August 31, 2013

Vidtionary: Video Clips Aligned with Vocabulary


Vidtionary is a video dictionary. It defines and expresses words through images. It is suitable for language learners, both English language learners and learners of other languages (although it is organized in English and some English is spoken in the videos).

Explore Vidionary at

Nine Free Write Ideas


Here is a document with nine different creative ideas for free-writing time in your language classes:

Presentational Communication Resources

Annenberg Learner’s curriculum focus this month is the presentational communication standard for foreign languages. Here are their recommended resources:

All of the videos mentioned are from the Teaching Foreign Languages Library ( ) and are subtitled so that teachers of any language can find useful information and teaching strategies.

Teaching Foreign Languages Library Watch Barbara Pope Bennett’s Spanish III students dramatize scenes from Dos Caras (Two Faces), by Sabine Ulibarri, and create alternate endings to the story in program 29, “Interpreting Literature.”

In program 16, “Exploring New Directions,” students practice a variety of presentational skills in a mixed-level Mandarin Chinese class, from describing restaurants and providing directions, to creating a dramatic representation of poems.

Middle school students communicate their likes and dislikes about sports activities in a beginning Mandarin class in program 11, “Communicating About Sports.”

Yo Azama’s high school Japanese class begins planning a promotional video to attract tourists to Japan in program 23.

Use this nifty chart in Teaching Foreign Languages, which shows the level of difficulty, standards connection, and teaching strategies for each video lesson.

Annenberg Learner Update September 2013. Annenberg Learner (, 23 Aug 2013).

Infographic: Read This Before You Call the Speech Therapist

If you or someone you know is raising a child to be multilingual, and you suspect the child may need the services of a speech therapist, this blog post is for you:

Weekly “Test Yourself” Question from the New York Times for English Language Learners


In this series, which will be published each Monday, the teacher and blogger Larry Ferlazzo will create a quiz question for students, along with brief teaching suggestions for those who would like to take the topic further.

This new weekly feature replaces last year’s monthly series, “Ideas for E.L.L.’s.” ( ).

Last week’s question is available at
Look for each Monday’s new question at

Online English Pronunciation Resources from Okanagan College

Here are pronunciation resources grouped by contrasting sounds that English learners may struggle to differentiate:

Texas Study Finds ELL Students Face “Triple Segregation”


Texas Study Finds ELL Students Face “Triple Segregation”
by Katherine Leal Unmuth
August 23, 2013

In Texas, poor Hispanic children who are English language learners often attend intensely segregated schools, a new study has found.

Such children face “triple segregation” because they are isolated by virtue of their ethnicity, socioeconomic background and language skills. The trend is found in both urban and suburban settings.

Education professors Julian Vasquez Heilig and Jennifer Jellison Holme from the University of Texas at Austin examined 2011 demographic data from the Texas Education Agency to make their findings in their study, “Nearly 50 Years Post-Jim Crow: Persisting and Expansive School Segregation for African American, Latina/o and ELL Students in Texas.”

…[T]he study found a bright spot. Majority-ELL elementary schools were more likely to earn the state’s top ranking of “exemplary” than to be rated low-performing. The researchers found 72 “exemplary” and 15 low-performing majority-ELL elementary schools in Texas, noting that “the state should be applauded for these numbers.”

However, the researchers cautioned that those same children tend to go on to attend low-performing middle and high schools. And ELLs have very high dropout rates in Texas.

Read the full article at

New Guide To Help States Commonly Define English-Learners


New Guide To Help States Commonly Define English-Learners
By Lesli A. Maxwell
August 30, 2013

With a just-released set of recommendations from the Council of Chief State School Officers to help guide them, most states are now set to embark on an effort to bring much more uniformity to identifying who English-learners are and when those students are no longer in need of language instruction. The goal is to move all states to a more consistent playing field over the next two years.

Doing so would upend current practice, which for decades has had states and local school districts using very different approaches to identifying ELLs and reclassifying them as fluent. It would also lead, experts say, to much more comparability among states and districts for how well they are serving this growing population of students.

"If we can move states toward more coherence around English-learners, that is only going to improve services for these students," said Robert Linquanti, a senior research associate at WestEd, a San Francisco-based research organization, and a co-author of the CCSSO policy recommendations.

Read the full article at

French Toast – Public Speaking Workshop in Portland, Oregon


Interested in improving your public-speaking skills and polishing your French at the same time? Then consider signing up for the Alliance’s new French Toast workshop to be held on Friday, September 6, 6:15pm to 7:30 pm, at the Alliance Française’s Kamm House.

Format will include language guidance and instruction by Alliance professeur, Aaron Sewall, as well as a presentation on best-practices for public speaking; participants will also do prepared and spontaneous presentations (featured in the first session will be Terry Beard).

Workshop fee is $7 for Alliance members and $12 for non-members.

For full details go to

Art Exhibition at Stanford: Manet and the Graphic Arts in France


The prints, drawings, and photographs in this small exhibition focus on the themes, styles, and important artists active as printmakers in France during the decades leading up to and following the Paris Commune of 1871. The key image in this installation is Édouard Manet’s powerful 1871 lithograph Civil War (Guerre Civile). It will be accompanied by other works that reveal the formal influences of Impressionism and photography by French artists such as Gustave Courbet (1819–1877), Camille Pissarro (1831–1903), and Félix Bracquemond (1833–1914).

Ongoing every day from June 12, 2013 through November 17, 2013.
Cantor Arts Center, just off Palm Drive, at Museum Way and Lomita Drive

For full details go to

Mars Images To Go on Social Media Feeds in Latin


Mars images to go on social media feeds in Latin
By Zoe Kleinman
August 27, 2013

Pictures of the surface of Mars, taken from Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), are to be captioned in Latin on social media outlets as part of an outreach project.

The Latin captions will be published from 28 August on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

The photography project is known as HiRise (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) and has run since 2006.

Read the full article at

Links to the Twitter and Tumblr feeds are embedded in the article.

Book: The Ancient Egyptian Language


The Ancient Egyptian Language: An Historical Study
By James P. Allen
Published by Cambridge University Press

This book, the first of its kind, examines how the phonology and grammar of the ancient Egyptian language changed over more than three thousand years of its history, from the first appearance of written documents, c.3250 BC, to the Coptic dialects of the second century AD and later. Part One discusses phonology, working backward from the vowels and consonants of Coptic to those that can be deduced for earlier stages of the language. Part Two is devoted to grammar, including both basic components such as nouns and the complex history of the verbal system. The book thus provides both a synchronic description of the five major historical stages of ancient Egyptian and a diachronic analysis of their development and relationship.

Visit the publisher’s website at

Core Vocabulary for Latin Students – Some Resources


What are the most frequently used, most important to know words in Latin? Lists and resources abound, and they are discussed on this blog post:

Participation Requested: National Latin Survey


Teachers College at Columbia University invites you to participate in the National Latin Survey. The purpose of this study is to survey middle and high school students and teachers all across the United States and find out the many different reasons why people study and teach Latin. Your opinion is important because what you say may help authors write new Latin textbooks and provide Latin teachers with valuable information. Teachers College plans on publishing the results on their webpage and in peer-reviewed journals.

