Have you ever noticed how much time it takes to look up a word from a website you are reading?
Depending on your method, you need to open up a new page, copy or type the word into the dictionary, and then go back to the original site to reexamine the context.
Now imagine that same scenario when reading in a second language?
Most of us might give up depending on how many words we don’t know.
But what if there were a faster way…
That’s where Lingro.com comes in.
Lingro.com is an online application that can take the text of any website and turn each word into clickable links. The clickable links then are connected to dictionary definitions in English as well as many other languages.
To use, just insert the URL of any web page into the form on Lingro.com. Then, select the dictionary you want to use from the dropdown. Finally, press the arrow and the page you requested will load.
You can now look up any word instantly simply by clicking the word on the website.
But that’s not all…
You can also use the tool to create wordlists. In order to use this feature, you will need to register for an account. This will let you reference words that you have looked up in the past and organize words into different lists.
A Practical Example of Using Lingro.com
Let’s say you are a Taiwanese junior high school student.
Your EFL teacher has assigned a current event project that will require you to read a newspaper article online in English and report back to the class.
As you read the news article, you find there are many technical terms you do not understand. To help you better comprehend the article, you copy the URL and put it into Lingro.com. Before moving forward, you select the “English to Chinese” dictionary.
Now as you read the article, you click on the technical words you do not understand and get an instant translation in Chinese for each word you click on.
However, you don’t stop there because you will need to use this technical vocabulary in your presentation. You log in to your account and create a wordlist named “News Presentation.” As you click on technical terms in the article, you save those words to your word list. After you finish, you review your list and add important words to flash cards to prepare for your presentation.
Although I love Lingro.com and believe it is a great tool to assist students in their reading, I would be amiss to not put forth this caveat:
If your students approach an article and they have to look up every other word, then the reading material is not appropriate and alternative materials should be used rather than using Lingro.
Lingro should only be used to support texts that are appropriate for the student’s level.
Many English learners struggle to read authentic material online. Depending on the number of words, looking up each could be cumbersome. While our first priority should be to direct our learners toward materials that are accessible for their current language level, we can’t ensure we will hit the mark every time. Therefore, I believe Lingro is a great tool to help our learners have better comprehensibility in authentic texts.