This post first appeared on Free Technology for Teachers.
In the last few years, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) has become a prominent language in American Classrooms. As learning Chinese requires not only learning the spoken word, but learning a new text and character system, touch screen tools have become incredibly helpful in teaching students how to craft Chinese characters.
One of the best, free tools for students learning Chinese is Pleco, available in both Pleco iOS and Android Pleco. The free dictionary includes over 100,00 entries that are updated regularly. Students can look up words by Chinese characters, Pinyin (spaces and tones), or English and can even hand-write characters to look up information. Students can also cross-reference words by looking up character components and breaking down words into individual characters. Students can also use the Touch to Speak system to hear word pronunciation and sample sentences.
In addition to numerous free resources, there are several add-on purchases, including higher quality text to speech options, Document Reader with OCR recognition (you can upload content with your phone’s camera), and flash card creation. This is an excellent tool to add to your Chinese language learning toolbox.