The NCLRC Language Resource
VOL. 14, NO. 3


March 2010
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As you look forward to a much deserved spring break and take time to reflect on your teaching, it is also a time to reflect on your professional development and career goals. This issue seeks to remind educators of ways to build on their strengths and be recognized as professionals in the world language field.

The feature article explores World Language Professionalism in Changing Times. YANA shares tips for educators who are looking for different ways to develop their professionalism. The Teacher's Diary describes frustration with colleagues in discussions about world language teaching and Tech for Teachers gives tips on Getting More from What You Have: Digital Storytelling by describing a tool we all have at our fingertips. The lively discussion continues in the Critical Languages section with an update on the DesiLearn South Asian Languages K-12 Research Study.


redstar_white_bg Announcements:

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

World Language Professionalism in Changing Times by Dr. Michael E. Everson

While some observers think that K-12 teacher development programs focus only on what teachers need to know to conduct effective classroom language lessons, becoming a world language professional requires an array of skills and talents that are considerably more varied. Indeed, teacher development specialists have worked hard to articulate the knowledge and skill sets necessary to become an effective language educator (ACTFL, 2002), to include content areas that run the gamut between knowledge of their language to professional responsibilities. Yet, to answer the question "What does it take to be accepted as a professional in the language teaching world?" we must understand that "the language teaching world" is far wider and more inclusive of others than previously imagined. By this I mean that the stakeholders in the language teaching world are not only our language teaching colleagues and students, but a host of others whose confidence in our ability to conduct ourselves professionally is paramount for the success of our discipline.


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:

What does it take to be regarded as a professional in the language teaching world?

This month's topic is a thought-provoking one, and the answer is different for each one of us, and for each audience. The over-arching requirement is having a PASSION for language in general, and for sharing that passion with others. In this article, I offer points for you to consider regarding your training, collegiality, teaching, and professionalism.


redstar_white_bg Readers' Corner

Monthly Question
This month's question is: How has being bilingual impacted your life? Click here to answer the Question.

Last month we asked "At what point did you feel that you were really a professional in language teaching?" Read responses here.

This month's poll asks about: "How do you maintain your bilingualism?" Click here to participate in the poll.

Last month, we asked, "What activities do you feel contribute to your development of professionalism?" 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

DesiLearn Update
by Anup Mahajan and Candice Michalowicz

The National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC) in Washington, D.C. has proudly launched DesiLearn, a South Asian Languages K-12 Initiative. The three-year federal grant will describe all of the South Asian Language programs for school-age students in the United States. This is a truly historic moment, since no other projects focusing solely on South Asian K-12 education have been funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Read more...

Critical Languages Announcements

  • The Advanced Critical Languages Institute for Russian Immersion is a Russian immersion program held in Astrakhan, Russia. The program is 7 weeks long and runs from June 17-August 3, 2010. Students will stay with a host family while taking classes in Russian. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2010.
  • The Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to announce a hands-on workshop on content-community based instruction on Saturday, April 10, 2010.
  • The College Board is pleased to announce upcoming professional development opportunities for teachers of Chinese language and culture. Apply today for a scholarship to attend a College Board Pre-AP® or AP® Chinese Summer Institute in China. Application Deadline: March 29, 2010
  • CASLS' MyChina Village created an online language immersion camp where students and native-speakers explored environmental issues while using only Chinese. Learn more about the camp activities and how the center facilitated language learning.
  • CARLA: Stipends for LCTLs Teachers
    To support the professional development of Less Commonly Taught Language teachers, the University of Minnesota's National Resource Centers offer a limited number of $600 stipends for LCTL teachers to help defray the cost of attending any of the CARLA summer institutes.

See the critical languages announcements for more details...


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

The March Culture Club will be posted on March 15. This month you will find a new mystery photo in the Photo Gallery, Mexican Hot Chocolate in the Banquet Hall, an article about the French and the American Revolution in the Speaker's Corner, more cinquains in the French and Italian poetry rooms as well as new reviews in the Library, the Screening Room, and the Spanish Music Room. There was no winner for the February Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest so it is still open.  

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.

June 3-4
Presenter: Joan Rubin, Ph.D.

Through interactive, experiential demonstrations, participants experience and identify listening comprehension strategies and learn how to teach them to language learners. Participants apply these concepts to teaching strategies and plan listening tasks appropriate to their own instructional settings.

June 23-24
Presenters: Anna Uhl Chamot, Ph.D. and Claudia Bezaka, FL Supervisor, DC Public Schools (Conducted in Spanish)

Secondary heritage Spanish speakers are fluent in oral Spanish, but vary greatly in their level of literacy. Those with educational gaps need help in developing their reading and writing proficiency and also in grammar and academic and literary vocabulary. Practical, research-based activities for high school Hispanic students demonstrate ways to teach literary concepts, language skills, and learning strategies for reading comprehension and writing in Spanish. Ways to differentiate instruction in mixed literacy level classes are suggested.

Click here for information on Summer Institutes!

redstar_white_bgTech for Teachers

Getting More from What You Have: Digital Storytelling by John Ross

When I visit schools I like to talk with teachers about the technologies they're using. It's invigorating to hear the creative way teachers use technology to support their work. I find it unfortunate, however, when I visit schools where not all the teachers seem to realize the many powerful tools that they have available to support teaching and learning are right at, well, their fingertips. Over the next couple of Tech Tips, I'm going to introduce some powerful technologies that you probably have access to right now that can support teaching and learning. Some of these are common tools, like word-processing and presentation software that are available on virtually every computer in every school. Others are free or are relatively inexpensive. Consider this an effort to help us all cut costs and get the most from what we have.

Read more ...

redstar_white_bg Root Words

Scaling Bloom's Taxonomy, picaresquely
by Belinda Sauret

This month's root words article offers a lesson plan for the text La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes y de sus fortunas y adversidades. This lesson is ideal for heritage language classrooms because it allows teachers to easily differentiate instruction for the various levels of student abilities commonly found in heritage language classrooms. Rubrics and additional materials are included.


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.


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 staff will be presenting at the Georgetown University Roundtable, Arabic Language and Linguistics in Washington, DC March 12-14th. See their presentation on The State of Teaching Arabic K-12 in the U.S.: "We've come a long way, habibi!" on Sunday, March 14th at 1:15pm.

NCLRC staff will be at the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) in New York City March 25-27th. Stop by our booth to say hello, pick up free stuff, and find ways to get involved!

NCLRC staff will also be giving the following presentations at NECTFL:

Simply Irresistible: Technology in the Foreign Language Classroom
Presenters: Masha Lekic, American Councils; Kenneth Petersen, American Councils; Jill Robbins, NCLRC; Richard Robin, George Washington University  
March 26th at 10:15am in Majestic 6th Fl

Beyond Sputnik Moments: A 50-year History of Language Policy
Presenters: James E. Alatis, Georgetown University; Nicole M. Coomber, University of Maryland
March 26th at 2:15pm in Winter Garden 6th Floor

Making & Using Webcasts for Critical Languages
Presenters: Rana Kanaan Casteel, Richard Robin, George Washington University; Jill Robbins, National Capital Language Resource Center
March 27th at 12:45pm in Olmstead 7th Floor


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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