Cheryl Johnson, OFLA Parliamentarian and Bylaws
Instructional Technologist for the Dept of Modern Languages, Denison University (Retired)
Readlang.com enables students to read almost any digital text that they have an interest in. This online e-reader for language learners translates words or phrases and permits students to review them later as a word list or as flashcards. As stated on the Readlang website, browser extensions for Safari and Google Chrome allow the reading of websites. Students may also choose to copy and paste a text into the e-reader page or upload a file. These options enable students to read almost any digital text.
Once a student selects a text, the tool is easy to use. A mouse click or a touch on a tablet or phone on an unknown word reveals the English translation, and the word or phrase is pronounced for the student. Highlighting a phrase reveals the phrase’s translation. Students may choose to use the new “Define” feature found under the hamburger menu (the 3 lines) in the upper right of the screen. AI powers this feature and is context aware. Definitions may be read in the target language or in English. (See the screenshot below.)
The word list and flashcards appear in context, as illustrated below. Students may also listen to the word or phrase being pronounced.
Readlang also provides a library of texts and videos that you can search by word count, text type – fiction, non-fiction, song, conversation, or other – and/or CEFR (Common European Framework Reference) level. If you are unfamiliar with how the CEFR scale maps approximately to the ACTFL Proficiency Scale, you can view the graphic below to help guide you.
The videos play above the transcript, and each word is highlighted in brown as it is sung. Students can click on any unknown word or phrase as the video is playing.
Readlang has a series of instructional videos that show how to create an account and use the e-reader. The video playlist is found here: Get Started with Readlang. The free version includes an unlimited number of flashcards, unlimited word translations, and 10 phrase translations per day.
Recommended Further Reading:
- Carson, Anna. Readlang.com: Supporting Semi-Autonomous Reading Has Never Been So Easy!
- Donnally Quinn, Shannon. Using Readlang for Listening