By: Sydney Kalnay, Training Specialist.

After thirteen years of classes and a year abroad in Paris, you would think speaking French is as easy for me as me brosser les dents*. Without daily practice, however, my foreign language skills skew more toward “occasional party trick” than “fluency of an international diplomat.” I could probably order from a menu or find my way to a specific area of Lyons without much trouble, but reading Camus (or, frankly, Le Petit Prince) is going to be well out of my league these days.

*Brushing my teeth

The same may be true for your students. Whether you have kids in the classroom who are learning a new language, or students whose native language is not the same as their classmates’, the stability of daily practice will be the backbone of that burgeoning knowledge.

Use the Sora’s define feature to translate from English

Even more helpful is a tool built into the digital reading experience that enhances a student’s understanding and retention of new language skills – the Sora define feature.

The ebooks your students access through Sora include the ability to tap and hold on a word to reveal a dictionary definition. This itself is a fantastic way to build vocabulary, to learn parts of speech, to view synonyms, and to access a pronunciation guide.

An additional aspect of the Sora define feature is the ability to access Google translate from within the app. Tapping or clicking on the Translate link (under Explore on the dictionary definition screen) will open a new browser window for Google translate, and your student can choose the language into which they would like that word translated. Another benefit of this feature is the ability, in many cases, to view the translation for an entire phrase.

Use the Sora’s define feature to translate from other languages

What’s more – this feature works with titles in languages other than English, too.  If your student is exploring a text in another language, even one that includes a non-Western alphabet, they can tap and hold to define and translate as well as a word, or phrase with Google translate, too.

More tricks for Sora in the classroom

Many schools are beginning to incorporate the dictionary definition and Google translate options in Sora into their lessons and classrooms. If you would like to explore some ideas about incorporating these and other Sora features in your curriculum, join us on February 21, 2019 at 11:00 AM ET for our live webcast, Using Sora in Your Classroom, where we will discuss best practices for using Sora for lesson planning and student interactions. As always, registering for a session will ensure that you are automatically emailed a link to the recording and a PDF copy of the slides afterward, for your reference.

Nous espérons vous voir là-bas!*


*We hope to see you there!