Language learning under the Lens

From the Director of International Studies Last month, while perusing my e-mail, I received a link to a YouTube clip with the comment that this promised to change the way we teach other languages. The clip was for ‘Word Lens’, an application (app) for the iPhone now available from the iTunes store. The accompanying description read: Instantly translate printed words from one language to another with your built-in video camera, in real time! (Word Lens, 2011) This app allows a traveller to use an iPhone to focus on a street sign or notice and have the app automatically translate any Spanish text into English. It creates this on the actual picture taken. The app may also be used to translate English text into Spanish. At this stage English and Spanish are the only two languages available but it will not be long before we see more language options for iPhone users. After my initial excitement at…

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In search of a kindred spirit

From the School Psychologist "Marilla", she demanded presently, "do you think that I shall ever have a bosom friend in Avonlea?" "A--a what kind of friend?" "A bosom friend - an intimate friend, you know - a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul. I've dreamed of meeting her all my life. I never really supposed I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true all at once that perhaps this one will, too. Do you think it's possible?" (Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables). When I was a girl I would read Anne of Green Gables over and over again. The adventures of Anne, Diana and Gilbert of Avonlea captivated me and the angst and joy of their relationships seemed to leap off the pages inviting the search for my own kindred spirit. So it was perhaps no surprise that recently I found myself mesmerised one afternoon observing two…

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From the Chair of the Board

It is in many ways an invidious task to steer such a well established, high performing and much-loved institution as Brisbane Girls Grammar School into new waters. But it is certainly not an option to allow this vessel to ride the fast-running waters without carefully planning the journey.

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