The NCLRC Language Resource
VOL. 14, NO. 2

I love you

February 2010
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In celebration of Discover Languages month, this month's newsletter considers how world languages are discussed in schools and classrooms across the nation. The feature article explores New Perceptions about "Foreign," World Language, and English as a Global Language. YANA shares tips for educators who have faced criticism about their language program and would like to build quality programs that are continuous across grade levels and schools. The Teacher's Diary describes frustration with "grades!" Tech for Teachers gives tips on Getting the Most from Online Learning. The lively discussion continues in the Critical Languages section with an article on the development and implementation of an online professional development program for Japanese teachers. Testing Tips shares Notes from a Novice Tester on Authenticity in World Language Testing.


redstar_white_bg Announcements:

  • Celebrate! February is Discover Languages month. Discover Languages...Discover the world!
  • 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!
  • Congratulations to Richard Robin, NCLRC Russian Webcast developer, whose "Novosti Nedeli," has been selected by the MERLOT World Languages Editorial Board as a winner of the MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources!
  • World Language Assessment - Get In The Mode!, a multimedia website that supports and empowers world language educators to improve student proficiency through a variety of assessment strategies won the Instructional Media award from the National Educational Telecommunications Association.
  • The Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC invites applications for the G. Richard Tucker Fellowship. This fellowship program gives graduate students in language-related fields the experience of working in a private organization that conducts applied linguistics research and uses research results to address issues in language learning, language use, and intercultural communication.
  • Languages in Business Education Conference: June 24-26, 2010 in Brussels, Belgium
  • The Grant Training Center is offering Professional Grant Development Workshops focusing on techniques of writing superior and winning proposals at educational sites across the country.
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redstar_white_bg Feature article

New Perceptions about "Foreign," World Language, and English as a Global Language
by Sarah Catherine K. Moore, Ph.D., and Sarah Newcomer

In this article, we seek to address key questions about World Languages, but we do not intend to provide complete answers to issues related to the concept of World Languages. We'll address what we mean by world languages in the field of languages teaching, how the field has shifted from notions about foreign language, to ideas about world language, what are today's global languages, and how English as a global language has affected new world languages.


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,

One of the many definitions the Merriam Webster dictionary gives for the word "grade" is "a mark indicating the degree of accomplishment in school." From my perspective, this word morphs constantly in its significance going from just a number, to a matter of life or death and back again.


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 article:

Dear YANA,

I teach Spanish at a Middle School in Florida.  I'm teaching 8th grade and a nine week course for 7th grade.  We eliminated Spanish in 6th and 7th grades due to some financial constraints and because the administration felt it "wasn't being done correctly."  Now there's a possibility that they'll bring it back and the department head has asked me to suggest potential strategies for the Middle School with continuity for the High School. Any suggestions?

Looking to bring back Spanish!


redstar_white_bg Readers' Corner

Monthly Question
This month's question is: At what point did you feel that you were really a professional in language teaching? Click here to answer the Question.

Last month we asked "Do you think that the terminology used to refer to languages matters? How or why?" Read responses here.

This month's poll asks about: What activities do you feel contribute to your development of professionalism? Click here to participate in the poll.

Last month, we asked, "Which term is used to refer to language programs at your school?" 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

Using Technology to Make Professional Development Effective and Cost-Effective: The JOINT Online Course Program for Japanese Language Teachers
by Takeshi Sengiku, Eiko Ushida, Yasu-Hiko Tohsaku, and Susan Schmidt

JOINT (Japanese On-line Instruction Network for Teachers) is a program of online instruction and training specifically designed for the professional development of Japanese language teachers currently working in schools and colleges in the United States. The program, which takes advantage of readily available and free or low-cost cloud computing and Web 2.0 technologies, was developed and is offered by the Alliance of Associations of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ).

See the critical languages announcements...

  • Intensive Summer Language Institutes
    ISLI offers U.S. teachers of Arabic, Chinese, and Russian the opportunity to study these languages at the intermediate and advanced level in Egypt, China, and Russia, respectively, for six weeks during the summer. Applications Due: March 1, 2010
  • Educational Seminars provide opportunities for teachers and principals to participate in fully funded, short-term, and summer-based educational exchanges to eight countries across three continents. Applications for principals to participate in programs in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Jordan, or Uruguay, are due March 12, 2010
  • The University of Arizona Critical Languages Program and the UA Computer Assisted Language Instruction Group are pleased to announce "Critical Languages Series Online" which is based on our published series of CD-ROM and DVD-ROM courseware for less commonly taught languages, including: Brazilian Portuguese, Cantonese, Korean, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Turkish (Levels 1,2,3), and Ukrainian (Levels 1,2).

