Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Livemocha and Babbel

Livemocha and Babbel
Have you heard of them? I hadn't until last night. They're free online interactive language learning communities. Being a lover of all things Italian, I'd wondered if there were any sites in existence that combined elements of social networking sites with interactive education/learning sites. Livemocha and Babbel aren't the only sites out there, but they are the only ones that are free. Just like Ravelry or Facebook, you start by creating a profile, username, password, and avatar. The sites have interactive tutorials with complementary teaching tools such as vocabulary lessons and flashcards. Everything that you do is saved for your next visit. A common feature of both sites is the social aspect: you can add friends. You choose friends for tandem learning or for help.

I've been loving every minute of this whole online interactive language learning thing! I took about 20 hours of Italian in college (even double majored in it at one point) and could use a brush up on my skills. What I like about both sites is that they focus on all aspects of learning a language: vocabulary, grammar, writing, speaking, and culture. Also, you have choices along the way. For example, today I chose to take a vocabulary lesson whose theme was springtime. Next, I might check out foods or countries. I love that I control the pacing. I spent the whole afternoon going back and forth between the two sites, having fun.

Knitting News
I've got two side projects going right now. One is a cell phone hip tote with leftover Imagination sock yarn. The plan is to connect it to my beltloop or purse strap. The other is a skirtie for Marie using some old acrylic yarn. My main projects? A second Strawberry Latte ankle sock, Firestarter socks 2xML, My So Called Scarf, and Wright. If recycling the yarn for Wright hadn't burned me out so much, I'd be working on that top feverishly right now. Making side projects without a pattern were necessary to relight the wick of my knitting mojo candle.

No pics today guys. Sorry!

Has anyone else seen the movie Zathura? I've caught that movie twice now on TBS.

Can't wait to see what the contestants will sing on American Idol tonight considering the theme: songs the year they were born. We'll see how smart the contestants are in song choice and originality. If you haven't checked out the studio versions of the songs sung on the show, you should go to youtube. Not only are the songs a lot longer, but they also sound different instrumentally. The good people sound good, the bad people sound bad, and then there's Matt. Matt Giraud's studio version of You Find Me is much better than his live performance. He must be one seriously nervous dude when performing live! I wish he could find his confidence already so that he could perform at the same level as Adam, Danny, Kris, and Allison. Oh, and I'm still steamed that Alexis is gone considering we still have Anoop, Lil, and Scott.

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