Here at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca, we are beginning to use iPads in many of our classes. It’s very important to be culturally immersed, but it’s also important in this historical moment to keep in mind how central technology is to our lives. Especially for students who plan to use Spanish in a work environment, a familiarity with technology is vital.
1. Songs and movies mean you can hear Spanish at home, not just in the classroom.
2. With the iPad’s camera, you can record yourself speaking Spanish and see and hear your own progress. Try recording yourself repeating a tongue twister on the first and last days of your stay: ruedan las ruedas del ferrocarril…
3. Play Scrabble and other word games with your friends and classmates!
4. Work on interactive exercises in your free time, getting feedback even when you’re not in the classroom.
5. If you’re at a high level, take advantage of access to news articles, magazines, and books with an e-reader app!
6. If you’re just beginning, use dozens of visual language-learning apps to connect pictures to words.
7. Dictionary apps make it easy to consult multiple dictionaries: get a word’s meaning in English, read a description in Spanish, or look at lists of synonyms, antonyms, or even rhyming words.
8. Interactive self-tests let you focus on your problem areas.
9. With an e-reader, get instant access to hundreds of books and magazines in Spanish. Audiobooks and podcasts are also available for iPad.
10. Skype with your faraway friends in Spanish, or find an intercambio through Skype and practice for free.
And a bonus reason:
11. Familiarize yourself with the layout of a Spanish keyboard.