The NCLRC Language Resource
VOL. 17, NO.5

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May/June 2014
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Greeting for May/June 2014

The spring-time gifts our contributors share with us in this issue: food for thought to nourish our teacher soul and our continual quest for intellectual challenges and knowledge.
Topics addressed in this issue's columns include:
Build a Team.
All are inspiring and provide fertile ground for further contemplation and development.
mayjune2014 (14K)
Our best wishes for a positive closure of the academic year and for a rejuvenating and exciting summer pause before gearing up for the fall. We'll have our usual summer issue coming out to you the end of July, just in time to help you start to think about new classes and new students. Until then, our continued support and appreciation for what you do every day with your students.
Please respond to our survey so we can make our newsletter a better resource for you.

We would like to express our warm thanks to those of you who responded to our brief survey on our readers' opinions and perceptions of the NCLRC newsletter, The Language Resource, and of our website, We asked you to tell us how useful these two resources are for you and we also asked you to rank order by usefulness both the different thematic columns in the newsletter and the various types of information on the website. Here are some of the survey findings so far:

  • A majority of respondents to date want to see an allocation of newsletter articles as follows: 50% research and 50% practical applications.
  • So far, the three most popular newsletter columns are: the Feature Article, YANA, and Using Technology.
  • As for website pages, favorite ones so far are: Teaching Materials, Professional Development, and the Culture Club.

We also received some excellent suggestions for improvements to both the newsletter and the website - thank you! But before making any changes to the newsletter and website, we would like to hear from more of you! Please add your voice - we really want to make these resources both useful and easy to use for world language teachers. Here is the link to the survey.



  • June 5 - 8 , 2014. International Association for Dialogue Analysis. (Inter)faces of Dialogue: Constructing identity through Language Use. Transilvania University of Brasov (Romania).

  • June 16 - 27, 2014. Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS). Workshops on Language Documentation, Maintenance, and Revitalization. University of Texas at Arlington. Arlington TX.

  • June 22 - 25, 2014. NCLRC Summer Immersion Institute for Spanish Teachers. Washington DC. or

  • July 7 - August 10, 2014. (Various Dates) CARLA Summer Institutes for Language Teachers. Minneapolis MN.
    • 7/7-8/10 Using the Web for Communicative Language Learning and Professional Development [online course]
    • 7/14-7/18 Using Technology in Second Language Teaching
    • 7/14-7/18 Focusing on Learner Language: Second Language Acquisition Basics for Teachers
    • 7/14-7/18 Improving Language Learning: Styles- and Strategies-Based Instruction
    • 7/21-7/25 Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom
    • 7/21-7/25 Content-Based Language Instruction and Curriculum Development
    • 7/28-8/1 Developing Assessments for the Second Language Classroom
    • 7/28-8/1 Language and Culture in Sync: Teaching Pragmatics of a Second Language
    • 7/28-8/1 Developing Materials for Language Teaching

  • July 8 - 11, 2014. AATSP Annual Conference. Panama City, Panama

  • July 14 - 26, 2014. (Various Dates) CLEAR Summer Institutes for Language Teachers. East Lansing MI.
    • 7/14-7/16 The Basics of Creating Assessments: From Principles to Practice
    • 7/17-7/19 Rich Internet Applications for Language Learning: Introductory Techniques
    • 7/21-7/23 Speaking Activities for Oral Proficiency Development
    • 7/24-7/26 Using Authentic Materials in all Levels of Foreign Language Classes

  • July 19 - 22, 2014. AATF Annual Convention. New Orleans, LA

  • July 21 - August 1, 2014. (Various Dates) CARLA Summer Institutes for Immersion Teachers. Minneapolis MN.
    • 7/21-7/25 Immersion 101: An Introduction to Immersion Teaching for Chinese and Japanese
    • 7/28-8/1 Immersion 101: An Introduction to Immersion Teaching

  • For the complete Calendar listing, Click Here!

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 Special Topics

It's Summer Institute Time at NCLRC!
Sheila W. Cockey, NCLRC

immersion (6K) Follow the immersion pathway: encounter special experiences, and meet new friends.

Come spend time in our nation's capital, immerse yourself in Spanish, spend time in the Embassies of Spain and Uruguay, the Mexican Cultural Institute, and tour the Spanish collection at the National Gallery of Art.

Dine on Spanish cuisine at some of the best restaurants in the area. Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Less Commonly Taught Languages

LCTL: Let's Collaborate to Teach Languages
Greta Lundgaard, Plano TX Independent School District

white_water_raft (16K) Visualize this image: a rubber raft hurtles down a rapidly flowing river swollen by spring rains and snow melt. Rocks and boulders lurk just below the surface and along the shoreline, and the faces of the occupants of the raft show anxiety, nervousness, and fear. Who would imagine going on a white water rafting trip alone? No river guide, no fellow oarsmen, only a life jacket to cling to in the event of a dunking.

