A Bit of Learning in Honor of the Olympics

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Olympic torch

Love of sport, life, & learning

All hail the Olympics! As you watch your favorite athletes strive, consider the exciting competitions an opportune time to brush up on a little basic knowledge about countries of the world:

*Review flags of the world here, courtesy of the CIA World Factbook. The site also includes maps and “information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.”

*While you’re browsing snapshots of world countries, why not virtually visit the Olympians’ homelands? Some ideas for armchair traveling are listed here.

*Talk the talk of international athletes: see here for seven good foreign language help sites.

Finally, you might stop by the official website of the Olympic Games. Go to the “Olympism” tab and scroll down to “Educators.” Although this material is prepared for grade schoolers, it’s still interesting to see the colorful e-brochure “resources” from the Olympic Museum and learn, for instance, about the history of the ancient and modern Olympic Games.

Image via mrg. bz / sideshowmom

Related on this site:
It’s always a good time to study geography.
A good place to start studying world religions.

 Related from around the web:

Lost in Translation? Try These Foreign Language Resources

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Image via eatatmarks at flickr

If you’re like many folks, in learning a foreign language you’ll welcome all the help you can get.

I’m thinking particularly of students who are enrolled in language courses and who would benefit from supplements to their study materials, but the resources below also would assist the curious independent learner. (If DIY learning foreign languages seems a particularly formidable task, hey — remember Benjamin Franklin did it, and without the internet.)

So browse around on these sites; they include links to resources that will help you with your Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Latin, Spanish, French, and more.

A page of exciting language links from The Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) at the University of Texas at Austin.

Links from the Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research (CALPER) at The Pennsylvania State University.

Foreign Language News and Newspapers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries.

YourDictionary.com features an impressive array of foreign language dictionaries for quick reference. Click “Other Dictionaries” and then “Foreign Language Online Dictionaries.”

A help site for studying Spanish with some free resources.

The UCLA Language Materials Project: “Teaching Resources for Less Commonly Taught Languages.”  Browse those languages by using their drop-down menu; you can also search by region on their world map.

The Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region at Indiana University addresses uncommonly taught languages such as Mongolian, Pashto, and Uzbek. Check out “Language Materials.”

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