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Peer Review

Linguanet Europa (now Linguanet Worldwide)



Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jul 18, 2012 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: Lingu@net Europa is a multilingual resource center to support language teaching and learning. Lingu@net Europa gives multilingual access to over 3,500 catalogued on-line resources, many of them specifically for learners using these in self study. It also offers support for adult learners to assess their language proficiency level and offers multiple resources for communication with other learners in online forums. These sections have been developed by language learning specialists from throughout Europe. The site provides descriptions and links to materials in: Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. Update 2012: Lingu@net World Wide is the updated version of this website. It is based on the idea that if you are learning or teaching a language you could be interested in relevant resources in any language you understand - not only the resources you can find by searching in your mother tongue. Lingu@net World Wide gives multilingual access to over 3,500 catalogued online resources, many of them specifically for learners. It also offers support for adult learners on how to learn a language, how to assess your level and how to communicate with other learners online. These sections have been developed by language learning specialists from throughout Europe. You can now access the whole site in: Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish.
Type of Material: Collection
Recommended Uses: The materials in Linguanet may be used by self-directed learners as well as students enrolled in classes guided by teacher assignments.
Technical Requirements: Internet
Identify Major Learning Goals: Learners can assess individual proficiency levels in the target language and improve listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in the target language. Learners will become aware of preferred learning styles. Educators can access a vast collection of links in numerous languages including Less Commonly Taught Languages.
Target Student Population: All levels of language learners and teachers looking for peer to peer communication opportunities and online language learning materials.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site is guided by the European Framework on language proficiency. It includes tools to undertake a preliminary self-assessment before seeking appropriate learning materials at by level of assessed proficiency. In conjunction, Linguanet gets very high marks for including a number of learning style questionnaires and language learning strategies guidance. Language educators who teach learners struggling with motivation will find the Tips for Learners a useful feature. Learners can click on the obstacles that they see to language learning (it’s boring, it’s hard, no time, I hate grammar) and find a host of engaging resources that address those difficulties in a positive way. The section includes testimonials by language students who tell the stories of how they overcame their language learning difficulties. The lack of jargon and “teacher-talk” in the Tips for Learners makes it a comfortable space for users at all levels. Linguanet is innovative in the way that it provides for real-world communication in the same space with proficiency tests, learning strategies and online learning materials. It is much more than a learning object repository. There are multiple resources listed for tandem learning which give learners the opportunity for real communication with native speakers of the target language. Having these links conveniently available saves time for busy faculty who might otherwise search a long time for such resources. Including the various proficiency guidelines gives both learners and instructors a broad view of the many approaches to self-assessment.
Concerns: The site could benefit from providing specific language learning tasks in conjunction with penpal information, strategies guides, and materials.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This is a fabulous resource for connecting language learners with native speaker conversation partners and provides placement tests for self-assessment, and language learning guidance. It thus encourages and allows for a real-world use of the target language. Relevant and authentic tasks are motivational and promote time on task. Language exchanges also enhance cultural awareness. The comprehensiveness and extent of choices on the site is commendable. Moreover, it reflects the philosophy that self-study of languages and supports self-directed learning. Learners can choose both the target language and the source language so that beginning level learners can easily access that level of material and the language the site uses to describe language learning is jargon-free and accessible.
Concerns: Some tests are long and the user can get timed out. In Tips for Teachers, some links are internal to definitions, some are to external links, this mixed scope for linking can be confusing.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site is visually pleasing and easy to navigate. The menus in terms of both content and structure are effective.
Concerns: The use of large 3-D bullets as hyperlinks on the first menu page is not reflected in subpages, where the bullets appear as mere design elements but are no longer links.

Other Issues and Comments: none