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>28th February 2007
Welcome to this month's eLanguages newsletter.
News - Site upgrade
An upgraded version of eLanguages has just been released. There are lots of very small changes within the new version, most of which will probably go unnoticed by the majority of users, however, collectively we hope they improve your experience of using the eLanguages system. The key changes are:
Faster page downloads
Pages with lots of images should now load considerably faster when they are visited more than once by the same user. This is particularly useful where high resolution images are used as these can take a long time to load over a slow connection.
Translate function
You can now make the content of your project available in multiple languages. The 'translate' icon gives you access to a form to translate text associated with a resource. The language selector indicates projects where a translation is available by adding a '+' (plus sign) after the language name.

Project page redesign
The Join a project link and the Discuss this project link have both been made more visible on every project page. Hopefully, this will encourage more users to participate in and comment on your projects. To see the changes, visit any project page, for example It’s time to celebrate, or one of your own projects.
Site Security
We have added a security code function to some of the input forms on the system. This additional layer of security should prevent the site from being used for 'spamming' and help stop unrelated messages from being sent to you. In addition, we have changed the default security level on discussion forums so that all postings by non-members have to be approved by the forum owner before they will be visible on the site. Further measures will be introduced in the future to ensure that the site remains a safe and secure online environment.
In your eLanguages newsletter this month...
Did you know...?
In this country as well as others around the world, the population is becoming increasingly diverse. Do you know what is the proportion of Londoners who are not born in the UK? Is it 1/3, 1/8 or 1/15? Find out the answer next month! Last month we asked if you knew what proportion of the world’s population, who are not native English language speakers, can speak even the most basic English? The answer is only 20%
New Project of the Month
The Weather - how does it affect the way we live? Designed by the Head of the Preparatory Department at Kuwait English School, The Weather provides tools to investigate the way climate shapes and controls our lives in different parts of the world. Does your country have a desert climate? Do you live somewhere where it gets incredibly cold? Or where it rains a lot? Helen Searle is looking for partners in the UK, Malaysia, Indonesia and Portugal so get in touch and join The Weather project. Alternatively you could use this format to build a similar project using your own language and with your own partners? The Weather, view here Helen Searle's profile page
Vote in our poll
Each month, our newsletter contains a poll, allowing us to find out more about eLanguages teachers and the kind of things they want. Click on the following link to view this month's question and vote. Have you built a new school partnership from a contact you have made on eLanguages?
Tip of the Month
To be able to share the resources that you create effectively, it is important to use clear, consistent, informative naming. Allied to the above point, it is very important that each project stage and each resource should be named in such a way that it's obvious what it is. Calling resources 'File' or '174b.jpg' or 'Picture' will not encourage users to explore your project or your resources. Much better examples are: 'Picture of Berlin Wall', 'Sound file of Chinese students discussing sport', 'Word Document with Bengali Food Vocabulary'. Otherwise good projects will be overlooked if it is not clear what is being presented and why. Project stages are listed when teachers search for projects, and all resources are searchable by their names so it's vital to use names that are meaningful. Care should be taken with spelling of project stages and resources and you should be consistent in how you format the names (e.g. if the first letter of one resource name is capitalised, the same should be the case for all resources).

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