Tag Archives: Flashsticks

Flash Academy – Have you joined?

If you follow me on Twitter you will know I’ve been asked to beta test the new sparkly Flash sticks app Flash Academy.

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If you’ll already know I’m a read my blogs or follow us on pinterest or Instagram you will know I am a big fan of FlashSticks sticky post it notes. They are colour coded to help you remember the gender of words. Blue for masculine, pink for feminine and yellow for verbs and adjectives. For a visual learner like me they are a godsend. Simply stick them around your home or take photos when you are out and about like me! You can use the new Flash Academy app to scan any note for an instant pronunciation video from a native speakers. This is an unlimited free feature for all users. We interviewed Veejay about how the idea for Flash Sticks came about last year, read about it here.

Our Lingotastic classes are in basic French, German and Spanish and occasionally Mandarin. It is a ongoing task to keep my skills going in all these languages. As a busy mum,  as well as a teacher my time is limited so I need to be able to learn in pockets of time and apps like this fit the bill for me.

 

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The app includes hundreds of short 5-minute interactive language lessons and a series of fast-paced (for me nail biting) word games to consolidate learning. Learners continually ‘graduate’ to new levels as their fluency in the language develops.

 

I like that the first words learned are food (breakfast) so useful words to learn. There are almost three hundred language lessons available for each language, with six lessons initially provided free of charge (five in basics, one in Food & Drink)

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The graphics are brightly coloured with appealing pictures. They remind me a lot of WII games! The words are spoken as they are seen by a native speaker, which is a big plus to me! I recently realised that, in my GCSE courses I learned ,to read and write much better than pronounce. This really helps to rectify this, as I can see it written, and hear it at the same time. The app also has occasional grammar and culture tips which are really useful to learn alongside the language.

I was interested how it worked for children, so I got my eight year old, who has only just started French to test it as well. She liked it and managed to understand the more complicated parts at the end.

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The only downside I found was, as an intermediate language learner I would like to assess where I am at and start from there. Flash Academy does not have that functionality.

 

The cherry on top of the app is the amazing sci fi object scanner. Simply switch on the object scanner and take a picture of the object and by some kind of magic the app tells you what it is in English and your chosen language of over 40 languages !

Anyway, what are you waiting for? Boost your family language skills AND have fun along the way!

 

The app is free to download on

App and Google Play stores, with subscription plans starting at £2.99 per month.

FlashAcademy is perfect for all ages and all language levels.

For more information visit www.flashacademyapp.com

Flash Sticks sticky notes are a really simple tool to increase your vocabulary in French, German, Spanish, Italian, BSL and English. (with more to come)
The guys at FlashSticks have offered Lingotastic customers a special discount.
10% off at Flash Sticks use the coupon code lingotastic10 (in lower case).

Disclaimer: These are my own thoughts and opinions. FlashSticks gave me a three month subscription in order to review this app which is just as well since I’ve found it to be addictive… What can I scan next?

 

 

Lingotastic visits Language Show Live

This weekend we went to the Language Show Live. The WHOLE family.

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I’ve been chatting to and working with some brilliant language teaching and learning professionals via social media and the Language show is a brilliant opportunity to meet them face to face. (and take some silly photos)


I was really pleased to find out the amazing Natalie who drives her bus full of French books to venues in the North East would be there.She loves picture books and puppets like me!
We were really fortunate to catch up with the inspirational guys from Chatterbags. A brilliant tool to get people talking, whatever language they speak.
We also were fortunate enough to meet up with the inspirational ladies at KidsLingo and share ideas.
You may have noticed we had a lot of fun.

My girls loved the show too. Their brief for the show was to search out resources their school may like to use and they had a lot of fun along the way.
The picture is them playing with the Languagenut game .I was really impressed to see how well they read and understood German as we’ve done no formal lessons with them yet. They visited the FlashSticks stand and had a look at the app there.

They really enjoyed looking at the books at Little Linguist and European Schoolbooks. They said the language show was like a big party with sweets and balloons. They had lot more fun than I thought they would and want to come back next year. As a parent I was so pleased they are so open the different cultures and languages.

My year 11 son is thinking about TEFL so the Language Show Live was a brilliant opportunity to find out more from one of the many TEFL stands there and the seminar on “an impartial guide to TEFL qualifications” He now has a good idea of his next steps if he wants to do this which is a great place to be in.

It was Maik’s first visit to Language Show Live. He was really impressed at the massive range of resources available and excited to meet so many people enthusiastic about learning languages.

We went along to a brilliant seminar with the Goethe Institut with some brilliant ideas for developing literacy in the classroom. It was a packed interactive seminar and we had a had big surprise afterwards as we were given something to take home with us!

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We ended our day at the Language show with a visit to the pub with some other linguists and language entrepreneurs. Angelika, Lindsay and Kirsten who are brilliant language language tutors. It was a brilliant end to a brilliant day.

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New FlashSticks app- review by my 8 year old.

FSFrenchappMy eight year old has been poorly and off school for a few days. She’s starting to feel a bit better so I thought we’d get her learning a bit at home to keep her brain working. The perfect chance to play the FlashSticks app with her. Here’s what she thought.