The survey will be open from May - December 2013.

Participate in the survey at

Polish Language Learning Resources

Here is a recent blog post that describes a few resources for learning Polish, the polyglot blogger’s mother tongue:

Institutional Project Support-Small Grant Program for Japanese


This program is designed to: (i) support institutions that face difficulties maintaining current levels of infrastructure due to cuts in funding for Japanese studies in the US; and (ii) stimulate interest in Japanese studies by small and newer institutions without an established program of Japanese studies or those that lack personnel or resources.

Grants of up to $25,000 will be given to institutions that execute proposals designed to maintain and advance the infrastructural scale of Japanese Studies at their institution.

Support in this round will be given for project activities taking place within one year of award.

Application materials must arrive at the Japan Foundation New York office no later than September 30, 2013.

For full details go to

Book: Arabic Stories for Language Learners


Arabic Stories for Language Learners: Traditional Middle-Eastern Tales In Arabic and English
By Hezi Brosh and Lutfi Mansur
Published by Tuttle Publishing

The sixty-six stories found in Arabic Stories for Language Learners present the vocabulary and grammar used everyday in Arabic-speaking countries. Pulled from a wide variety of sources that have been edited and simplified for learning purposes, these stories are presented in parallel Arabic and English, facilitating language learning in the classroom and via self-study. Each story is followed by a series of questions in Arabic and English to test comprehension and encourage discussion. An audio CD in Arabic and English helps students of Arabic improve their pronunciation and inflection, and immerses non-students into the uniquely Arabic storytelling style.

Visit the publisher’s website at

Arabic Alphabet Chart

Here is a chart for writing the Arabic alphabet that you can add to your website or download, as long as you leave in the link giving proper credit:

Language Learning in the Age of Common Core


Language Learning in the Age of Common Core
By Heather Clydesdale
August 28, 2013

In evolutionary terms, it’s called a catastrophism: a sudden event forces species to adapt quickly and dramatically. Since their introduction in 2010, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been adopted by 45 U.S. states, reshaping the American educational ecosystem. As schools and districts scramble to adjust, it’s not surprising that teachers of Chinese, and avid watchers of their programs, often perceive CCSS as a threat.

Some language classes are endangered as administrators hunt for more time for reading and math, and teachers may suddenly find themselves adapting to new habitats, such as assisting with math and reading intervention. Yet Yan Wang, a teacher at Dixie Magnet Elementary School in Kentucky’s Fayette County Public Schools, insists that CCSS is an opportunity for teachers to root even nascent programs more deeply in their schools, and to demonstrate that they, and their Chinese language program, are important assets in the Common Core endeavor.

Read the full article at

Glendale Unified in California Sees High Demand for Popular Dual-language Immersion Program


Glendale Unified sees high demand for popular dual-language immersion program
August 23, 2013
By Kelly Corrigan

Glendale Unified is grappling with the expansion of its popular dual-language immersion program to meet the demand from students and parents.

The program, in which students are given a choice to spend at least half of their instructional day speaking and learning in a language other than English, was established in 2003. That year, 18 kindergartners spent 90% of their instructional time speaking and learning in Spanish at Thomas Edison Elementary.

It has since expanded to several more schools where students learn Armenian, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean or Spanish.

But not every language program takes students in their chosen language through 12th grade, and not every school where there is an established program has enough space to continue to house the classes.

“One of the issues we are dealing with is the overwhelming success of the program,” said Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan. “I think it far exceeded our expectation.”

Read the full article at

Job: Flagship Program Coordinator, University of Maryland


This position will coordinate the Flagship program by supporting its faculty and students in their language immersion program. The position will also support the administrative needs of the Flagship Director and the Director of Special Programs.

View the full job posting at

Employment Opportunity: ELLs with Disabilities Researcher at the WIDA Consortium, Madison, WI

The WIDA Consortium, housed at the Wisconsin Center of Education Research at UW-Madison recently posted a position to hire an ELLs with Disabilities Researcher

This position will be the WIDA policy and accommodations expert on how to best assess and serve children with disabilities as part of the comprehensive WIDA standards and assessment system. Specifically, the candidate will manage the on-going development of the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs English language proficiency test, which was developed specifically for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Additionally, he/she will conduct extensive policy research to inform the recommended accommodations or alternate assessments developed for other physically challenged students such as the blind or deaf. Learn more at the university's website listing:

For additional information, please contact:
Jesse Markow, Director-Communications and Business Development
WIDA Consortium at WCER
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1025 West Johnson St., MD #23
Madison, WI 53706
markow at wisc dot edu

Employment Opportunity: ELLs with Disabilities Researcher at the WIDA Consortium, Madison, WI. NCELA List (NCELA@HERMES.GWU.EDU, 26 Aug 2013).

Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Annual Convention


Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Annual Convention

45th Annual Convention in Boston
November 21 - 24, 2013
Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA
Convention Theme: "Revolution"

One of the core activities of the Association is the annual convention. Held in the fall, the convention takes place each year in a different city and is generally hosted by one of the Association's regional affiliates. This international forum makes possible a broad exchange of information and ideas, stimulating further work and sustaining the intellectual vitality of the field.

Learn more and register at

24th Annual Conference of the Central Association of Teachers of Japanese


The 24th Conference of the Central Association of Teachers of Japanese
October 5th - 6th, 2013
Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan

The theme of the conference is "Connecting Japanese Language Education with Other Fields: Toward Innovation

For more information and to register go to

2013 Second Language Research Forum


2013 Second Language Research Forum
October 31-November 2
Brigham Young University, Utah

Second language (L2) acquisition has been called a “natural” phenomenon, but is it natural socially, biologically or cognitively? Recent research suggests that language is a “complex adaptive system” involving cognitive, social and innate mechanisms, which all interact, adapt, and develop in complex ways (Ellis and Larsen-Freeman, 2009). Whether or not researchers adhere to this notion, there is little dispute that language is complex and affected by the context in which it occurs and the communication of ideas between people. Thus, this conference welcomes research that investigates the complexity of L2 acquisition, the contexts in which it is learned, and the communication it creates.

Registration is open. Visit the conference website at

2013 Foundation for Endangered Languages Annual Conference


The 2013 Foundation for Endangered Languages Annual Conference will be held October 1 – 4, 2013 at Carleton University, in Ottawa, the capital of Canada and headquarters of the country’s national Aboriginal organizations. The many endangered Indigenous languages across Canada make it an excellent setting for a conference that will explore collaboration, community involvement, and cross-disciplinary research on endangered languages. The conference will highlight community connections, collaborative approaches, intergenerational cooperation, technological and social media related innovations, and community-researcher alliances.

Registration is open. Visit the conference website at

Call for Articles: Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages


The Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (JNCOLCTL) is soliciting articles for publication in its spring 2014 issue.

The Journal, published annually by NCOLCTL, is dedicated to the issues and concerns related to the teaching and learning of Less Commonly Taught Languages. The Journal primarily seeks to address the interests of language teachers, administrators, and researchers. Articles that describe innovative and successful teaching methods that are relevant to the concerns or problems of the profession, or that report educational research or experimentation in Less Commonly Taught Languages are welcome. Papers presented at NCOLCTL's annual conference will be considered for publication, but additional manuscripts from members of the profession are also welcome.

The Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages shall include papers focusing on broader theoretical and technological issues in all fields of LCTLs along with reports about research and teaching in academia, at both the K-12 and collegiate levels. Also to be included are papers addressing research and teaching in government and industry and issues of a broader social environment, ranging from heritage communities to advancing LCTLs in federal initiatives and legislation in the USA.

While submissions are welcome at any point, only manuscripts received by October 1, 2013 will be considered for the Spring 2014 issue of the journal.

View the full call for articles at

Call for Papers: University of Texas at Arlington Student Conference in Linguistics & TESOL


University of Texas at Arlington Student Conference in Linguistics & TESOL
27-Feb-2014 - 28-Feb-2014
Arlington, TX, USA

The University of Texas at Arlington Student Conference in Linguistics & TESOL is a student-led conference specifically designed to give graduate students a chance to present their original research. This is a great opportunity to join students from across America and around the world to present research on language.

Papers for this conference are invited in all areas of linguistics and TESOL. Students from any educational institution are strongly encouraged to submit their research and share their discoveries in the field. Presenters can choose between oral and poster presentations. Oral presentations will last 20 minutes with 5 minutes for discussion and questions. An allotment of time will be set aside for poster presentations and discussion. Poster and oral presentations are considered, accepted, and judged as equal counterparts, and the best presentations will be awarded the Yumi Nakamura Memorial Prize in Linguistics.

The deadline for submission is Monday, November 29, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.

View the full call for papers at

Call for Papers: Classical Associations of the Pacific Northwest and of the Canadian West


Conference sponsored by the Classical Association of the Canadian West and the Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest on the theme “Decision”
March 14-15, 2014, Vancouver, BC

 Whether a political figure faces a decision affecting the safety and prosperity of an ancient city-state, a literary figure concludes (an often mistaken) decision in a tragedy, a judge decides the guilt or innocence of a litigant, or an artist tries to achieve some work of merit, the concept of “decision” pervades many aspects of the cultural life of a society. Philosophers have explored such merging of general, abstract notions to the need for action in specific situations. Oracular pronouncements are sought for divine guidance. Systems of selection are devised. All test notions of innovation and leadership.

Papers are sought on all aspects classical antiquity. Panel submissions will be welcome, and brief (up to 3 minute) responses will be sought for each paper. (Please signal your readiness to give a response.)

Submit abstracts (up to 200 words) by October 15th.

View the full call for papers at

Book: Second Language Identity in Narratives of Study Abroad


Second Language Identity in Narratives of Study Abroad
By Phil Benson, Gary Barkhuizen, Peter Bodycott and Jill Brown
Published by Palgrave Macmillan

Study abroad is now both an international industry and an experience that can have a deep impact on students' attitudes and approaches to second language learning. Narratives of Second Language Identity in Study Abroad brings together three important research areas by exploring the impact of study abroad on second language identities through narrative research. It outlines a new model of second language identity that incorporates a range of language and personal competencies. The three main dimensions of this model are explored in chapters that begin with students' study abroad narratives, followed by the authors' in-depth analysis. Further chapters use narratives to assess the impact of program type and individual difference. Arguing that second language identity development is one of the more important outcomes of study abroad, the book concludes with recommendations on how study abroad programs can best achieve this outcome.

Visit the publisher’s website at

August 25, 2013

World Wise Schools Has a New Website


Peace Corps’ Coverdell World Wise Schools program brings the Peace Corps experience home to American classrooms. The newly redesigned World Wise Schools site makes it easier than ever for you to find free cross-cultural learning materials including videos, lesson plans, podcasts, publications, and much more.

In addition to the online learning materials, WWS also enables educators to connect their classrooms with current and returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

Explore the new website at

Recommended Online Resources for the Language Classroom

In “Apps That Snap and Tools That Rule,” Christopher DiStasio recommends free online resources for the language classroom. Read on at

Dartmouth Foreign Language Classes Embrace Twitter


Dartmouth foreign language classes embrace Twitter
Popular micro-blogging service is a fun—and effective—way to learn another language, students say
August 15, 2013

Foreign language professor Tania Convertini is thrilled to catch her Dartmouth College students complaining about homework or upcoming tests. She’s not eavesdropping—she’s reading their tweets, written in Italian and assigned as part of an effort to immerse students in the language 140 characters at a time.

Convertini, director of Dartmouth’s French and Italian language program, requires students to follow prominent Italian individuals, companies, and organizations on Twitter and to tweet among themselves in Italian. And while the approach is a nod to the younger generation’s obsession with smart phones, Convertini says she is not embracing technology just for technology’s sake.

Instead, she wants put students in charge of their learning, expose them to authentic language in real-life, real-time situations, and create a community that extends beyond the classroom.

Read on to learn how she is integrating Twitter into students’ instruction:

More Beginning of School Ideas, Part 5

Here is another activity for the beginning of school that works as an ice-breaker:

If you make note cards with names of celebrities (they can be Hispanic) and have a couple of the students tape them in the backs of others without looking at the name. The ones that were taping the names should tape each other without seeing their cards either. Then you give the order to go around the classroom asking one question to another student and vice versa in the classroom about the celebrity they are, like am I alive? Am I singer? Was I born in the USA? Am I an athlete? The answers should be yes or no. The person then moves on to the next student and asks another question until they guess who they are. Only one question per student and they have go ask a different person the next time. After 8 to 10 minutes you call off the activity and the people who has not guessed their celebrity yet, get to see who they were. You can use the target language if the class is advanced or you can use just a few words if the level of the class is low. You may put suggested question on the board, so they get the idea on how to do it.
Have fun with it, it is a very nice ice breaker and let all the students talk to each other.

Zuchovicki, L. Re: [nandu] FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL - HIGH SCHOOL SPANISH. Ñandutí listserv (, 5 Aug 2013).

Visit this teacher’s website for curriculum and more teaching ideas at

More Beginning of School Ideas, Part 4

In the last several weeks we have been sharing teacher’s suggestions for the beginning of school. Here are some more:

For reviewing in second and subsequent years, one teacher writes:

I don't have a packet.....because I let the kids plan the review. They know what they feel shaky on; why waste time reviewing stuff they are confident about! Also, I've already taught them all this, usually, so maybe it'd be good to hear it from someone else's lips/perspective. And, research shows that Teaching Others is the best way to put something into long-term memory. That's why WE know our stuff.

Starting on Day 1 of school, we whole-group make a list of everything they did the year before (and if they forget something, that's a good thing to review). Then I take them online to practice some of it (their choice; differentiation). Then, as my Ticket Out they tell me what they most need to review. The next day, they sign up for one of the top 5-6 topics from the Ticket Out, and become members of an "expert group" on that topic, and I use Jigsaw (they will teach 'their' topic to their classmates).

