How I Use It
Lingua.ly is intended as a tool for language learning. Users are given a set of articles to peruse on various topics. These articles are in the target language. As you attempt to read the articles, you are encouraged to tap any words with which you are not familiar. These words then pop up with a photo and definitions in your native language. Also, the words are pronounced for you. I like the ability to choose general topics (Food, Entertainment, Health, etc.) and view a long list of related articles in Spanish. I also enjoyed the clickable vocabulary feature for translations, as well as the way the words all become part of my own list of "to practice" terms. However, after previewing this app, I decided NOT to use it with my students.
One major reason was the lack of content filtering. One of the articles I read included explicit adult vocabulary and the definition included a photo that I would not want to explain to parents. Speaking of images, the pictures did not always make sense with the given definitions. For example, the Spanish verb "romper" (to break) was listed with a photo of people wearing rompers. It seemed as though the images were chosen without any regard to their relevance. Another issue I found was in the "Translation" option of the article tag lines. Many of the English translations were choppy and confusing.
I believe Lingua.ly has the potential to be a useful tool. However, the lack of attention to detail and failure to consider content filtering makes it less-than-ideal for use with students. If you're simply looking to peruse articles in another language and build your vocabulary, then Lingua.ly could work, but until this product is fine-tuned and improved, I would avoid using it in your classroom.