The NCLRC Language Resource
VOL. 13, NO. 8

German Schwibbogen

December 2009
Visit our website at:

The holiday season is upon us and we have lots for you to read as you relax during the break! If you missed us at ACTFL, don't panic, our ACTFL presentations are all available online for you to download and view. We spoke to many of you at the ACTFL conference about ways that you can contribute to NCLRC in this season of giving. Consider submitting materials such as lesson plans, recipes, and videos as well as offering to write reviews for books, movies, and music for the Culture Club, especially for languages with fewer resources!

This month's newsletter shifts focus away from the economy to look at the students sitting in our classrooms - the Millennials! The feature article this month is Attracting and Holding the Attention of Those Millennial Digital Natives. The Teacher's Diary reflects on the trials and tribulations of technology in the classroom from a teacher's perspective. YANA offers great suggestions on how to add technology to your language program. Our Critical Languages section continues to expand with our latest addition, Chinese webcasts. Get the latest updates on NCLRC by following us on Twitter and becoming a fan of us on Facebook!

Texting on a cell phone

redstar_white_bg Announcements:

  • Registration for NCLRC 2010 Summer Institutes is now available! Institutes run from May - July 2010 and are held in the Washington DC metro area. Sign up now!
  • Applications for K-12 schools in the U.S. to host a Chinese or Arabic exchange teacher in the 2010 Teachers of Critical Languages Program are now available. Deadline: February 1, 2010.
  • The interdisciplinary institute, "Mozart's Worlds: The German Operas," directed by Dr. Richard Benedum will be taking place in Vienna, Austria on June 21-July 15.
  • AATSP has just announced its 2010 Poster Contest theme! Click here for more information.
  • The National Museum of Language announces a new membership rate for educators that is 50% off the regular rate. It's a great way to honor a teacher you want to recognize at this holiday time.
If your email client does not recognize the links in this webzine, or the links do not work, you can go straight to the NCLRC newsletter online page by clicking this link or copying and pasting the link into your browser address bar.
redstar_white_bg Feature article

Attracting and Holding the Attention of Those Millennial Digital Natives
by Anup P. Mahajan & Jill Robbins

Cell TextAs a result of the ubiquitous and constantly evolving Information Age and the sheer volume of their interaction with it, Millennials think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors. As foreign language educators, then, we must remember that we cannot afford to continue with 20th century knowledge or training as the guide for what are the best ways for these students to learn world languages. They must be constantly engaged, and their language learning environment should be continuously adaptable to innovative learning strategies, or one runs the risk of losing their attention (and more importantly, motivation). Read more...

redstar_white_bg Teacher's Diary

Rafaela is a first-generation Cuban-American who has taught Spanish for nine years in suburbs outside of Philadelphia. She is sharing her thoughts and experiences all this year with our readers.

Dear Diary,

It never really hits me until I look up a student's date of birth. In 1994 I graduated high school. It doesn't seem like much, but in this age of technology where the scale of the world is dwarfed by the Internet and time is often marked by what generation your cell phone is, this stretch of time can seem lengthy. Read more...

redstar_white_bg Classroom Solutions: YANA

Sheila 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:

  • Dear YANA,
    I'm a 25-year veteran of the foreign language classroom and have recently been asked to lead my department in revamping our approach to using technology with an eye to better engaging our students, who are so very tech savvy. Do you have some quick, and not so expensive, suggestions for us to consider?
    In need of Tech4Teachers

Read YANA's Answer...

redstar_white_bg Readers' Corner

Monthly Question
This month's question is: What technology innovations have you found successful in your teaching? Click here to answer the Question.

Last month we asked "In what ways have Millennials challenged you and how have you met the challenge?" Read responses here.

This month's poll asks about: Which of the following opportunities for digital interaction have you used with your students? Click here to participate in the poll.

Last month, we asked, "How do you attract students to your language program?" 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

See the critical languages announcements...

Read More at the new DesiLearn page...

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

edited by Christine Meloni

The December 2009 Culture Club is ready for your visit. The Banquet Hall features a festive Puerto Rican New Year's Dinner. Carlo Mignani describes the New Year celebrations in Rome, past and present, in the Speaker's Corner. You will find a new mystery photo in the Photo Gallery. The Screening Room has reviews of French, German, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Spanish films. The Library has reviews of a French and Italian books as well as new cinquains in the French, Italian, and Spanish Poetry Rooms. Andrea Varricchio reviews Renovatio by Orozco in the Spanish Music Room.

Please send us your recipes and reviews of films and books. Create original cinquains for the poetry rooms. Write articles on culture for the Speaker's Corner. Send us an intriguing photo taken in a non-English speaking country. We welcome your contributions! We are especially interested at this time in articles about music and dance in Spanish-speaking countries.

We have not had winners yet for the Italian and Spanish Scavenger Hunts. These contests have been extended indefinitely. Winners will receive tuition to a one-day 2010 NCLRC Summer Institute of their choice. Contest rules can be found in the Current Directory.

We depend on your continuing input. Contact Culture Club Editor Christine for questions and comments. 

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. Click on the links below to find out detailed information about each institute.

Using Backward Design for Planning Standards Based Instruction

Language Program Evaluation

Developing Listening Comprehension Skills

Understanding Assessment

Writing Proposals for Language Education Projects

Brain, Language, and Bilingualism

NEW! STARTALK's Professionalize your Chinese

Spain: Language and Culture: Embassy of Spain/NCLRC 3-day Immersion Summer Institute for Spanish Teachers

Teaching Spanish to Heritage Spanish Speakers

NEW! Arts Integration in the Foreign Language Classroom

NEW! An Ivory Coast Cultural Immersion in French

STARTALK Learner-Centered Arabic Instruction (pending funding)

redstar_white_bgTech for Teachers

See this month's feature story on teaching the Millennials to learn about the ways teachers are engaging students using technology. 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

The NCLRC Staff wish everyone a happy holiday season! See photos of our staff holiday gathering below.

NCLRC Holiday Party

From left to right: Candice Michalowicz, Flavia Vehbiu, Zainab Adham, Danielle Fearon, and Erica Manta

NCLRC Holiday Party

From left to right: Catherine Keatley, Michael Greer, Zainab Adham, Monija Amani , and Anup Mahajan

NCLRC Holiday Party

From left to right: Susana Echeverria and Christine Meloni


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

Unsubscribe from this newsletter