Castlecomer Community School Students Learn French with Nualang

Read how Magalie Lalor at Castlecomer Community School integrated Nualang into her French classroom.

Castlecomer Community School Learn French with Nualang

Nualang is fast becoming the favourite Edtech platform amongst language teachers. The platform's advanced chatbot technology enables educators to create real world conversations for their students to practise, from home or in the classroom, that other language learning apps simply do not offer. Teachers in countries around the world are using Nualang in their schools, including the United States, Germany, the UK and Australia.

In Ireland many teachers are using Nualang to help prepare their students for their oral exams. One teacher who has been creating innovative lessons and courses on Nualang for her French class is Magalie Lalor. Magalie is a native French speaker who has been teaching students at Castlecomer Community School for 15 years. Her passion for teaching has always driven her to experiment with technology and new teaching methods to continuously get the best out of her students.

Having used a number of different platforms throughout her years teaching, Magalie says that she has never seen another app with the real-world conversational and pronunciation practice that Nualang provides:

“What attracted me to Nualang language application is the unique voice recognition feature, having the ability to speak the language and practise the pronunciation being crucial in language learning.

The facility to input a full course customised for your students' needs or tailored to the Irish exam format is valuable.

The cleverly scaffolded progression from translating into L1 (First Language), then listening and writing L2 (Second Language), practising pronunciation, moving on to a realistic roleplay (type or speak to input answers) and then to an open-ended chatbot with progress report all along.

It fits the Irish secondary school language curriculum perfectly: the emphasis on the spoken language presentations with the CBAs (Classroom Based Assessments) in the junior cycle and the oral component of the LCA (Leaving Certificate Applied) and LC (Leaving Certificate) exam at senior cycle.”

– Magalie Lalor, French teacher at Castlecomer Community School

Being a French examiner at Junior Certificate (Ireland’s National High School Exams for students aged 13-15) and Leaving Certificate Level (Ireland’s National High School Exams for students aged 16-18), Magalie knows exactly what students need to study in order to achieve the highest grades. Using Nualang, she created a number of courses on the platform that provides students with the tools they need to achieve these results. Along with pronunciation, listening and translation exercises, Magalie created roleplays in her courses that demonstrated typical conversations between an examiner and a student. She was then able to assign these courses to her students to perfect their speaking from home during school closures due to Covid-19. This is another aspect of Nualang that she feels is very powerful as students can study from their schools “computer rooms and at home and the students work at their own pace and can all work at the same time.”

Students at Castlecomer Community School learning French on Nualang

Once schools returned Magalie wanted to use Nualang in a classroom setting. She took her students to their school's computer lab to learn French using Nualang. Students' ages ranged from 14-17 and their level of French was from beginner to intermediate. They used Nualang to practise their listening, pronunciation and translation skills. They also took part in conversational roleplays with the Nualas; they are our army of chatbots who are mad keen to be given a student to have a chat with, so they can get to work for you! The students found their experience using Nualang to be very positive and many noted how it can benefit them in their studies. They felt that learning a language through the platform made “it easier and doesn’t feel like you’re studying.”

The Nualas

The students also had great fun setting up their own avatars on Nualang and features such as the optional word bank was a great help to them when completing the exercises. For students who wanted to practise speaking in French independently, they found Nualang to be a great “help at home when the teacher can’t be with you.”

The progress reports that Nualang provided to both the students and their teachers were useful as it showed the students exactly what they needed to focus on. The app's speech recognition technology was something the students had not experienced before and they found it extremely useful for their pronunciation, with some pointing out that this feature is important to them “because if you are learning a language you will have to speak it.”

Nualang is growing rapidly into more and more classrooms everyday. Both teachers and students are experiencing the benefits of the platform's innovative technology. It was this cutting edge technology and the benefits it brought to students that first inspired Magalie to use Nualang. Having used the platform for a number of months now she feels that it is the “strong team of genuine researchers and engineers with a keen interest in language learning and the ever-evolving features of Nualang” that will continue to make this app special.

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