It’s here! An awesome, brand-new FluentKey Live experience.

Today, we’re super excited to introduce the new FluentKey Live!

We’ve incorporated the most popular requests from teachers–and also added some awesome improvements of our own. Here’s what changed:

  • Full Screen View: Live now has a beautiful, intuitive full-screen view.
  • Student Names: Students can create their own names when they join Live. (Don’t worry–teachers can also kick students with inappropriate names!)
  • Increased Text Size: questions are now much easier to see on a projector.
  • Redesigned Question Preview: the “Watch Again” and “Ready to Answer” features are now much more intuitive to use.
  • Class Question Average: see how well your class did on any question.
  • Summary Report: after the Live game is over, see the full results for how your students did in our Teacher Dashboard.

Go to fluentkey.com and play FluentKey Live to check out the changes for yourself!

Love the updates? Have a suggestion? Tell us your thoughts here.

Celebrating our first 1,300 teachers!

An exciting day at FluentKey – 1,300 language teachers around the world have chosen FluentKey to help them improve the visibility of their students’ data and progress, save time preparing for their lessons, simplify the process of finding authentic and fun videos at the right level of the students’ proficiency, and improve class attention span when interacting with authentic videos in English, Spanish, Chinese, or French. Thank you to all our language teachers. The education tools we’re creating are for and because of you!

It’s been amazing to see how quickly language teachers have been adopting our platform. Our user base has doubled in the last month of this year. We’re grateful to everyone who has trusted us their classrooms. Thanks for their feedback we’re adding more new features every month. And as more language teachers use FluentKey across geographies, our platform features, will too. 

 

 

 

 

 


Next Month’s Exciting News

The potential for authentic listening content and fluency solutions to improve the students’ ability to pay attention in an hour-long lesson is massive. Recent advances in language learning and AI technology has finally enabled language teachers to gain real-time visibility and analytics into their classroom learning outcomes and helping them save time preparing for their lessons. While 1,300 language teachers is exciting, we’re just scratching the surface of what can be done. In the next month we’ll be: 

      • Launching our FluentKey Live app in iOs and Android stores to continue supporting language teachers with easily digestible, interactive, and gamified components to capture student interest.
      • Allowing students to change their names in Live games. Teachers will also be able to remove students.
      • Finding authentic videos (commercials, news, short films, favorite cartoons) in our expansive library will be super easy with our tag feature. 
      • Continuing to scale our teacher support team with a world-class experience as we grow.

All over the world, language teachers are looking for simpler and more efficient ways to connect their students learning performance, knowing it will save them time and money, preserve the quality of their lessons, and ultimately create better learning experiences. Our mission is to help make this happen. And we’re just getting started. 

Thank you to every language teacher who has worked with us over this year. The authentic listening solutions we’re creating are for, and because of you! 

Coming Soon: FluentKey Live App!

FluentKey Live is an interactive classroom listening game. The teacher displays a video on a projector while students race to answer comprehension questions on their own devices and compete for the highest score. 

It’s like Kahoot for language learning, but instead of just answering trivia questions, students are able to compete while also being exposed to rich, authentic, and compelling language. Make listening fun and improve students’ listening comprehension skills at the same time. 

Best of all? It’s absolutely free!

FluentKey Live is designed to be played in a class setting. Students answer questions on their own devices, while the video is displayed on a shared screen. All you need for this activity is to be connected to the Internet and to the shared screen using a laptop or a tablet, and students can participate by using a laptop, tablet, or mobile device!

Please note that FluentKey Live must be using your teacher’s account from a computer or tablet (not a smartphone); however, students can play on their phones. 

Do I have to make my own videos and quizzes?

Nope! We already have a library of thousands of ready-made videos and quizzes, including TV shows, movies, music, news, commercials, and more. Just choose the video you like, and you’re ready to start the game! And you can also make or customize your own content if you want.

Is FluentKey Live free to play?

Yes! FluentKey Live is 100% free for all teachers and students. Create your free teacher accountSupercharge student engagement and learning while saving time and making your life easier. Let’s make listening fun!

¡​Próximamente: FluentKey Live App!

Acerca de FluentKey Live
FluentKey Live es un juego dinámico que fomenta la comprensión oral y auditiva en el salón de clases. La misión de FluentKey Live es mejorar la escucha activa de los alumnos mientras interactúan con vídeos en su lengua meta, ya sea en francés, chino, español o inglés.

¿Cómo funciona FluentKey Live?
En el aula, el profesor proyecta su tableta o computadora para poner el vídeo elegido en el pizarrón o en la pantalla. Transcurren alrededor de 30 segundos del vídeo y aparece en la pantalla una pregunta acerca del contenido visto. La dinámica consiste en que los estudiantes compitan entre sí para contestar la pregunta en el menor tiempo posible con sus celulares, tabletas o computadoras portátiles con la finalidad de obtener la puntuación más alta reflejando una compresión oral y auditiva óptima.  

FluentKey es como Kahoot, pero para aprender idiomas. Sin embargo los alumnos no solamente contestan preguntas tipo trivias, sino que además, los estudiantes son expuestos a su lenguaje meta de una forma rica, auténtica e interesante. El profesor hace del aprendizaje de escucha activa una actividad divertida, que a su vez, mejora la comprensión oral y verbal de sus alumnos. 

¡Y lo mejor de todo… Es completamente GRATIS!   

¿Qué necesito para jugar FluentKey Live?
La aplicación de FluentKey Live está diseñada para ser jugada dentro del aula. Lo único que los profesores de idiomas necesitarán es una computadora o una tableta conectada a Internet y a un proyector. Por parte de los alumnos, ellos necesitarán también estar conectados a Internet en su computadora, celular/móvil o tableta. 

Nota importante: Para comenzar a jugar con FluentKey Live, la maestra deberá comenzar el juego a través de su computadora or su tableta, pero no de un teléfono inteligente (Smartphone). Los alumnos sí podrán utilizar su celular/móvil o tableta para responder. 

¿Necesito crear mis propios vídeos o pruebas de comprensión?
¡No, para nada! Tenemos una biblioteca robusta con miles de vídeos y pruebas de comprensión que abarcan temas como programas populares de televisión, películas, cortometrajes, música, caricaturas, noticias, comerciales, y muchos más. El profesor escoge el vídeo que le agrade y con ello estará a un paso de comenzar su juego en FluentKey Live. Pero, si el docente quisiera agregar su propio vídeo desde su computadora o agregar un enlace de YouTube o Vimeo, lo puede hacer fácilmente.

¿FluentKey Live es gratis?
Sí, es gratis para profesores y estudiantes. Crea tu cuenta gratuita de profesor. La aplicación de FluentKey Live estará disponible en todos los países para iOS. Y también estará próximamente para Android. Accese su cuenta en FluentKey y comparta su pasión por la enseñanza de idiomas. Lleve a sus alumnos a expresarse de forma creativa a través de vídeos interactivos en francés, chino, español o inglés. 

Wondering how to engage students in language learning?

Have you ever felt like your students aren’t engaged in learning a foreign language? When I was first learning my second language, Spanish, many of my classmates and I were overwhelmed with the concept of a new language. We wanted to translate everything directly from English and didn’t understand that languages don’t directly translate. So how do you engage your students in a way that isn’t intimidating? This is where FluentKey Live comes in to play!

FluentKey Live is an activity where your students can watch an authentic video (or semi-authentic depending on the level) in-class! Your students will be able to follow along in the level-appropriate videos, which will boost their confidence! I always loved participating in class room activities that allowed me to do something I enjoyed (like watch a movie) instead of just listening to my teacher lecture.

So what exactly is FluentKey Live? This is one of our newest features where teachers can play a video clip in-class and students will respond to the questions live as they appear in the video! Basically, it’s a live quiz based on students’ comprehension of the video. For beginners, it’s a great way to build confidence in your students, and for more advanced students, you can really test their ability to understand authentic content.

One of the first milestones in language learning is students’ ability to understand basic conversations. Even when some of the vocabulary hasn’t been covered, the visual context and voice intonation can help students understand phrases that they wouldn’t understand just by reading it. This is why we have developed FluentKey Live as a way for teachers to teach vocabulary, listening comprehension, and build students’ cultural understanding in the most natural way. It’s also a fun and educational way to break up your grammar lessons!

The best part about FluentKey Live… you don’t have to do anything! We have hundreds of videos with varying levels, themes, and languages that you can chose from!! And if you don’t like the quiz and video options that we have in our extensive video library, you can ask us to develop quizzes and videos just for your class based on your needs. Work smarter, not harder, right?? This is an amazing resource that will make your classes more engaging and have your students begging for more! What teacher doesn’t want that? If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!

How I learned Spanish, and how FluentKey helps language learners

Globally, more and more people are learning other languages. Perhaps this comes from a more global world. These days, everyone has contact with more people from different backgrounds, culture, and countries. Mostly, this is from globalization and technologies connecting us with more and more people. Language learning apps provide grammar, vocabulary, and sometimes audio and speech practice. Most of the apps and websites, however, do not provide an authentic experience for users. FluentKey is changing that.

