The NCLRC Language Resource
VOL. 13, NO. 4


August 2009
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We have successfully finished our Summer Institutes! Now, we are starting to prepare for the coming school year in these lazy summer days. This month's newsletter features an article by Bill Johnston on The Moral Lives of Teacher Educators. Revisit Dr. Johnston's and other LTE presentations in our Tech for Teachers section. Teacher's Diary reflects on the experiences of the past year. Read about Erica's accomplishments and adventures in Chile in the Study-abroad Blog, Érica En Sudamérica. There have also been many updates made to the Culture Club that cannot be missed.


redstar_white_bg Announcements:

  • The National Capital Language Resource Center announces an award for South Asian Languages K-12 Research Study under a three-year International Research and Studies grant from the U.S. Department of Education to begin September 1, 2009.
  • Check out the new issue of Heritage Languages in America:
  • New reduced hotel rates have been posted for the ACTFL 2009 Convention. Don't forget to book before October 14th.
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redstar_white_bg Feature article

The Moral Lives of Teacher Educators
Bill Johnston, Indiana University
Editor's note: Bill Johnston was a plenary speaker at the 2009 Language Teacher Education Conference and to read more about his research and presentation please visit the LTE Web Portal featured in the Tech for Teachers section.

johnston The Moral Dimension of Teaching

For many years, researchers viewed teaching as a purely instrumental activity involving the transfer of knowledge and skills. The same was true of teacher education. It was only in the 1980’s that educational researchers began to conceive of teaching as something more—as an activity that is deeply and inescapably moral in nature.

What, do we mean, though, by “moral”?


redstar_white_bg Teacher's Diary

Anita is a first year Spanish teacher in a suburban school near Chicago. She is sharing her thoughts and experiences all this year with our readers.

Dear Diary,
Whew, I made it! And I had a great year! I learned a ton about how schools work, about myself, my students, and my role as a teacher. Here is a quick list of what I learned or rather, what I wish I had known in September:

Teaching is fun.


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 question:

  • I would like to have some forms or check lists to help me assess my own EFL teaching and classroom management. I teach Reading to college level students overseas.

Read YANA's Answer...

redstar_white_bg Readers' Corner

Monthly Question
Last month we asked about methods of teacher assessment. How would you improve your school's method of teacher assessment? Read responses here.
If your school would pay for it, what would you most like to do to improve your language teaching ability during the summer vacation? Click here to answer the Question.
What do you do in the summer that contributes to your language teaching practice? Click here to answer the Poll.
We would love to hear your thoughts and feelings regarding this month's questions! All insights are welcome!

redstar_white_bgCritical Languages

The NCLRC is thrilled to announce that it has received an award for South Asian Languages K-12 Research Study!

The South Asian Languages K-12 Research Study, to be called DesiLearn, is designed to document and describe all K-12 programs for the following languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Panjabi, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. “Desi” refers to the people and cultures of these South Asian countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The project is named DesiLearn to express the desire for connecting the diverse language communities through the information gained as a result of this research.

The South Asian Languages K-12 Research Study is designed to document and describe all of the South Asian Language programs for K-12 age students in the U.S. This will allow the South Asian language community to marshal and strengthen existing resources for the teaching of these languages. The research will identify currently used resources and areas of need, and is designed to answer the following questions:

(1) What is the current state of South Asian language education for K-12 school-aged students in the U.S.?

(2) What do teachers and administrators involved in these programs report as the needs of their programs?  

Read More at the new DesiLearn page

redstar_white_bg Culture Club

edited by Christine Meloni
Visit the Culture Club! Sheila Cockey has launched a new series of lesson plans, Unique Utensils, and she is encouraging you to submit your own lesson plans for this series. Check out the Teachers' Lounge for more information about submission and Sheila’s lesson plan for teachers of Spanish. The Bloggers' Den has been reorganized, and the Culture Club’s very own Culture Shocks blog is the focus. Take a look at the stories of amusing cross-cultural stories and please consider contributing one or more of your own stories. (You will win a prize if your entry is published!) New reviews have been added to the Screening Room and the Library (an audio book in English about Giuseppe Verdi). And, of course, a new Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest has been launched in the Photo Gallery. Another opportunity for winning a prize!

Explore more here....

Tech for Teachers

Language Teacher Eduation Conference Highlights in Tech for Teachers Portal

If you missed our conference, several tech-oriented presentations can be viewed online via the LTE Web Portal. We're collaborating with MERLOT's World Languages Web Portal to publicize this information, so you can see us there, too.

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_bg Study-Abroad Blog

Erica In South America [Érica En Sudamérica]
by Erica MantaErica's photo

I'd like to share my proudest accomplishments thus far, as a cumulation of my time here, which is nearing the end(!!!!)
  • 2 weeks ago for my public speaking/acting class, I did a standup comedy routine. 2 and a half minutes. All in Spanish. In front of all Chileans. And it was a hit! I was a little nervous going into it, but everyone in that class is super nice and supportive, they laughed, and I'm (99%) sure they actually found me funny.
  • Last week I handed in a 16 page paper/report for Ethnolinguistics, which would be pretty hardcore even in English, so I felt real proud handing it in to my professor in Spanish the other day.


NCLRC announces new podcasts in Russian and Arabic. These are drawn from twice-monthly webcasts with student activities. See Russian and Arabic home pages.

Arabic Webcasts


Russian Webcasts


redstar_white_bgNCLRC Staff

The NCLRC Staff is reluctant to see Dr. Catharine Keatley retire from her position as Project Director:dr.k


I am writing this note to let you know that I will be retiring as Project Director of the National Capital Language Resource Center, and Dr. Jill Robbins will be carrying on in the position. My husband is already retired and we want to have more time together to travel and do different things.

I have had a wonderful time as Project Director of the NCLRC and thank Dr. James Alatis and Dr. Anna Uhl Chamot for their guidance, support, and friendship all these years.

I will still be working part time on special projects at the NCLRC.

Catharine Keatley

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
backtotop   website

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