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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


LangMedia Foreign Language Media Archive

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 29, 2005 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: The LangMedia Practical Language Series provides rich resources for language
instruction. The ‘Country by Country’ menu for the site currently represents 24
languages, many of which are divided by the countries in which the language is
spoken: e.g., French in Luxembourg, Spanish in Nicaragua, and the like. For each
language, authentic materials in the way of pictures, video, and audio that
capture the daily aspects of that language and culture are provided. LangMedia
is an excellent resource for language educators as well as independent language
learners who wish to familiarize themselves with daily life in a given land.
Learning Goals: Learners will better understand language and culture through interaction with
authentic material. Learners will improve listening comprehension in the target
language and learn about paralinguistic cues (body language) in the target
culture.
Target Student Population: Beginning to intermediate language learners
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Type of Material: Authentic video, audio and still images
Recommended Uses: These materials may be used by independent learners who plan to study abroad or
to interact with speakers of a target language. They are also useful for
vocabulary development and listening comprehension. They can be used for
cross-cultural comparisons and asa springboard for conversation in class.
Technical Requirements: Fast connection for video streaming. Media or Real player.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The authentic language and culture content provided by the LangMedia project is
of the highest quality for those interested in the little “c” culture of a given
country. Students can truly experience a slice of life from the culture they
are studying and practice understanding real people engaged in everyday activity
using the language naturalistically. All the videos are unscripted and
spontaneous. LangMedia accomplishes the generation of these materials by sending
students who are natives of a country home with a video camera and a list of
possible topics to record. These videos are subtitled (the target language and
English) and made available at no charge on the LangMedia site. The resulting
materials are rich, fascinating, and pedagogically appropriate for lower-level
to intermediate courses in language and culture.

The availability of authentic materials in less commonly taught languages such
as Hindi, Urdu, Slovak and Swahili also mark LangMedia as an extraordinary
resource.
Concerns:

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: These materials can be easily integrated into the live, hybrid, and/or online
language course with ease. Organized by themes such as Transportation, Shopping
and Services, and Basic Communication, users can select from a menu of topics
within these themes to access video clips, look at images, and read a brief
cultural note in English about the topic. For listening comprehension skills
practice and little “c” culture learning, the site is superb.

The LangMedia project team has thought carefully about logistical issues such as
the possible "gridlock" that can be caused by a whole computer lab trying to
access a module at the same time or the possibility of a site being unavailable
when a given class needs it. To prevent such difficulties, Langmedia has CDs of
most modules available to institutions for purchase at extremely minimal cost.
Concerns:

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site is neatly laid out and materials navigable by language, by country, by
topic and by subtopic. The video quality is generally good – given the method of
production – and is suitable as realia to be used in independent and whole
class learning activities. Transcripts of the video sequences are easy to access
and are also available in English.
Concerns:

Other Issues and Comments: