Tag Archives: education

EMMA: European Multiple MOOC Aggregator

If you’re looking for MOOCs in languages other than English, EMMA (European Multiple MOOC Aggregator) currently offers courses in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch and English, with courses in French, Catalan and Estonian coming soon.  Some videos don’t have subtitles (in any language), while some do so it’s a bit hit and miss at the moment. Spanish and Italian tend to have subtitles in their own language as well as English, but unfortunately the Portuguese ones do not.


For courses in (European) French and Spanish, other options include FUN and Miríada X (as well as Coursera which has a few courses from Mexico.) For German, there are a few courses on iversity.

The platform is in beta so there are still some bugs and I can’t seem to turn off e-mail notifications for class messages. Hopefully it will grow to include more languages and courses over time.

Do you know of other MOOC platforms with courses in languages other than English? I’d be really interested in finding some courses in Brazilian Portuguese (spoken and subtitles, not just subtitles alone.)

MOOCs for Learning Languages

Free MOOCs for Learning Languages

MOOCs for Learning Languages are Finally Available!

In a post about using MOOC videos and subtitles to learn languages, I noted that none of the major MOOC providers were offering courses to teach languages. Luckily that has changed over time and there are now MOOCs for learning languages:

Although not courses specifically designed to teach the language, several courses in French and Spanish are available via the platforms FUN and Miríada X (as well as Coursera and EdX.) For German-language courses, try iversity and imoox.at

Teaching Tools Tip of the Day: Dry Erase Sheets and Dry Erase Pockets

Dry erase boards and markers for use in the classroom are well worth the money. It’s no secret that I love to make games for my French classes, and I am so glad I decided to invest in both dry erase boards and dry erase pockets.

You can actually buy sheets rather than boards so they weigh less and take up less space. I bought a pack of 30 sheets that are .5 cm thick here in Australia for $40 AUD (including shipping) but I’m sure they are cheaper in the US. For comparison, individual dry erase boards tend to average at least $5 each in both countries – and when you have 20 students, that’s a bit too much.

For beginning French classes, Hangman is an obvious choice for a game to practice the alphabet. Drawing activities (such as drawing a floorplan of a house from oral descriptions of locations) are a little easier to do on dry erase boards. Trivia games are fun to do if every student or team has a dry erase board, as well as Scattergories or Pictionary.

Dry erase pockets, or shop ticket holders, are also useful for playing games in class. I recently bought a set of 25 dry erase pockets for less than $20 USD from Amazon and a bunch of ReWritables Mini Dry Erase Markers – with the not so correct French translation of sec-effacez – since they come in many colors and have erasers on the caps.

Teaching Tip: Dry Erase Pockets

Connect 4 to review verb tense and Guess What to review food and colors


The dry erase pockets waste less paper since students can easily erase and start a new game. They are also handy for preventing students from quickly writing down translations when you want them to try to work from memory and speak spontaneously instead of reading their written notes. Here are some of the games you can use them for:

Guess Who/What – I’ve used the traditional Guess Who set of people for describing physical characteristics, but I also created a Guess What version for fruits and vegetables (and colors, shapes, etc.)

Connect 4 – I’ve mostly been using this game to review verb conjugations; students must say the translation in French in order to color in that spot

Tic Tac Toe – again I’ve used this mostly for verb conjugations with the tic tac toe grid including the subjects and verbs student must use, but I change which verb tense they must use every few minutes

Bingo – obvious choice for practicing letters and numbers, but could also do vocabulary with words written in English but students will hear and have to say the words in French

Battleship – can be used for letters & numbers, subjects & verbs, or even prepositional contractions (je vais, je viens, tu vas, tu viens, etc. in top row and places/cities/countries in left column so students must say complete sentence with correct preposition or contraction)

Scrabble – this can work as a smaller version of Scrabble (don’t make the squares too small to write letters in), but since my classrooms have large tables, I am able to print out this Scrabble board on size A3 paper instead

Any other games you can recommend? I am always looking for more ways to get my students speaking in every class.