Day 1: they practice their topic
Day 2: remediation if needed, and they start planning the lesson they'll teach. I require, for the lesson: instruction, practice, a game, and 5 quiz questions.
Day 3: Lesson plan due for my approval and they are making supplies for lesson -- handouts, flashcards, etc.
Day 4: Quiz questions due; last workday.

The following week, one group per day, they teach/review their topic. (Jigsaw: groups break apart and re-form, so there is one expert on each review topic in the new group). When all groups are done, I give the quiz THEY wrote (using the quiz questions provided by each group).

At the same time, I have begun the 'new' material. I never give groups the whole class period to work on Jigsaw stuff ....

Blaz, D. Re: [FLTEACH] Creative ways to complete a review packet. FLTEACH listserv (FLTEACH@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU, 11 Aug 2013).

Another teacher describes what she did on the first day with her Spanish II students:

Here is what happened on day 1: tongue twisters. I had only done one tongue twister with these students in Spanish I making the concept fairly new. It went so well! We started off the year with something silly and fun that made us talk and laugh and smile. And I think it showed the students that their mouths really will speak Spanish after a summer break!

More detail for anyone interested: I created slides to project each of 3 progressively more difficult rhymes. New vocabulary I illustrated with clip art and went over as a decoding exercise (what is logical here? what does this look like? etc.) and even got in some pop-up grammar "review" (I think they were pleased to remember the basic questions and even more pleased to show OFF that they remembered).

Rhyme number one had only two new vocabulary words and they were similar (trigo/trigal). Rhyme two had 2 new words as well. Rhyme 3 was a bit different and is my favorite example for decoding (because it looks so intimidating at first):

El cielo está enladrillado
¿Quién lo desenladrillará?
El desenladrillador que lo desenladrille
Buen desenladrillador será.

They all attempted it first, exclaiming "I don't have a clue what I'm reading!" Then we went back and sounded out all the "ladrillo" words together. (They probably thought we were practicing pronunciation, which we were, but I really just wanted to take it slowly so that they could see that the mystery words were all connected somehow. They noticed.) Then I defined "ladrillo." Light bulbs started going off all over the room. We looked at endings and context for each "ladrillo" word to determine the meaning, read it again, laughed a bit more, then moved on to the necessary emergency exit procedures.

Volzer, D. [moretprs] first day of Spanish II success: tongue twisters. MoreTPRS listserv (, 10 Aug 2013).

ESL Educator Resources from KQED


Radio station KQED's educator resources, programs and reports about immigrant communities in California include many of use for English language learners, including lessons, immigrant stories, and immigrant-related radio programs. Explore the available resources at

New York and the CCSS for ELLs: What Happened Over Summer Vacation


New York and the CCSS for ELLs: What Happened Over Summer Vacation
by Diane Staehr Fenner
August 14, 2013

In this post, I’ll give you some information about one NY State group’s realities teaching the CCSS to ELLs, highlight how ELLs fared on the new CCSS-based assessments in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics, tell you about a NY ELL curriculum scaffolding initiative, and close with news of a project with teachers in Poughkeepsie, NY. Even if you don’t teach ELLs in NY, I hope you’ll find something in this post that’s relevant to your context.

Read on at

For Young ELLs, Learning in Two Languages Best, Review Says


For Young ELLs, Learning in Two Languages Best, Review Says
By Lesli A. Maxwell
August 19, 2013

Instruction in English and in a child's home language in the preschool and early elementary years leads to the best outcomes for the youngest dual-language learners, both in terms of academic-content achievement and as English-language proficiency, a new research review and policy brief concludes.

In fact, evidence suggests that total immersion in English in the preschool years for students who speak another language at home leads to a loss of their first language, as well as lower academic achievement in the long run, writes Linda M. Espinosa, an early childhood and dual-language expert. This latest review— which is an update to a policy brief that Espinosa wrote five years ago—draws on newer evidence about young dual-language learners to counter what the author calls "common myths" about these students.

The brief was published by the Foundation for Child Development, a New York City-based philanthropy, and is the tenth in a series that focuses on policy recommendations for the pre-K through 3rd-grade years.

Read the full article at

TESOL’s Leadership Development Certificate Program


Registration is now open for TESOL’s online Leadership Development Certificate Program (LDCP), 30 September – 25 October 2013. Learn about current developments in TESOL International Association and the profession, explore key leadership concepts and effective practices, discuss leadership issues with peers worldwide, and learn from a variety of experienced TESOL leaders. The 4-week, 40-hour online program is open to TESOL members only.

Learn more at

View the syllabus at

Start Your School Year with a Song

Here is a full lesson plan based around the song “Los Pollitos Dicen,” targeted for true beginners of Spanish and linked to supporting resources:

15 French Teachers You Should Follow in Pinterest


Do you use Pinterest? You can get some ideas from other French teachers there; here is a blog post recommending 15 that you should follow:

New Open Source French Textbook

COERLL is pleased to announce the beta version of Le littéraire dans le quotidien, by Joanna Luks, Cornell University. This open textbook breaks new ground in foreign language teaching and learning. Published as an open educational resource (OER) with an open copyright license, Le littéraire dans le quotidien (LLDQ) gives teachers full rights to edit and customize the content.

In addition to its innovative open methods of publication and dissemination, LLDQ is characterized by innovative content. Inspired by the 2007 MLA Report "Foreign Language and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World" and recent AAUSC volumes, the book is based on a simple but radical premise--literary language can be found in everyday language (il suffit de regarder!).

According to Luks, the key is to understand the metaphorical nature of all language--literary or quotidian. With carefully conceived activities that integrate communicative language teaching with literary analysis, Luks shows students how to play with conventional meanings in order to create new literary meanings. The concept of the literary in the everyday draws from several disciplines in an effort to help students develop "the deductive skills of a linguist, the honed intuitions of an anthropologist and the playful bent of a poet."

LLDQ's reading and writing activities are sophisticated, playful and fun. Use an activity "as is" or edit it to suit your classroom. It's free! It's open! It's OER!

 LLDQ is published on Google docs with a Creative Commons license and thus, shareable, editable, easily adaptable for your own students.
 LLDQ is printable immediately in different formats: PDF, DOC, DOCX, TXT.
 LLDQ is in final stages of copy-editing (beta); a print-on-demand textbook from will be available by December 2013.

Link to textbook files (Google docs):
(Best viewed in Google Chrome and once signed into Google Docs)

Link to textbook files (PDFs):

COERLL. Le Littéraire dans le quotidien (BETA) soft launch. COERLL newsletter (, 22 Aug 2013).

Parlons français, c’est facile: Online French Workshops and Games


Parlons français, c’est facile is the French cultural network's website raising awareness of French. The website has a placement test to determine which materials will be most beneficial for users and “webdocs.” Each webdoc tells you about a person's life in 10 clips, enhanced by complementary media.

Explore this website at

A Visual Explorer for the Language of Greek Tragedy


Using the linguistic dependency treebanks and digitized texts created by the Perseus Digital Library, Jeff Rydberg-Cox with assistance from Oliver Baker are creating social networks for a collection of Greek tragedies that allow users to visualize the interactions between characters in the plays. Because the number of characters who appear on stage in Greek tragedy is limited, most of these social network diagrams fall into a few basic types. The most interesting aspect of these networks are, therefore, the edges that connect the nodes within the graphs. The linguistic data used to label or even create these edges becomes the jumping off point for visualizing and exploring the language of Greek tragedy.