Before I talk about some of the unique features of FluentKey, let me give you some background. When I was in the 7th grade (about 13 years old), I started learning Spanish. My class was typical. We had vocab quizzes weekly, grammar lessons in class, produced videos interacting with the language (kinda), and we sometimes watched Spanish videos in class. When we were really lucky, we got to watch soccer games during class (in Spanish, of course). I was good at Spanish, but I wanted to be better. I started attending ESL classes at my church with people from Chiapas, México. Then I realized how bad I actually was at Spanish. I could take tests well and get good grades, but I couldn’t do the main thing: communicate.

My friendship with the students in the class grew, and I became more immersed in their culture, practicing my Spanish every chance I got. The grammar and vocabulary I learned in class were important to developing my Spanish, but my major improvement came from interacting with my new friends and watching as many authentic videos in Spanish as I could. Fast-forward 5 years… I was conversationally fluent. I was in AP Spanish at this point, preparing for the AP exam. I remember going into language labs to practice listening comprehension. We went to a classroom, but on old headsets and listened to an old audio with unauthentic content. Conversations were normally slow and dramatically separated all the words so that listeners could understand better. In short… the resources we had for listening comprehension in class were unauthentic, frustrating, and boring.

When I first learned about the idea, that later became FluentKey, I thought it was great. Instead of listening to old audios in a language lab, students can have authentic listening practice every day as part of homework assignments. The regular practice of listening comprehension with authentic content is an absolute imperative to language learners. Almost everyone who wants to learn a new language wants to learn it so they can communicate with people and understand conversations. If you go to Latin America and all the audio you’ve ever heard is ,“Maria. Va. Al. Supermercado. Para. Comprar. Huevos.”, and then you travel to a place where the people say, “Mariavaalsupermercadoparacomprarhuevos”, you will be very disappointed and frustrated as to why you can’t understand very simple sentences.

 FluentKey has an impressive library with hundreds of videos in different languages. They range in difficulty from just beginning (Novice-low A1) to near fluent (Advanced-high C2). This feature is amazing and can be easily filtered to show a specific language, level, theme, and more! Each video that says “FluentKey Official” or found in the “Featured” section will have a personally reviewed and quality-controlled transcript as well as a comprehension quiz that is appropriate for the level of the video. This type of resource is going to be increasingly valuable as the amount of content grows daily! Let me know what you think is great about FluentKey in the comment section below!

I’m going to France! Should I be scared about practicing my French with “rude” Parisians? What if I can’t understand them?

I’m going to Paris! I’m super excited!

As you should be! Paris is a wonderfully beautiful city with great history and more visitors per year than any other city in the world!

But…

What is it?

So the problem is, I’ve heard a lot of jokes about how rude and/or mocking French people can be if you don’t speak French well enough, and the idea of being condescended to or laughed at, or having someone switch to English after hearing my accent, is so scary to me that I don’t know how I’ll start any conversations with anyone at all.

This isn’t true. French people always appreciate people for trying instead of just defaulting to English, which actually does piss a lot of French people off.

Now, some people will hear non-native French and start speaking English, because they can be impatient if they think their English is better than your French (even if it may not be).

Heads-up: casual interactions that happen in restaurants can be both predictable and lacking in context. When you’re in a restaurant, it’s generally going to be pretty predictable what somebody is asking, even if you don’t know the words. For example, you order a steak and they ask about the “cuisson.” Maybe you’ve never heard this word, but with the context, it should be obvious what it means.

On the contrary, on a trip like this, you are more likely to have “one off” sentences that may lack context, and in these cases, you may not catch a single word. Don’t be discouraged! Even in my native language, I still have to ask people to repeat themselves. On occasion, music and lines in movies can be heard for me to hear, and I have many thousands of hours of exposure to English.

The best way to prepare for situations like this is to practice your listening! It’s a lot easier to respond if you know what you are responding to. FluentKey is an excellent tool to practice your listening. With our extensive video library, you can practice listening for context and using visual cues to improve how well you understand situations in your target language. Videos of increasingly challenging difficulty tend to have less context to understand the meaning of words, although you can still use tone and facial expressions to know how people are feeling!

So how rude are Parisians really?

In all my time in Paris, I have found that they are as polite to you as you are to them; however, there is a different standard in France/Paris of what is considered polite. The worst thing you can do is not begin a conversation with “bonjour/bonsoir.” If you don’t open with one of those two (depending on time of day), that may just ruin your whole conversation. I think most people who have a bad experience with Parisians don’t know this rule of common courtesy. Always open with “bonjour/bonsoir,” and I doubt you will encounter a Parisian you consider rude (excluding people in a hurry, like in any big city).

Oh, and passersby will consider it to be strange if you smile at them. Don’t smile at people you walk past. Keep your “resting jerk face” unless you’re engaged in conversation with somebody. This may also contribute to the “rude Parisian” stereotype, but trust me when I say they are not upset with you. But remember: always say “bonjour/bonsoir” or they actually will be upset with you!

