Thursday, 13 March 2008

Using placespotting for languages

A few weeks ago I came across placespotting amongst someone's links on - my apologies, but searching through my google reader I couldn't track down exactly who I should be thanking for the link.

Placespotting allows you to create riddles with google maps. By dragging and zooming the map (within the placespotting site) you can select any place in the world for people to find. You then create up to 4 clues to help people find the answer to your riddle. What's in it for language teachers is that you can write your clues in a variety of languages. I have recently being doing comparisons with my Year 11 Japanese class and so in order to reinforce this, I created a couple of riddles using "bigger than..." and "closer to... than..." type clues using the target language. It could also work well for directions and descriptions of places, to name just a couple of other topic areas.

It is also possible to search for riddles created in various languages. By clicking on the 'search' tab and selecting the language of the hints, you can find riddles that others have created in the language you are teaching or the language you are learning. Once you have created your riddle it also enables you to share it via email, put a link into a page or embed it. You can also add random riddles to your iGoogle homepage or your webpage.

Below I have embedded an example in Japanese and also the random riddle embed. The site can also be quite addictive so be careful!

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