The homepage of this project is available at

Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies


For almost a century and a half the Hellenic Society has been the leading organization for the study of Greece with an international membership across all ages and walks of life. It maintains a world class library and publishes internationally acclaimed journals in the field. The Society also arranges an annual lecture series in London, holds occasional conferences, receptions and other meetings, and helps to arrange other lectures all around the UK in collaboration with the various local branches of the Classical Association. The Society aims to help those engaged in Hellenic Studies at all levels, and to this end it makes grants of various kinds to schools, universities and other institutions, undergraduates, graduate students and young researchers.

For more information about membership benefits, go to

Member or not, you will find some nice videos at the Hellenic Society YouTube channel:

Online Canon of Greek Authors and Works


The TLG Canon of Authors and Works is a searchable database and a bibliographic guide to the authors and works included in the TLG Digital Library. The Canon represents many years of research conducted by TLG staff members. A printed version of the Canon (Luci Berkowitz and Karl A. Squitier, Thesaurus Linguae Graecae Canon of Greek Authors and Works, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press) was published in 1990. The Online Canon, now edited by Project Director, Maria Pantelia, has grown substantially since the early 1990s, especially as the TLG expanded into the Byzantine period. The Online Canon database currently contains over 12,000 bibliographical records and is regularly updated to include new entries as they are added to the TLG Digital Library.

Explore the database at

National German Honor Society


The Delta Phi Alpha National German Honorary Society began with the founding of the Alpha chapter at Wofford College in 1929, and now has constituent chapters at 273 colleges and universities throughout the United States. Accredited institutions of higher education are welcome to submit an application to form a new Chapter of Delta Phi Alpha. Benefits include the possibility of grants (typically $250) to chapters and a $2500 scholarship for a senior German major (deadline is November 1st).

Learn more about Delta Phi Alpha at

German Contest for Students Ages 10-18 in the US and Canada


The Goethe-Institut is once again proud to present its annual Award of Excellence! Each year, the Award of Excellence contest provides young people in the United States and Canada with a contemporary and, above all, an authentic view of Germany by introducing them to a new topic. The short video, with English and French subtitles, is aimed at all students who have an interest in Germany, regardless of whether they’re studying German or not.

This year’s contest film, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” is all about Berlin’s youth culture. What’s at stake? Young Learner’s Courses in Germany, trips to Berlin for teachers, and of course the Award of Excellence itself for classes with outstanding performance!

The contest starts on September 2, 2013, on this web page. All US and Canadian students ages 10 to 18 are eligible to participate. Students can submit their answers online by either using their own e-mail addresses or an e-mail address organized by their teacher.

Learn more about the contest at

German Language Toastmasters Club in Washington, DC


Are you looking for ways to improve your spoken German? Goethe-Institut Washington - Voice of Distinction Toastmasters Club invites you to join this exciting German public speaking club. In a club meeting, you practice giving prepared speeches as well as brief impromptu presentations, known as Table Topics. Each time you give a prepared speech, an evaluator will point out strengths as well as suggest improvements.

Learn more about this club and when and where it meets at

Study Abroad Opportunities for Russian Studies

Here are three study abroad opportunities, all of which have an October 1st application deadline for the coming spring semester:

The American Councils Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP) serves both graduate and undergraduate students as well as working professionals. The academic program is designed to improve participants' oral, listening, reading, and writing proficiency in Russian language and to develop their knowledge of Russian history, politics, culture, and society. The academic year, semester, and summer programs provide approximately twenty hours per week of in-class instruction in Russian grammar, phonetics, conversation, and cultural studies at Moscow International University, the Russian State Pedagogical University (Gertsen Institute) in St. Petersburg, and the KORA Center for Russian Language in Vladimir. One day per week of the academic program is set aside for local cultural excursions. A full-time U.S. resident director provides ongoing logistical support and emergency assistance to participants. Peer tutoring, internships, community service, and a broad range of extracurricular activities offer U.S. students a unique opportunity to connect with Russian friends and actively engage in Russian daily life.

Learn more:

The American Councils Business Russian Language and Internship (BRLI) Program combines a specially designed curriculum focusing on the language of Russian business with an internship averaging ten to fifteen hours per week at a multinational company, business, or non-governmental organization agency in Russia. Moscow International University and the Russian State Pedagogical (Gertsen) University in St. Petersburg host this program; students may apply to study for a semester, academic year, or summer. BRLI participants are granted U.S. academic credit through Bryn Mawr College. The highly individualized BRLI curriculum can be tailored to serve students ranging from intermediate to near native speakers of Russian; however, less advanced students should consider whether their language proficiency will enable them to engage in substantive internships and benefit from instruction in the style and lexicon of business speech. (Students lacking a strong command of Russian grammar, for example, should consider enrolling in RLASP before applying to the BRLI program.) A full-time U.S. resident director provides ongoing logistical support and emergency assistance to participants. Peer tutoring, Russian-American discussion clubs, and a broad range of extra-curricular activities provide unique opportunities for BRLI students to connect with Russian friends and immerse themselves in daily Russian life.

Learn more:

The Individualized Russian Language Program for Heritage Speakers is intended to address the specific needs of students who speak Russian at home or with relatives, or who grew up speaking Russian and wish to strengthen their Russian skills. Program participants work with American Councils staff and host university faculty to develop a tutorial program serving their unique needs as language learners. All individualized programs focus on the development of Russian language skills, including grammar, conversation, and phonetics; courses in literature, history, and area studies are available for advanced students. Participants attend a minimum of twelve hours of tutorials per week.

Learn more:

Italian Film Festival of Marin County


Originally started as an informal, one-time only presentation of Italian movies in a college lecture hall, the Italian Film Festival of Marin County has grown over its 36 years into a perennial favorite in the San Francisco Bay Area. This year’s festival will run September 28th to November 9th. Learn more about it and see the schedule of films at

Japanese-Language Proficiency Test

Registration for the 2013 Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will be open from Monday, August 26 through Friday, September 27, with the test date on Sunday, December 1, 2013. Starting this year, the American Association of Teachers of Japanese will be in charge of all test administration roles. For more information, visit

News from The Japan Foundation, New York and CGP. Japan Foundation, New York and CGP enewsletter (, 29 Jul 2013).

Presentation on Swords in Contemporary Japan September 3rd


On Tuesday, September 3, 2013, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles (JFLA) will host master swordsmith and martial arts expert Kunimasa Matsuba to talk about the place of Japanese swords and martial arts in contemporary society, including the history of these weapons, the philosophy of their craft and use, and their intrinsic beauty. Powerful, flexible, and subtly beautiful, Japanese swords have evolved with the society around them for hundreds of years, and continue to be revered as representative images of the warrior spirit of bu. In this lecture, Matsuba will discuss the essential paradox of an ancient and deadly weapon in a peaceful society, and the enigmatic place of a modern swordsmith in between art, craft, and weapon.