Read More at the new DesiLearn page...

Desilearn staff

DesiLearn staff, Anup Mahajan and Candice Michalowicz, will be presenting at the First International Conference on Heritage/
Community Languages
next week.

NCLRC announces new podcasts in 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

Visit the Culture Club to see the new materials for February 2010! In the Hangout, you can read an interview with Hiroaki, a Japanese teenager. In the Speaker's Corner and Teachers' Lounge you will find an article and corresponding lesson plans on the writings of Italian journalist indro Montanelli. Reviews of French, German, Italian, and Spanish films are available in the Screening Room. You will find reviews of French, Italian, and Norwegian books in the Library. And, as always, a new Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest will be posted on the 15th of each month in the Photo Gallery.

Please consider contributing to the Culture Club. We welcome stories of culture shocks for the blog and cinquains for the Poetry Rooms as well as lesson plans, culture articles, recipes, and film and book reviews. Send them to Christine. Thank you!

We have not had a winner yet for the Italian Scavenger Hunt. This contests has been extended indefinitely. The winner will receive tuition to a one-day 2010 NCLRC Summer Institute of their choice. Contest rules can be found in the here.

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.

May 24-25
Presenter: Jennifer Eddy, Ph.D., (Queens College)

How do I design a curriculum based on the Standards with performance as the goal? What does performance assessment look like? Participants are guided through a model protocol, aligning backward design specifically with the ACTFL Standards (5Cs). This institute is hands-on and interactive with presentation, examples, and discussion.

June 14-15
Presenters: Michael Ullman, Ph.D. (Georgetown University), & Anna Uhl Chamot, Ph.D. (The George Washington University)

Dr. Ullman is a leading researcher in bilingualism, language learning, and the brain. In this institute for language teachers and instructors, participants first learn about basic brain anatomy and how language is processed in the brain. On Day 2, the institute will focus on brain research with language learners and bilinguals. Activities will include presentations, demonstrations, discussion, and video and audio examples of illustrative cases.

Click here for information on Summer Institutes!

redstar_white_bgTech for Teachers

Technology Tips: Getting the Most from Online Learning by John Ross

The opportunity to participate in online learning continues to grow as the tools we have available to develop and deliver online learning become easier to use and more readily available. More educators at all levels—K-12, colleges and universities, or continuing education—are using these tools to help meet the needs of their students, whether through stand-alone courses or by creating resources to supplement classroom instruction.

Read more ...

2010 CIBER Business Language Conference
This event ties into the larger national discourse about the ways that language education must keep pace and meet future challenges for applied language programs in light of research, trends, and needs of the changing economic environment. The conference responds to the overarching mission of the U.S. Department of Education's CIBER grant program to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. business globally. Conference Location: University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
Date: March 24-26, 2010

redstar_white_bgTesting Tips

Notes from a Novice Tester: Authenticity in World Language Testing by Francesca Di Silvio, CAL

This month's NCLRC newsletter explores the term world languages that is being used in place of the term foreign languages. While foreign implies otherness and isolation, saying world languages embraces the interconnectedness of the global community and reflects the historical and growing multilingualism of the United States. Educational institutions across the country have adopted world languages in their curricula and standards to refer to any language used around the world.

How can we see the impact of this change in terminology and underlying perspective in what can be called world language testing? Read more...

redstar_white_bgStudy Abroad Blog

Catching up from Catalunya by Flavia Vehbiu, George Washington University Student

FlaviaFlavia will be spending this semester studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. You can keep up with her observations, experiences, and reflections at her blog, Catching up from Catalunya, here.

In this entry , she reflects on the usage of both Catalán and Castellano (what we think of as "Spanish") in every day life in Barcelona.

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

We feel lucky to have made it to the office today: with yards of snow piled up all around us, a Metro deraillment, and closure of just about every school and government in the region. Here are some of our snow pictures from this amazing week in the DC area:

Jill Snow
Sidewalk photo


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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