Sunday, 29 September 2013

Little Bridge


This program is for computers and it can be used in many ways, for example working individually, in pairs or in the whole class through an interactive whiteboard. I work with grades 2 and 3 and in my school we have a lot of computers but I think that it is important to let the learners work together to frame the communication. Just working on your own will not develop the learning.   

The contents in the software Little Bridge correspond well to the Swedish curriculum for grades 1-6.  The learners are familiar with the themes of the game such as everyday situations. For each theme activities that exercise a specific vocabulary and by repeating and consolidating the students can gradually build up their vocabulary. The spoken English in the program is clear and there is a lot of different ways to practice communication and linguistic expressions.

A classroom license gives access to additional materials as a teacher´s guide with lesson suggestions, learner’s books and copy masters. On the Little Bridge global community teachers are able to download these resources and to share ideas. On this community the learners also can extend their social network. The schools can be registered and then they can link to each other so that the learners can be connected around the world.

In the software Little Bridge there is a music machine and the teacher can use that function to sing karaoke together in the whole class. The songs are adapted for the vocabulary which the learners have practiced in the exercises. Little Bridge also includes a special part for practice which is suitable to solve in the class an interactive whiteboard. For example Kim´s game there you first see the whole picture and then have to identify which object that was removed.

The software has 3D graphics that are realistic and the characters are animated. From personal experience, I know that the learners appreciate the interactive exercises. It is good if the learners get motivated but it is also important to be attentive to the learners so that the use of the program not only will become a fun game. They also have to learn. That is, the learners can not only play by themselves. As a teacher I have to be present and communicate with the learners about what they are doing in the game.

I especially appreciate an exercise in this software that requires the learners to get clues from the character in the game to find a missing person. They walk around the streets in the city and when they meet a person they can stop and listen to what the person says. For example the person can tell them that Harry is in the playground. The learners can go there and have a look or ask a new person for more clues. When my learners did this exercise in pairs there were a lot of discussions and I noticed that they also went back to a character to hear the clues one more time.

The Little Bridge is not just a computer game for fun.  This program has an educational structure with varied tasks that are clearly outlined in the guide. Activities which are largely about communication. It is even possible to have dialogues using a microphone. Moreover it is interesting that Little Bridge has a connection to the common European framework (A1 and A2).


Helena Sjöberg, 1EN06U

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