Admission is free. For full details go to

Japanese Teaching Material Purchase Grant


This program is intended to assist educational institutions in the U.S. to purchase teaching materials (textbooks, audio-visual materials, dictionaries, teachers’ reference books, etc.) for their Japanese-language courses by providing financial support not exceeding $1,000.

The application deadline is September 16, 2013.

For full details go to

Book: Internet Arabic: Essential Middle Eastern Vocabularies


Internet Arabic: Essential Middle Eastern Vocabularies
by Mourad Diouri
Published by the Centre for the Advance Study of the Arab World

Gives you up-to-date expressions, jargon and new coinages to express modern concepts in internet Arabic. What is the Arabic term for ‘homepage’? How would you say ‘podcast’? Could you recognise the phrase ‘add this site to your favorites’? Or ‘printer-friendly version’? This short, accessible vocabulary gives you ready-made lists of key terms in Internet Arabic for translating both from and into Arabic.

Visit the publisher’s website at

Southwest Native Languages Must Be Saved, Educators Say


Native languages must be saved, educators say
State and educators put tribes in the spotlight.
By Peg Mcentee
August 19, 2013

Over several years, Native American educators and Utah tribal and state leaders have collaborated on a program offering Navajo and other native students courses on their own language, culture, history, government and character development.

It is a way for students who may know little about their heritage to learn a language and culture that are inseparable, says Clayton Long, bilingual education director in the San Juan School District.

The program is not confined to Navajo students, however. Educators in northeastern Utah have similar courses for Ute students, as did the western town of Ibapah for Goshute students at one time.

But while Navajo language education is important, getting funds for all forms of education is essential, says Ceceilia Tso, director of the University of Utah’s American Indian Teacher Education Collaboration.

She’s working with Gov. Gary Herbert and Shirlee Silversmith, head of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs, to promote legislation that would create — and fund — an Indian Education Act.

Read the full article at

Essay: Link Between Foreign Languages and the STEM Fields


Dr. Bill Rivers is the Executive Director for the Joint National Committee for Languages – National Council for Language and International Studies, and a leader in U.S. language policy development. Read his recent essay, “Putting the FL in STEM: the Link Between Foreign Languages and the STEM Fields,” at

Two Jobs with Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments


CaMLA is a not-for-profit collaboration between the University of Michigan and the University of Cambridge whose mission is to offer a comprehensive and flexible set of the highest-quality products and services to help educational, governmental, and private-sector institutions meet their language-assessment needs.

CaMLA is currently accepting applications for the open positions of assessment associate and assessment developer. Please review the job descriptions through the links below. Applications can be submitted through the University of Michigan jobs site.

Title: Assessment Associate
Posting Begin/End Date: 8/21/2013 - 8/28/2013

Title: Assessment Developer
Posting Begin/End Date: 8/21/2013 - 8/28/2013

Franklin R. Buchanan Prize for Curriculum on Asia


The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) invites submissions for the Franklin R. Buchanan Prize.

Established in 1995 by the AAS Committee on Educational Issues and Policy and the Committee on Teaching about Asia, the prize is awarded annually to recognize an outstanding curriculum publication on Asia designed for any educational level, elementary through university.

The winning submission will reflect current scholarship, present innovative teaching strategies, and make a significant impact on the intended audience. Submissions must have been published after January 1, 2012, and include extensive teaching strategies in order to be considered. Various formats are acceptable, including print, CD, video, and online formats. Submissions that address underrepresented regions of Asia are encouraged.

The 2014 Buchanan Prize will be awarded to the author of the work at the 2014 AAS Annual Conference in Philadelphia. The prize includes a $1,000 monetary award and a one-year membership to AAS. Submissions are due NOVEMBER 1, 2013.

For more information go to

Educational Opportunity: New Multicultural Special Education Program at Portland State University

New Multicultural Special Education Program at Portland State University
Program: Certificate of Completion in Special Education

The brand new program of study entitled Multicultural Special Education is designed to prepare educators to address the instructional, language, and literacy needs of English learners with and without exceptional needs. It is offered under the auspices of two graduate level departments (Special Education and the Continuing Education departments) in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University (Portland Oregon). The program will begin fall 2013 and is fully online. This fully online program might be perfect for people wishing to increase their skills working with an increasingly diverse special education population.

Designed for:
 K-12 monolingual and bilingual educators administrators
 Related service providers
 Members of RTI teams, pre-referral multidisciplinary teams

Program Benefits:
 Learn to distinguish language disorders from language differences
 Understand legal mandates and their implications
 Gain competencies to serve EL students across the continuum of ability and environments
 Consider the cultural loading and linguistic demands inherent in assessments
 Benefit from the accumulated knowledge of a national advisory board
 Solve issues of daily practice with participant generated case studies

Program format:
 15 graduate credits
 Fully online delivery
 Cohort model

 Foundations of Multicultural Special Education: Policies and Practices
 Typical and Atypical Development of First and Second Languages
 Literacy Instruction and Interventions for Struggling Emergent Bilinguals
 Academic Assessment of Emergent Bilinguals
 Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Working with Diverse Students and Families

Designed to prepare educators to address the instructional, language, and literacy needs of English learners with and without exceptional needs.

Beginning fall 2013

The web pages associated with the program are listed below:
Multicultural Special Education Overview
Multicultural Special Education Program Courses
Principal Faculty
Contact Information

Educational Opportunity: New Multicultural Special Education Program at Portland State University. NCELA List (NCELA@HERMES.GWU.EDU, 21 Aug 2013).

38th Annual Bilingual Education Conference


The Department of Teacher and Bilingual Education is proud to announce the 38th Annual Bilingual Education Conference which will be held at Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus on October 25, 2013. Dr. Stephen Krashen will be the keynote speaker this year.

Learn more at and register at

Fall Meeting of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States


Classical Association of the Atlantic States 2013 Fall Meeting
Thursday, October 10 to Saturday, October 12, 2013
The Inn at Penn, 3600 Sansom Street, Philadelphia

For a tentative program and to register go to

Illinois Classical Conference Meeting


The next annual meeting of the Illinois Classical Conference will take place at:

Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Carbondale, IL
October 11–13, 2013

Visit the ICC website for more information:

Call for Papers: 2013 AATSEEL-WI Conference


American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages
Wisconsin Chapter
AATSEEL-Wisconsin Conference
October 18-19, 2013
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abstracts for 20 minute papers on any aspect of Slavic literatures and cultures (including film, music, the visual arts, and language pedagogy) are invited for the annual conference of the Wisconsin chapter of AATSEEL (The American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages).

Comparative topics and interdisciplinary approaches are welcome.

Submission deadline: August 31, 2013

View the full call for papers at

Call for Presentations: MidWest Association for Language Learning Technology


MidWest Association for Language Learning Technology 2013 Conference
Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
November 16th, 2013 8am-5pm

Theme: Large Campus, Small Campus, Creating Language Learning Communities Online and in the Classroom

The organizers are now accepting presentation proposals. You are invited to submit abstracts for presentations or workshops on topics related to language learning and technology. Possible topics include:

 Bringing technology into the small liberal arts classroom
 Building community in hybrid courses
 MOOCs and their role in language learning
 The place of languages in the digital humanities
 Flipping the language classroom
 Managing your online identity as a language instructor or learner
 Technology as a catalyst for creating language-learning communities

The proposal deadline is October 15th, 2013.

Submit a proposal at

Call for Manuscripts: A Handbook to Implement Educational Programs, Practices, and Policies for English Language Learners

Information Age Publishing (IAP) is looking for manuscripts that take as their topic the full range of bilingual-bicultural education issues in PreK-16 education. Contributions need to examine the most informed and effective instructional programs, practices and policies for English Language Learners (ELLs) in this era of Common Core Standards. The content of each manuscript should focus on the state of the art and research on successful programs and practices for instructing ELLs with new evidence-based developments in the field. Because policy decisions influence practice, we are very interested in the implications and implementation of policies to encourage conversations that inspire changes in practice that lead to improved learning in classrooms with ELLs.

Manuscript Submissions
Authors should follow the guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2009) when preparing manuscripts. Manuscripts must include an abstract of approximately 150 words (maximum of 1200 characters, including spaces) that succinctly summarizes the key points. Manuscripts cannot exceed 30 pages, including references, tables, and figures. Authors should also list two to five key words to identify the contents of their paper. Submit manuscripts in Microsoft Word format, via email to the address below: Liliana Minaya-Rowe, wirakocha at aol dot com

Submission Deadline: September 30th, 2013

Information Age Publishing (IAP) Call for Manuscripts: A Handbook to Implement Educational Programs, Practices, and Policies for English Language Learners. NCELA List (NCELA@HERMES.GWU.EDU, 21 Aug 2013).

Book: Minority Populations in Canadian Second Language Education


Minority Populations in Canadian Second Language Education
By Katy Arnett and Callie Mady
Published by Multilingual Matters

Until now, the picture painted of French second language learning in Canada has tended to focus on successful French immersion. This volume offers a broader representation, in response to the demographic changes that have made the French language classroom a more complex place. Focusing on inclusion and language maintenance, the chapters discuss how a multilingual population can add the two official languages to their repertoire whilst maintaining their languages of origin/heritage; how the revitalization of Indigenous languages can best be supported in the language classroom, and how students with disabilities can be helped to successfully learn languages.

Visit the publisher’s website at

August 18, 2013

10 Digital Field Trips for the Modern Classroom

Here is a list of ten virtual fieldtrips, including one to Mexico, another to Austria, one through ancient Rome, and a list of helpful travel websites:

Getty Announces New Program Lifting Restrictions on Use of Digital Images


The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum's mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.

On August 12, the Getty announced that it was lifting restrictions on the use of images to which the Getty holds all the rights or are in the public domain.

As a result, there are roughly 4,600 images from the J. Paul Getty Museum available in high resolution on the Getty's website for use without restriction—representing 4,689 objects (some images show more than one object), including paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities and sculpture and decorative arts. The Getty plans to add other images, until eventually all applicable Getty-owned or public domain images are available, without restrictions, online.

Read more about the collections and how to browse and access them at

More Beginning of School Ideas

In the last two weeks we’ve been sharing ideas for the beginning of school. Here are some more:

Here’s a nice blog post about spicing up your course syllabus:

Here is a description of a first-day level one class using the TPRS approach:

Here is a description of a level two class by the same blogger/teacher:

Here is an idea for a first- or second-day activity in a level two class, using techniques from the TPRS approach:

Teacher and blogger Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell will be focusing on the beginning of school in her Musicuentos blog, beginning with a post encouraging other teachers to share their tips and words of wisdom:

Here are links to past blog posts from Musicuentos dealing with the first days of school:

And here is a blog post with links to other teachers’ beginning-of-school blog posts:

Here are some classroom setup ideas along with ideas for activities in the first week of school on the blog:

Here is a checklist from the Comprehensible Classroom blog:

Although not specific to language teaching, here is a helpful essay on starting off the school year in a positive way:

Spanish teachers, here is a just-in-time Zambombazo activity with an infographic about going back to school in Bolivia:

Middle and early high school Spanish teachers will also like these back-to-school excerpts from Spanish-language youth magazines:

Smarter Balanced Moves Ahead on Testing Tools for English-Learners


Smarter Balanced Moves Ahead on Testing Tools for English-Learners
By Lesli A. Maxwell
August 12, 2013

In the coming weeks, the 25 states that currently make up the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will review the latest iteration of guidelines for accessibility and accommodations for ELLs and students with disabilities and provide feedback and suggested changes. The states will debate and vote on a final set of guidelines at a Smarter Balanced board meeting in Los Angeles on Sept. 10.

In addition to its translations work as a tool for English-learners, Smarter Balanced has developed a ratings system of sorts to guide states' decisions about which accommodations to use for English-learners and students with disabilities. The categories are "use," "use with caution," "not use," or "unsure." Only those that have sufficient evidence in research literature to show that they make a test item more accessible to ELLs while also not providing an unfair advantage to the test taker earned a "use" recommendation.

The test designers at Smarter Balanced have also been using a language complexity tool that helps determine whether the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax in a test item can be made simpler, or more accessible, without changing what the item is meant to measure.

Read the full article at

Eye on Idioms - Online Tool


Eye on Idioms hosted by Read Write Think is a good site that students can use to practice identifying and using idioms. Eye on Idioms presents students with an incomplete sentence that they need to complete by selecting the proper idiom from a drop-down menu. To help student select the correct idiom, Eye on Idioms provides a picture hint. After selecting the correct idiom, Eye on Idioms asks students to answer a couple of short questions about the meaning of the idiom.

Eye on Idioms is available at

The Times in Plain English


The Times in Plain English brings you important news from America’s best sources of information. The writing is in clear, readable English.

Among the publications the stories come from are the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, the Arizona Republic, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the NY Daily News, and the Toronto Globe and Mail.

You and your English language learning students can find the Times in Plain English at

Two Tech Tools for English Language Learners


Here are two tools recently reviewed by teacher Larry Ferlazzo:

--- re-writes English text in simpler English. Read the review at and access the tool at

--- is a Chrome extension for English, Spanish, French, Hebrew, or Arabic learners. It defines unknown words on the web in a user’s first language, and then it stores those words for later practice. Read the review at and access the tool at

New Activity Type from Zambombazo: Paso Corto


Paso corto is a new activity from the Zambombazo website. These new activities will center around movie shorts. Here is a description from the website:

[N]os alegra compartir una nueva actividad: Paso corto! Su título, además de hacerse eco del refrán, también se refiere a los cortos, las películas de corta duración. En cada edición de Paso corto pensamos compartir un cortometraje con una hoja de actividades, con estos objetivos:

 Despertar la curiosidad sobre el mundo hispanohablante a través del cine
 Estimular la reflexión sobre el lenguaje y la cultura que se ve en cada cortometraje
 Ver la belleza y la diversidad del mundo hispanohablante

Check out the first of these new activities at

Culture Signature Sheet for French and Spanish


Here is a nice blog post about focusing your French or Spanish students on the target culture at the beginning of the year, with printable signature sheets:

Using Google Maps and Flickr to Reinforce Francophone Geography


How does middle school French teacher Samantha Decker reinforce the knowledge of where French is spoken throughout the year? She uses maps and photos. Read how she does it and access her maps at

French Translations of Canadian Provinces and Territories

Here’s a list of how to say Canadian provinces and territories in French:

French Grammar and Pronunciation Glossary


The French grammar and pronunciation glossary provides definitions and links to further information about each of the French verb tenses, pronouns, and other grammatical structures. It also includes information about various pronunciation issues. You can search for definitions by topic or by using the full alphabetical list in either English or French (definitions are in English).

