Mara Goldwyn sent me a link to the new Babbel Blog, of which she’s co-editor. She says, “We focus on issues of language, education and technology,” and there’s some interesting stuff up; I was particularly taken with “Trying to get them to use modal verbs while they’re being chased by a bear”, an interview with Todd Bryant, who teaches German using the online game World of Warcraft:
I don’t think you can teach German entirely within World of Warcraft. But as an additional hour in the evening, whenever they would otherwise be watching a film or TV in German, I think it’s certainly better than those kinds of activities, because they have to produce language as well as just receive it; they need to speak and they need to write and if they don’t understand something, that affects their gameplay. So they really need to concentrate on the language they are exposed to.
I thought it was really good for them. They were exhausted at the end of an hour – concentrating that long in German after only six weeks of German! And they were really, really, tired, but also very motivated.
Incidentally, to whoever sent me the copy of Danske stednavne med udtaleangivelse [Danish place names with pronunciations], by Kristian Hald: thank you very much! Danish pronunciation is very hard to figure out from the spelling; I’m not surprised, for example, that Vrads Sande is /vras sanǝ/, but I wouldn’t have been able to guess it.