It is not unusual to find that teachers of Less Commonly Taught Languages are expected to be by themselves in the raft; asked to "go it alone" down roaring rivers. They teach languages and explore cultures that are often mysteries to their colleagues and administrators and frequently do this as the only teacher of that language on campus, and many times, the only teacher of that language in their entire school districts. Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Crossroads: Heritage Learning

¡GOOOOOOOOOOOL! Building the team for Heritage Speaker success
Jeremy Aldrich and Philip Yutzy, Harrisonburg City VA Public Schools

Winning soccer teams can have a variety of successful configurations. Some have more forwards; some have more midfielders or defenders; but each configuration is designed to maximize the team's strengths and score goals. Thoughtfully matching teachers’ skills and students’ needs, along with an appropriate curriculum, make it more likely that students in heritage speaker courses will achieve their goals, too. In previous articles, we have discussed the typical profiles and needs of heritage speakers and we explored some appropriate routines and activities that give shape to a meaningful curriculum. In this third and final article of this series, we'll explore the characteristics of successful teachers for heritage speaker courses. Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Testing Tips

Practical Applications for Formative Assessment
Rebecca Moyer, Center for Applied Linguistics

This month's topic for Testing Tips is brought to us by a question from a high school Spanish teacher: "How can I integrate informal, formative assessment into my daily classroom routine?" This is an important question - there is a big difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it!

The first step toward integrating formative assessment into your lesson plans begins with broad, classroom-level planning and decision-making on how to create a responsive, student-centered learning environment while also keeping in mind requirements that have to be met, such as state and national standards. What will you do to support each student's language growth toward the standards and objectives in use in your classroom? There are many different ways to answer this question, and it is important to answer it realistically. Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg YANA (Classroom Solutions)

What Are Teens Reading?
YANA: Sheila W. Cockey

readingiscool (3K) My students love to read and are constantly asking me what their counterparts in other countries are reading. Since I do not have personal contacts with anyone of their age, I do not know the answer to their question. What can I tell them? Are there any resources that can help me? Is there anywhere from which I can choose materials for them to read?

How wonderful that your students love to read! You've covered much of the territory already when it comes to reading in another language: These learners already understand the intrinsic values of reading and all you have to do is provide them with some guidance and materials.

Like you, most of us do not have direct contact with someone the same age as our students, so we must find other sources. With a little imagination and some digging on your part you will be able to find something. Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Sound Bites for Better Teaching

Error Correction: Not all errors are Equal
Marcel LaVergne, Ed.D.

It is a fact that all learners of L2 will make mistakes in their oral and written production of L2. It is also true that most native speakers of a language make mistakes, i.e., no one has a perfect command of their own language. When approaching error correction, teachers need to consider what mistakes to correct and how to correct them. Focusing on every error will frustrate and discourage even the most dedicated of students. Error correction strategies differ according to the goal of the particular lesson… Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Business Language in Focus

Highlights from the 2014 National Business Languages Conference
Margaret Gonglewski, The George Washington University

Springtime: this glorious time of year evokes renewal and prepares rich, fertile ground for great growth to come. The season itself provides the perfect metaphor for the events and energy surrounding the annual National Business Language Conference, when educators from across the country join together to sow and cross-fertilize ideas for teaching business languages and cultures. Key moments from the 2014 Business Language Conference will be the focus of this issue's Business Language column for the benefit of teachers who were not able to attend but who nevertheless aspire to grow their own skills or program offerings in this area. Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Reflections of a Classroom Teacher

Ingredient 5: Keeping Reflection Routine
Sylvia Lillehoj, Howard County MD Public Schools

It has been over nine months since I posted Reflections of a Classroom Teacher, my first article for the NCLRC Newsletter. My primary focus has been to advocate the importance of reflection for self-evaluation and professional growth. One challenge I have faced is that I am preaching to a choir that does not rehearse regularly. After all, most teachers are familiar with the theoretical basis of reflection, yet they often ignore it in practice. This really annoys me. If teachers are familiar with a pedagogical tool of teacher development, why do they exclude it when lesson planning? Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Using Technology for Language Learning

Google Is So Much More Than Email
Carol Marcolini, CITT, Hampton City VA Public Schools
Laurie Smith, Retired CITT from Hampton City VA Public Schools

So you have a Google email account! Is it for work? Does your division provide it? Whether is it provided by work, or you set it up yourself, use this professional resource for more than sending messages and receiving attachments. With free resources that are universal and free of charge, Google is reliable and omnipresent. Read more... (PDF)

The Language Resource is a bi-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.

® 2014, 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