The glossary is available at

Hellenistic Babylonia Website: Texts, Images and Names


More than 3,000 cuneiform clay tablets document the intellectual, religious, scientific, legal and economic activities in Hellenistic Mesopotamia. Hellenistic Babylonia: Texts, Images and Names presents to Assyriologists, Classicists, ancient historians and others the evidence necessary for study of Mesopotamia at the time when traditional culture came under the powers of the Hellenistic world.

Three primary areas of this website include up-to-date and readable publication of the materials necessary for an integrated study of Hellenistic Mesopotamia:
» Texts: transliterations and translations into English of texts from the major sites of Uruk and Babylon.
» Images: drawings and photographs of seal impressions on Hellenistic cuneiform texts.
» Names: prosopographical data and family trees of the great lineages of the major sites.

Visit and explore this website at

Cup Song Tutorial in German

Are your kids coming back to school obsessed with the “Cup Song” from the movie Pitch Perfect? German teachers can capitalize on their interest with this YouTube tutorial on how to do the cup rhythm - in German!

Here is the tutorial:

Here are two clips of the song from the movie: and

Werner Herzog Documentary Targets Texting While Driving

Are you worried about your students texting and driving? A recently-made 34-minute PSA documents the consequences of doing so. The director is Werner Herzog, and the “arthouse public service announcement” is making waves. Help save lives and introduce your students to a prominent German at the same time.

Learn more about and view the PSA at

Learn more about Werner Herzog at

Travel Issues for Russian Dual Citizens, Including Adoptees and Emigrants


There has been a recent surge in interest for study abroad from heritage speakers who emigrated from Russia during the 1990s and particularly from those adopted from Russia by Americans during this time period. Very often, these individuals are not aware that most are still considered Russian citizens by Russia. This actually complicates study abroad to Russia.

Read on for questions and answers about travel to Russia for those who may be dual citizens:

Online Khmer Language Classes Open to the Public

The University of Hawai‘i Outreach College is offering three levels of Khmer language classes from August 26 to December 20, 2013. The cost of one two-unit course is $710.

Here are some quick links:
• Khmer Online Course (Tuition & Fees, Course Characteristics, How to Participate,...):
• How to Register (Application Forms, Check Class Availability, Deadlines,...):
• University of Hawai‘i Outreach College:

Information is available from the instructor, Dr. Chhany Sak-Humphry, 808-956-8070 or sak at hawaii dot edu.

[CSEAS-SOCAL] Southeast Asia Announcements 8/9/13. CSEAS-SOCAL digest (CSEAS-SOCAL@NEWLISTS.SSCNET.UCLA.EDU, 9 Aug 2013).

D.C. Hebrew-immersion Charter School To Teach the Language as Part of Secular Education


D.C. Hebrew-immersion charter school to teach the language as part of secular education
By Lauren Marko
August 9, 2013

Sela, which means “rock” or “foundation” in Hebrew, is scheduled to open in the District on Aug. 19. As a public school, Sela may not teach or show preference to any religion. But the intimate connection between Hebrew and Judaism makes some people wonder whether the separation is truly possible.

The question is not just for Sela, but for the dozen or so other public Hebrew charter schools, from Brooklyn to San Diego, that have started since the first one opened in Florida in 2007. And more Hebrew-language charters are in the design stage.

Read the full article at

University of Maryland University College Online Beginning Arabic program

University of Maryland University College (UMUC) offers three levels of Beginning Arabic in a completely online, asynchronous format. ARAB 111, ARAB 112, and ARAB 114 are offered in the Fall 2013 session, beginning on October 21. The courses focus on basic communication skills in both spoken and written Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). All classes are taught by highly qualified instructors and are also staffed by native speaker mentors who provide ample time each week for one-on-one speaking practice via web-based technology. Contact languages at umuc dot edu for additional information about specific course content or placement. See regarding admission and tuition.

Jones, G. Arabic-L:PEDA:UMUC Online Beginning Arabic program. Arabic-L listserv (ARABIC-L@LISTSERV.BYU.EDU, 18 Aug 2013).

Shoshoni and Bannock Immersion Charter School To Open in Fort Hall


School puts focus on tribal language
August 13, 2013

Reviving the Shoshoni, and, eventually, the Bannock language, is the goal of the Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy, a language immersion charter school opening this fall in Fort Hall.

"Our native languages are on the verge of becoming extinct because only the older people are speaking (them)," language specialist Merceline Boyer said. "Our younger kids are not picking it up; and it's important because language is our (cultural) identity."

Once the first language of the Shoshone Indians, Shoshoni was replaced by English as the tribe's primary language during the last 50 years. School officials estimate less than 20 percent of tribal members speak the native language. Fewer still, speak the native Bannock language.

School officials hope the charter school will reverse that trend. Although in the same language group, the languages are significantly different. As a result, students will chose to learn either Shoshoni or Bannock.

Read the full article at

Speaking of Shoshone, here is an article about a recently-developed video game in the language:

Indigenous Language Apps & Online Indigenous Language Dictionaries


Here is a list of indigenous language apps and database-driven online dictionaries. See what is possible at

Article: Understanding the Bilingual Brain with the Help of Neuroimaging Techniques


The Bilingual Brain
Understanding the bilingual brain with the help of neuroimaging techniques by Francois Grosjean, Ph.D.
August 12, 2013

With the advent of neuroimaging techniques such as event-related potentials (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), much more sophisticated research could be undertaken in an attempt to understand how the brain organizes and processes the bilingual's languages. In this post I will describe a research project initiated by Penn State University Professor Ping Li which lasted some seven years and involved researchers from the USA, Hong Kong, China and the United Kingdom.

Read the full post at

Article: UCLA’s Heritage Language Resource Center Focuses on Teenagers


Program keeps lesser-used languages alive by teaching immigrants' kids
Deepa Fernandes
August 12, 2013

Christina Deirmenjian is on a mission to learn all she can about her cultural heritage. Born in San Francisco and raised in Los Angeles, the 17-year-old began her summer with a two week trip back to her parent’s native homeland of Armenia. Her twin sister and two brothers had other summer plans, so Deimenjian and her father went alone.

Upon returning from what she described as an “incredible” experience the high school senior threw herself into a five-week intensive Armenian language course at UCLA.

It’s a unique class run by the university's Heritage Language Resource Center. Rather than focus on Spanish or French, the program is meant to keep lesser-known languages alive among the children of immigrants. Among the languages taught: Hindi-Urdu, Persian, Russian and Arabic. All of them target teenagers.

Read the full article at