Monthly archives: February, 2017

Authentic video for language courses

LangMedia ( is a project that aims to offer free, authentic videos (with transcriptions and translations) for less commonly taught languages, as well as videos that highlight differences in regional dialects and usages for more commonly taught languages. Many of these videos focus on cultural points and can be a great supplemental resource for the videos and audio materials that accompany textbooks. And unlike YouTube, these videos are well-produced and designed with language learners in mind, plus they can be downloaded for offline viewing or integration into Blackboard.
Materials are available for many of the languages taught in LCSL – Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish!

Schedule office hours and meetings in Google Calendar

Google Calendar’s Appointment Slots feature ( – login with your UIC email address)  is a great way to have students sign up for meetings without the hassle of a paper sign-up sheet. Creating a block of appointment slots is as easy as adding events to your UIC Google calendar. Then, just share the link given in any slot to allow students to see all the possible options and sign up.
To make appointment slots even easier to use, you can set a large chunk of time, say two hours, and have Google automatically break it into smaller (5, 10, 15, 30, 45, or 60 minute) slots. If you want more than one student to sign up at a time – for paired oral exams, for example – you can create multiple slots at the same time. And, if you teach more than one class and want to offer different possible meeting times to different classes, you can simply create individual calendars for each class and create and share your slots accordingly.
Check out this video tutorial for a great demonstration of how to set up appointment slots and add them to Blackboard.
For more information on appointment slots, see here:

Visuals for Foreign Language Instruction

Visuals for Foreign Language Instruction ( is an online database of over 450 free illustrations designed specifically for use in foreign-language classes. These illustrations depict places, objects, verbs, and situations and can be customized to fit any language or task.

Distraction-free video viewing

ViewPure ( is a free, easy-to-use website that allows you to view YouTube videos without distractions. You can either search for your video or enter a link and remove all of the clutter – ads, recommended videos, comments, and more! Once you’ve got the “purified” video, you can use the new web adress just like a regular YouTube link, no special account required. Great for showing videos in class!