Tech4Learning tools effective in helping students acquire a second language, and students can even use Tech4Learning tools in other languages!
Let's look at a few specific languages.
Spanish and French
No matter which Tech4Learning tool you use, you can change the language from English to Spanish or French. If your operating system is set to Spanish or French, Pixie, Frames, and Share will display in that language automatically!
If you want to run Pixie/Frames/Share in French or Spanish while your operating system is in English, go to the Preferences and change the default language.
All interface buttons, dialogs, and tooltips will show in the target language. Even the items in the Library have been translated.
If you are using the Wixie, go to the Wixie button and choose Language to change the language.
Special characters in languages that use the Latin alphabet
Many languages use the Latin alphabet, so that makes typing in them a bit easier. Many, however, include special characters, such and ñ, and so on.
If you have a Spanish or French keyboard, use the special characters on the keyboard.
If you have an American English keyboard, use the ALT key and the number sequence for that character to have it appear in a text object. For example, to type the enye or ñ, hold down the ALT key on the keyboard and press the numbers 164 in sequence.
Here is a list of ALT key + number strokes.
You may have to experiment and, of course, this is different on different hardware. For example, it only works if I use the number pad on my keyboard, not the standard number keys above the letters, which work on my laptop.
Chinese, Japanese, Arabic (and Hebrew too)
The characters for these languages are called 2-byte characters. Tech4Learning tools should support these characters, but they may require that you have a special font installed.
Go to the Start menu, choose Accessories, choose System Tools, and choose Character Map. (If you have ever used special characters in Word, this is where that dialog comes from). The dialog on most Windows machines defaults to ARIAL font, which provides special characters for both the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets. You may need to choose a different font to locate Japanese and Chinese characters.
Once you find a character, click the Select button and then click the Copy button. Then move Windows over to Pixie or Wixie and paste.
You can also change your keyboard to the standard keyboard for these languages. Go to the Control Panel, and choose Region and Language. You may have to install something additional and this may also change the computer language as well as the keyboard.
Go to your System Preferences and choose International. From here, you can change both language and keyboard.
For the most part, computers in schools are set to English and have an English keyboard. In this case, teaching students how to use the character map (Windows) or Character Palette (Mac) is the way to go.
Good luck! or as the case may be: