Thursday, June 30, 2011

Interactivity with SVG

If you're using a browser that supports SVG (IE 9chrome, firefox, safari), you'll notice new features on the body page (English body, French body, Russian body, Mandarin body, Japanese body) and face page (English face, French face, Russian face, German face, Italian face).
  • When you place your cursor over a red circle, the portion of the body that is being referred to is outlined. (The effect is most visually appealing in google chrome due to it's great support for SVG filters.) 
  • You can choose the level of difficulty that you prefer using a drop down menu that's next to the options menu. On the body page if you choose an intermediate difficulty, the red circles that refer to the names of individual fingers, the hamstring and shoulder blade disappear. If you choose the beginning difficulty level, you can focus on words like arm, leg, hand, and head. When doing a quiz, you'll only be quizzed on the words that correspond to your chosen difficulty.
  • When "speaking quiz" is selected under the options menu, a random object is outlined. Try to say the word for it aloud. A second or so later you'll hear the voice of your teacher either correcting or confirming your guess. The "speaking quiz" is available on the alphabet and number pages as well as the face and body pages. One of the goals of the site is to promote active learning and the speaking quiz is designed to force you to be active. Voice recognition is being built into browsers like google chrome and eventually I'd like to set up the speaking quiz so that it waits for you to speak before the teacher's voice chimes in, and to even check and see if you said the correct word.

Are these features helpful and would you like to see them in other categories?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Spanish of Mexico Guide

A portion of the new Spanish of Mexico vocabulary guide is now available. This past winter I travelled to Morelia, Mexico and did most of the recordings there. (Thankfully the narco siege was over.)

One of the voices you hear is that of Paula, a teacher at the Baden Powel Institute, a Spanish school in Morelia. You can hear her voice here.

You can also hear my good friend Romelia Núñez Juárez here. Romy is a doctor that works for la cruz roja.
Finally there is Kathia Jemal who is originally from Morelia but currently works in an art gallery in San Antonio. You can hear her voice here.