Multi-lingual Browsers & Translators
Up until around 2011 or so, most non-English web pages required Language Packs in order to display properly. The wide spread adoption of Unicode and UTF-8 have solved those problems.
Here's an explanation of how UTF-8 works.
Type text or a website address and Google can translate it into the language of your choice. Constantly improving and one of the better options out there.
This is another example of an on-line translation service.
For a class project, compare how different services translate the same sentience.
Characters, Symbols and the Unicode Miracle
Tom Scott explains how Unicode and UTF-8 "hack" solved the problem of representing all the symbols, characters and letters that are used worldwide. Blame it all on the Internet.
- YouTube URL
The Understanding Language Initiative, developed at Stanford by well-respected specialists in the ELL world, links the common core standards in science with literacy.
This site provides resources to educators so they will be equipped to enable learning the more demanding content in science standards.
If you use the Google Chrome browser, this resource shows you how you can change the language Chrome uses and have Chrome translate webpages for you.
While the Firefox browser does not have the out-of-the-box translation capabilities of Chrome, there are a number of add ons that will give you the same capabilities.
Some of the add ons will allow you to highlight a selection of text and get a quick translation. Useful when the page is in your language, but a comment or other text is not.
The Unicode standard arranges groups of characters together into blocks. Blocks include everything from Basic Latin characters (which includes English), Greek, Arabic and Thai to Emoticons, Currency Symbols and Mathematical Operators.
This resource lists the complete list of blocks currently defined and allows you to see which characters your web browser can display.
One way to get your students interested in all this is to bring up Emoji.
This page lists many emoji characters and how they are displayed on different devices.
How America looks to a non-native speaker.
Want to give your students an idea of how the U.S. looks to a non-English speaker?
Use Google Translate to convert a popular web site (or a local web site) into something like Japanese or Russian. Then ask them to find some item of information on the page.
Use these tools to expose your students to other cultures and languages.
You can now explore countries thru their own web sites.