored, finds petrol stations when I am running on empty, lets me contact my friends and family and it is a brilliant piece of technology for learning languages.

Here are some of my favourite apps for Japanese:
Touchcards 2 is a study tool that can import flashcards from Quizlet, StudyStack, and more.
iKana touch will make learning hiragana and katakana much easier and more fun!

Kotoba is a multilingual Japanese dictionary.

ShinKanji is a kanji reference and study application combining a kanji dictionary and a database of stroke orders.

Kanji search online

Ever stumbled upon a kanji that you don’t know, and not being sure of the radical, you are finding it hard to look it up in a dictionary? Well, now there is a place online where you can draw the kanji with your mouse and the site will suggest possible kanji, linked to Jim Breen’s dictionary. Yipee! Check out handwritten kanji recognition.

Kerpoof

Kerpoof is a suite of online multimedia software to create original artwork, animated movies, stories, greeting cards and more. It is owned by the Walt Disney company and has a section dedicated for educators. Check out the teachers’ guide, provided lesson plans or dive straight in at http://www.kerpoof.com/
Scripted languages work in Make a movie and Make a picture but not in the other sections. However, you can use the pencil in Tell a story to draw the script and use the text box below to enter the meaning – a nice way for students to build their own kanji/hanzi reference book. You can also use script by using Create a doodle in Make a card to draw your message using the pen.

ToonDoo

ToonDoo is an online comic-creating tool. You can sign up for free, or pay for an educational version.

To create comics in foreign languages, simply choose the text bubble that looks like this:

Find these and other great manga style characters under the ‘special’ tab (indicated by stars) in the ToonDoo maker.

This site also has the option to create your own cartoon characters, calledTraitR. What a fun way to explore describing what people look like in other languages. Students could create their own characters, then describe what they look like, or create a character from the description the teacher provides. Students could use it for self description too, as you can upload a photo as a reference – I had lots of fun creating a cartoon of myself!