The Importance of Input

The one question that my students ask me all the time is, “How do I REALLY learn a language? How can I become fluent?”

And I always like to share this simple rule: 

“What goes in, is what goes out.”

In other words, in order to be able to produce language, first you have to develop strong receptive language skills.

We can formulate this idea in different ways, like Stephen Krashen did with his theory of “comprehensible input.” Less technically, it means we should be asking our students to read and listen in the target language–a lot.

Here’s a picture!

The box here is your brain. Your brain is incredibly magical. It can take other peoples’ words that you hear and read, and then mix them up, reorganize them, turn them into your own thoughts and words. Your brain is like a transmuter of language.

But, just like an alchemist, your brain can’t do any magic if you don’t supply it with the right ingredients. Comprehensible input creates comprehensible output. If your starve your brain, or if you fill it up with nonsense, you’re not going to be happy with the result.

What goes in is what comes out.

This is a pretty obvious point, but one that’s often overlooked. Know someone who spends all her time memorizing flashcards but can’t order a cup of coffee? Have a student who’s really good at verb conjugations but can’t understand a simple class announcement? These are all people that have fallen into this trap.

In class, it’s easy to ask students to do things: write an essay, give a presentation, create a project. And that should, rightfully, be the ultimate goal of language learning.

Before we demand that students do, however, I would suggest that we first ask them to absorb. The more listening and reading they get, the stronger their language foundation will be, and the more fluently they’ll be able to produce the speech and writing we expect.

Join our Beta! What do you have to lose?

So, what’s the best way to give our students comprehensible input?

For reading, extensive reading with graded readers are a great way to get started. In my Chinese class, we use book series like Mandarin Companion and Chinese Breeze, as well as leveled news articles from Chairman’s Bao

For listening, obviously, we think that FluentKey is a great way for students to improve their listening skills 😜. Our site has hundreds of fun, engaging, and authentic videos in the world’s most popular languages. Easily find the perfect video for your students and then assign them to watch it. You can even track their understanding with built-in quizzes and other cool interactive tools. Best of all… it’s free!

Whatever you choose, just remember the rule.

This Week in FluentKey

Hey awesome teachers,

Thanks so much for checking out our beta launch. We’ve heard a lot of great things about Fluentkey from you guys. We also got some fantastic feedback and suggestions. Keep them coming–that’s what beta is for!

Expect constant improvements to Fluentkey throughout this process: new videos, new features, new bug fixes, new shiny awesome things. 

Here’s some of the cool stuff that happened this week.

Hugo


New Features:

  • Redesigned Video Assignment Panel! It’s a lot clearer what to do now.
  • FluentKey now remembers your default language when you upload a new video.
  • By popular request, check out our new favicon .
  • Lots of other small bug fixes and improvements, including updated help text.


New Videos:

We’re always expanding our video library. Here are some of the best new videos this week:

Chinese:


French:


Spanish:


Tips of the Week:

  • You can upload audio files, too! (Just make sure to put them in .mp3 format.)
  • Can’t find a video you made? Look under the “Created” tab right under the top banner in the video library.

Awesome Teacher of the Week:

Shout-out to Aurélie from Head-Royce School, who writes, “My students have been using Fluentkey for their listening practice and they love it more than any other program. What makes Fluentkey special is its ability to stop recording or video exactly where you want it to stop for an assessment. It is easy for students to replay and figure out exactly what section they need to focus on. As a teacher, I also like that I can follow my students’ progress within an assignment.”


Questions or Feedback?

Our mission at FluentKey is to make your lives easier. Email us back and we’ll respond right away.

Welcome to the FluentKey Beta!

Say hello to FluentKey, a brand new learning platform designed by language teachers for language teachers.


JOIN THE BETA!


BRING YOUR CLASS TO LIFE WITH A LIBRARY OF AUTHENTIC REAL-WORLD VIDEOS.
Access hundreds of fun, engaging videos in the world’s most popular languages. Find the perfect video for your students by filtering for category, theme, and difficulty level.

MADE BY TEACHERS, FOR TEACHERS.
Assign videos to your classes for homework and track their progress in a gradebook. Hold students accountable and make your life easier at the same time!

EVERY VIDEO IS AN INTERACTIVE LESSON.
Supercharge learning with interactive tools designed for language students like subtitles*, audio speed*, clickable transcripts*, and comprehension quizzes.

CREATE YOUR OWN VIDEOS AND QUIZZES.
Want to assign a video that’s not in our library? No problem. Upload your own videos or link them from YouTube with the click of a button. Build your own interactive quizzes by adding questions, sound, and images.

FREE FOR THE WORLD.
Our mission is to make language learning better. That’s why all our videos and quizzes are FREE FOREVER. We promise open access to every teacher and student.

*coming soon!