The NCLRC Language Resource
VOL. 14, NO. 4


April 2010
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redstar_white_bg Announcements:

  • The U.S. Department of Education's Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) provides grants to local education agencies for innovative model programs providing for the establishment, improvement, or expansion of foreign language study for elementary and secondary school students. Deadline: April 14, 2010.
  • STARTALK Summer 2010 Programs for students and teachers are now available in Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Hindi, Persian, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu.
  • Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy (MMLA) offers a four-week summer immersion program in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish for students in grades 8 through 12. MMLA is also looking for qualified teachers and residential-life staff to work at sites in VT, OH, and CA this summer.
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redstar_white_bg Feature article

Bilingualism and the Deficit-Gifted Dichotomy: Challenging the US Framework
by Tatyana Kleyn

The world is becoming increasingly interconnected, as traditional ethnic and cultural boundaries and geographical borders breakdown. Multidirectional flows of ideas, people and money have changed the way we need to prepare students for our globalizing society (Suárez-Orozco, Suárez-Orozco, & Todorova, 2008). No longer is it enough to think in monocultural ways and to speak only English. The changing landscape calls for a rethinking of multilingual education, so that students can graduate high school with the ability to not only speak a different language, but to be able to easily read, write and participate in sophisticated dialogues across languages and cultures. This type of bilingualism and biliteracy promotes cognitive flexibility, cross-cultural communication and economic opportunities (Romaine, 1995).


redstar_white_bg Classroom Solutions: YANA

Edited by Sheila Cockey. YANA stands for 'You are Not Alone.' Your questions on challenges in your classrooms are answered by an expert on languages and culture teaching.

This month's article:

Dear YANA,

How do I write a good recommendation? I am often asked by students to write one for a college or a job. Even some of my colleagues ask for one for a grant. I want to do the best I can for them.


Lost for Words

Read YANA's response...

redstar_white_bg Readers' Corner

Monthly Question
This month's question is: How do you prepare your students to enter a language related career? Click here to answer the Question.

Last month we asked "How has being bilingual impacted your life?" Read responses here.

This month's poll asks about: "What careers do you advise your language students to consider?" Click here to participate in the poll.

Last month, we asked, "How do you maintain your bilingualism?" Click here to see the responses

We would love to hear your thoughts and feelings regarding this month's questions! All insights are welcome!

redstar_white_bgCritical Languages

The NCLRC Arabic K-12 Survey: Positive Trends in the Professional Development of Arabic Teachers by Michael Greer & Dora Johnson
(this article is in press with the newsletter for the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages)

The U.S. has witnessed a substantial increase of schools teaching Arabic over the last decade. Since 2003, the Arabic K-12 Project of the National Capital Language Resource Center has conducted a national survey of public and private K-12 schools teaching Arabic as a core course. The purpose of the Arabic K-12 survey is to collect and maintain data on all U.S. K-12 schools which give credit for Arabic language study. As a result, we are able to report on the rapidly increasing growth of K-12 Arabic language instruction, determine the greatest needs of Arabic teachers, and facilitate dialogue on how to further professionalize the field of Arabic language teaching. Read more...

Critical Languages Announcements

  • The South Asian Language Teachers Association Newsletter features an article written by Anup Mahajan and Candice Michalowicz about the DesiLearn Project.
  • The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles announced a limited-time support program titled "Special salary assistance program for Japanese-language courses." It is designed to support Japanese-language programs in the U.S. that are facing severe financial difficulties in maintaining/surviving due to the institution's budget cuts resulting from the current US economic decline.
  • Asia Society's Confucius Classrooms will form a national network of 100 exemplary Chinese language programs over a three-year period. Applications welcome from schools and districts of all types, from all grade levels, geographic backgrounds, and student profiles, as well as all levels of Chinese courses on offer. Deadline: June 7th
  • The Confucius Institute @ China Institute registration for its "Mandarin for Future Mandarin Teachers" (MFMT) summer 2010 program is now open. Deadline: April 16th
  • Check out the new website for the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages! New interactive features for members are available along with updated information about the NCOLCTL Conference April 22-25th in Wisconsin.
  • The Council of Teachers of Southeast Asian Languages (COTSEAL) and the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison sponsor the 20th Annual Conference on Southeast Asian Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics on Friday, July 16th, and Saturday, July 17th, 2010 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

See the critical languages announcements for more details...

NCLRC announces new podcasts in Chinese, Russian and Arabic. These are drawn from twice-monthly webcasts with student activities. See Chinese, Russian and Arabic home pages.
Chinese Webcasts
Arabic Webcasts
Russian Webcasts
redstar_white_bg Culture Club

edited by Christine Meloni

The Culture Club is an online environment that provides instructors with materials and articles to assist them in teaching culture in their foreign language classrooms. New lesson plans, reviews of films and books, mystery photos, teen interviews, and articles on various aspects of culture will be added on April 15th. Visit the Culture Club at

redstar_white_bg Summer Institutes

Registration for NCLRC 2010 Summer Institutes is now available! Select from a variety of professional development opportunities in the nation's capital.

Language Program Evaluation
May 26-27
Presenters: Julie Sugarman, Margaret E. Malone, Ph.D., Francesca DiSilvio (Center for Applied Linguistics)

Learn about different approaches to language program evaluation and the basic steps to designing an evaluation. Topics covered include basic principles of planning for an evaluation, including defining expectations for evaluation, collecting data and planning for analysis and reporting.  

How to Write Proposals to Get Funding for Language Projects
June 9-10
Anna Uhl Chamot, Ph.D., Catharine Keatley, Ph.D.

This institute is designed to give participants information and practice in writing proposals for language education projects. It includes information about funding sources and organizing and writing the proposal and budget. Representatives from government agencies speak to the participants about their grant programs and discuss participants' individual project ideas.  

Click here for information on Summer Institutes!

redstar_white_bgTech for Teachers

Getting More from What You Have: Concept Mapping by John Ross

I'm a big fan of concept mapping and related strategies like flowcharting or diagramming. I use them in my own work to plan and organize projects, analyze content I'm developing as instruction, or to capture ideas in meetings with others. I know teachers have used these strategies well before computers became commonplace in schools, but the ease that this software helps you and your students create concept maps has undoubtedly led to their increased use in teaching and learning. This month's Tech Tips continues the trend of looking at common technologies that most schools have available, many of which are free or low cost. Read more ...

Review: Speech As You See (SAYS) 3-Dimensional Pronunciation Program
by Talia Kowitt

3D is no longer just for the movies anymore. Language learning can now include computer generated characters with mouths synchronized with the words being spoken. Learning Technologies International's Speak As You See (SAYS) three-dimensional pronunciation program is a great example of how the next wave of ESL & foreign language pronunciation, as well as speech therapy assistive technology, may look in the near future. A more technology savvy and discriminating audience may now demand more "life-like" three-dimensional language instruction for classroom learning and independent study. This new technology comes with both its perks and drawbacks. Read more ...

Announcement: NNELL Webinar "Digital Age Learning in the K-8 World Language Classroom" on May 1st. This webinar will highlight web-based applications that enable students and teachers to create digital media products in the target language that exemplify the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication.

redstar_white_bgTesting Tips

Notes from a Novice Tester: Bilingualism, Heritage Language Learners, and Assessment
by Kate Riestenberg

Defining bilingualism is no easy task. Research on language acquisition has shown that the question, "Are you bilingual?" cannot be adequately answered with a simple yes or no. Language acquisition depends on an infinite number of factors that vary from person to person. No two language learning experiences are the same. As researchers such as Ortega (2010) have pointed out, it makes little sense to talk about native speakers versus non-native speakers when language abilities can fall anywhere along a vast and intricate spectrum. Is there a line that separates bilinguals from second language learners? Read more...

What does it take to be accepted as a professional in the language testing field?
by Margaret Malone

This month's newsletter focuses on what it takes to be accepted as a professional in the language teaching field. Therefore, I'd like to explore what I believe it should take to be accepted as a professional in the language testing field; for language testing, that means following the norms and guidelines developed for this field. Read more...

redstar_white_bg Professional Development, Conferences and Funding Opportunities

Find out about all of the upcoming local and national conferences in one easy-to-access place, the Teachers' Calendar. We also list fellowship and grant opportunities and teacher exchange and study programs, along with student scholarships for foreign language study.

redstar_white_bgNCLRC Staff

NCLRC announces the appointment of Mr. Anup Mahajan as Project Director. Mr. Mahajan will continue to support the South Asian Languages K-12 Research Study while moving into his new role. He holds a Masters degree in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University, has over seven years of experience in the corporate financial sector, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in public policy from George Washington University.

NCLRC Staff will be presenting at the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages Conference April 22-25th in Madison, WI. Presentations:

"The Heart of the Matter: South Asian Languages K-12 Perspectives"
Presented by: Anup Mahajan & Candice Michalowicz
Saturday, April 24, 3:15-3:45, Session 5D (Reflection C)

"Arabic School Survey: Trends of The Arabic Teaching Profession"
Presented by: Dora Johnson
Friday, April 23, 5:15–5:45, Session 3D (Reflection A) 


The Language Resource is a monthly publication of the National Capital Language Resource Center to provide practical teaching strategies, share insights from research, and announce professional development opportunities for all foreign language educators. Funded by the US Department of Education through Title VI, we are a consortium of Georgetown University, The George Washington University, and the Center for Applied Linguistics.

Also available on our website
Culture Club Elementary Immersion Learning Strategies Resource Guide
Arabic K-12 Teachers' newsletter The Essentials of Language Teaching
Sailing the 5 Cs with Learning Strategies:
A Resource Guide for Secondary Foreign Language Educators
Developing Autonomy in Language Learners: Learning Strategies Instruction in Higher Education
Portfolio Assessment in the Foreign Language Classroom Russian for Russians
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