The NCLRC@GW Language Resource
VOL. 18, NO.3

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January/Feburary 2015
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Greeting for January/February 2015

Just as our duck is out for a winter's walk, so do we walk about looking for new ideas at this time of the year.

Learning Strategies … Business Case Study Leads to Paragraphing … Authentic Materials Develop Skills … Use Twitter in Your Classroom … Authentic As About Myself and My Friends for Learning Verbs … Just some of the ideas that our authors continue to share with us to help make the language we teach come alive. From learning how to learn through releiving the boredom of conjugation to using today's technology to engage, each article with stimulate you with ideas to lead your students to proficient language use.

The spring round of language conferences is soon to be upon us. Please plan to attend one and enrich your teaching and the ring of professional contacts you already have.

As always, we seek you ideas for topics to investigate, questions needing answers, or simply sharing what you do well. Contact the editor:



If you have something you would like us to list, please contact the editor: and she will be happy to include your professional event in our calendar.

redstar_white_bg Feature

Differentiating Instruction and Teaching Learning Strategies
Anna Uhl Chamot, The George Washington University

Students in the same language class typically differ in proficiency level and skill in language learning. When all students are given the same language task, those who feel confident that they can do the task successfully and have effective learning tools will likely be much more motivated to expend the effort to complete the task than those who believe that the task is too difficult and cannot figure out how to approach it. How can the language teacher plan appropriate instruction that meets the needs of both types of students? This article describes a combination of two approaches that can be effective: differentiating instruction and teaching language learning strategies. Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Using Technology for Language Learning

Carol Marcolini, CITT for Hampton City Schools
Laurie Smith, Retired CITT from Hampton City Public Schools

What is twitter? Twitter is a social networking and microblogging tool that allows users to send messages, aka "Tweets," that are no more than 140 characters (all letters, numbers and spaces) in length. Tweets can include pictures, videos, links to websites, callouts to other twitter users (@), and discussion topics by hashtags (#). It can be used on a desktop/laptop computer as well as on a mobile device using the free twitter app (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android device, any smartphone).

Twitter…   | Read more… (PDF)
Twitter…Getting Started   | Read more… (PDF)
Twitter…Etiquette   | Read more… (PDF)

redstar_white_bg YANA (Classroom Solutions)

Teaching Regular Simple Past Tense Verbs
YANA: Sheila W. Cockey

We spend almost a full year on the simple present tense verbs, both regular and irregular. Then, wham! along comes second year and a ton of verb tenses one right after another. … We all have many ways of helping students pick up the pace of learning verb conjugations while keeping things in an authentic context. Sometimes authentic doesn't have to mean "by and for" the native-speaking population; it might simply mean "about myself and my friends." So, with this authentic angle in mind, here are some ideas that may or may not be new. Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Sound Bites for Better Teaching

Using Authentic Materials to Develop Language Skills
Marcel LaVergne, Ed.D.

Authentic language materials are listening, visual, and reading materials created by native speakers of a language for native speakers of the language. … Used efficiently, authentic materials will help to develop the four language skills that are culturally appropriate and accurate. … Scores of authentic materials are freely and readily available on the Internet. Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Business Language in Focus

Teaching Business Language with Business Cases - A Path to Paragraphing
Column Editor: Margaret Gonglewski, The George Washington University
Guest Author: Richard Robin, The George Washington University

One of the most challenging stages of the classroom language learning environment is the push towards paragraphing. In languages that the U.S. State Department classifies as "hard" or "very hard," the initial attempts at producing consistent utterances longer than a short sentence usually begin in the third year of study. But here at GW, a sampling of proficiency interviews across a number of languages shows that progress toward connected speech is often slow and haphazard. However, in the Russian language program, the last seven years have shown us that a business-oriented third-year (intermediate) course whose main conversational vehicle is based on short business cases can jump-start paragraphing, as measured by oral proficiency assessments at the end of each semester. Read more... (PDF)

The Language Resource is a monthly publication of the National Capital Language Resource Center that provides 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.

® 2015, National Capitol Language Resource Center

Also available on our website
Culture Club
A space to share multicultural and multilanguage resources for teachers and students alike
Elementary Immersion Learning Strategies Resource Guide
Sailing the 5 Cs with Learning Strategies:
A Resource Guide for Secondary Foreign Language Educators
The Essentials of Language Teaching
Portfolio Assessment in the Foreign Language Classroom Developing Autonomy in Language Learners Learning Strategies Instruction in Higher Education