What did you you like about the app?
I like test speech button so I can practice saying the words.
I like the object scan. We took lots of photos and the computer told us what they are in Spanish.
7up

Noahs ark

What do you not like about the app?
The time goes too quick. I knew some answers but did not press the button in time. It’s annoying. (the word flash game)
I don’t like that you loose points when you get it wrong.

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More from mum…
I had to help her a lot to start with. Fifty words is a lot to focus on in one go and she got fed up of pressing the play video app each time so I read them with her to help her pronunciation.
When she started on the word flash app she found it tricky, but with help got into it. I helped her go back and look at the words she did not know and come back to the word flash.

The word drop game was far too advanced for her.
When working together we noticed the ne…pas and talked about saying I can and I cannot.
We also noticed Est – ce – que and I explained that was how people ask questions in French.

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She is a complete beginner in French so I think that was why it was tricky for her.
More advanced children may be able to use the app more independently.
The app was a good learning experience for us to use together and good to use alongside other methods when learning a new language.

Anyway, what are you waiting for?
Download the app for FREE and try it for yourself. Check out FlashSticks.com.
Let me know in the comments how you get on.

Disclaimer:
FlashSticks gave us a three months free access to this app in order to review the app. This are our own views and opinions.

FlashSticks new app. A review

This week we have a review of the new sparkly FlashSticks app.
If you follow me on Twitter you’ll already know I’m a big fan of FlashSticks sticky post it notes. They are colour coded to help you remember the gender of words. Blue for masculine, pink for feminine and yellow for verbs and adjectives. For a visual learner like me they are a godsend. Simply stick them around your home or take photos when you are out and about like me!
On a windy day outside I’ve almost lost them a few times!

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When I heard Flash Sticks were creating a new app I was so excited. I was NOT disappointed.

It launched only few weeks ago and Francesco challenged me to a competition. Being the competitive person I am, I could not resist! Guess what, I got more points than him 🙂

Lingotastic runs in six week blocks of French, German and Spanish. We’ve just started a block of Spanish and this has been a great way to tune into Spanish again. As any polyglot will tell you your strongest language often comes to mind first, so it takes practice to suppress this and the app has been a brilliant help for me to do this for this block.

 

So here is my review of the app.

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There is a “learn words” function which allows you to flick through the words before playing the games.

la barba

el pie

el pie

guapa

My favourite game is word flash. I really like that it shows the colour of the FlashSticks to help you remember their gender. The music is very reminiscent of countdown and keeps you focused.

The other game is “word drop”. A good way to test and improve your spelling of the new words, against a clock. The music for this is really feel-good and makes me smile.

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The cherry on top of the app is the amazing sci-fi object scanner. Simply switch on the object scanner and take a picture of the object and by some kind of magic (maybe elves?) the app tells you what it is in English and your chosen language.
Here are a few I took to try and fool the scanner.

Anyway, what are you waiting for?
Download the app for FREE and try it for yourself. Check out FlashSticks.com.
Let me know in the comments how you get on.
Disclaimer: These are my own thoughts and opinions. FlashSticks gave me a three month subscription in order to review this app which is just as well since I’ve found it to be addictive… What can I scan next?

Guest Blog from Liam O’Dell: My Year of Learning BSL

Liam blog This week we have a guest blog from Liam at The Life of a Thinker
About his adventures learning BSL. Over to you Liam…

It feels weird to say that just over a year ago, I had no knowledge of British Sign Language (BSL). In March 2014, I was introduced to a group of 18 deaf young people, with some of them using BSL as their first language. At the time, I had no knowledge of BSL and instead had to use the interpreters available as well as writing things down in order to communicate. It was a shame because I wanted to communicate with everyone in the group, including those who used BSL. With that in mind, I begun my language learning journey.

I was quick to buy a BSL dictionary, which was handy for when I couldn’t figure out a word. I researched online tutorials on YouTube as well as websites. I did try out and review a product and app for my blog called FlashSticks which was really helpful!

FlashSticks was the clear and helpful diagrams. Since BSL is such a visual language, getting the sign spot-on is key. Thankfully, the images are clear with easy descriptions. Then, if you were still unsure, using the FlashSticks app allows you to scan the post-its to load a video demonstrating that sign. On top of all that, the BSL packs were created with the help of Signature – a top organisation dedicated to teaching sign language. Brilliant!
However, what I learnt is that the best way to practice a language is with those who speak it. With that in mind, I had BSL lessons and went to my local deaf club for a meet-up. Both were really useful as I could practice, learn new vocabulary and make new friends!

Since then, I had a further four opportunities to meet up with members of the group and practice. At the last meet-up, I was able to have full conversations with my friends in BSL! Whilst that was such a great achievement for me, I’m not stopping there, and I’m learning more BSL as I go along, with the hope of getting BSL qualifications in the future.

That’s so encouraging to hear Liam. I wish you all the best as you continue your language learning journey .

If you want to get your own FlashSticks to help with your BSL learning we have a special offer on our resources page.

Liam is a lifestyle blogger at The Life of a Thinker, which you can read at The Life of a Thinker Follow him on Twitter: @lifeofathinker.