The NCLRC Language Resource
VOL. 13, NO. 7

National Museum of Language Flag

International Flag of Language
November 2009
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As we pack our bags and head to the 2009 ACTFL Annual Convention and World Language Expo in San Diego, we wanted to make sure that we provided our readers with some good reading material for the trip! This issue of the NCLRC Language Resource newsletter continues looking at the economic impact on language programs with a focus on what teachers can do to save their language programs.

This month's newsletter features an interview with Dr. Pat Barr-Harrison, former World Language Supervisor, on The Rise and Fall of Russian Language Instruction: A Local Perspective. Testing Tips returns with a piece on How language testing can (help) save your language program. Our Root Words section takes an in-depth look at Challenges and Strides in Heritage Language Education. Don't miss the numerous scholarship opportunities for students and teachers highlighted in the Critical Languages section. Get the latest updates on NCLRC by following us on Twitter!

Life Preserver

redstar_white_bg Announcements:

  • 2010 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program will offer intensive summer language institutes overseas in eleven critical need foreign languages for summer 2010. The on-line application for CLS Program awards will be available November 9, 2009. Deadline to apply: December 18, 2009
  • 2010 Video Podcast Contest: ACTFL sponsors a national video student podcast contest to celebrate Discover Languages Month. Students are encouraged to submit video podcasts on how language learning has been important in their lives. Visit for complete details. Deadline: December 20, 2009.
  • The Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Student Association (SLATSA) at the University of Arizona is organizing its 9th Annual Roundtable entitled “Intersections in Second Language Acquisition” to be held February 19-20, 2010. Submission Deadline: December 1, 2009.
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redstar_white_bg Feature article

The Rise and Fall of Russian Language Instruction: A Local Perspective
An interview with Dr. Pat Barr-Harrison by Leah Mason

This month's feature article takes a closer look at what teachers can do if they fear that their language program is in jeopardy of being cut, through a real-life example from Prince George's County in Maryland. The following interview with Dr. Pat Barr-Harrison, a former World Language Supervisor from Prince George's County, tells the story of the survival and continuation of a Russian language education program. 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:

  • I am a Foreign Language Methods teacher at a university.
    My question: What do my students need?
    My answer: VERY practical information that they can implement immediately.
    My plea: Do you have any suggestions? Any good books you've used in the past? Good sites where they can retrieve, and hopefully see successful lessons? They are interested in Spanish lessons that work in a demanding, under-funded public school environment with 35-40 kids, one instructor, and students who freak out every time that the instructor speaks in Spanish. What kind of Spanish lessons really work in this kind of real world scenario?

Read YANA's Answer...

redstar_white_bg Readers' Corner

Monthly Question
This month's question is: In what ways have Millennials challenged you and how have you met the challenge? Click here to answer the Question.

Last month we asked "How do you demonstrate to students, parents, and administrators the value of your language program?" Read responses here.

This month's poll asks about: How do you attract students to your language program? Click here to participate in the poll.

Last month, we asked, "How is the economy impacting your classroom?" 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 latest Edition of the Culture Club will be available on November 15th. Visit the Photo Gallery and win a prize if you are the first to identify the Mystery Photos. Read an article on a successful student exchange between a US and a French high school written by one of the students involved.

Enjoy the cinquains in the Library's French, Italian, and Spanish Poetry Rooms. Find another stimulating article by Marcel LaVergne in the Teachers' Lounge. Read new reviews in the Library, the Screening Room, and the Spanish Music Room. Check out the cultureshocks blog in the Bloggers Den. Win a prize for sending in your own culture shock story.

Read an interview in Spanish with a teenager from San Salvador. Share breakfast with a family in Costa Rica in the Banquet Hall. Remember that your contributions are always welcome. We depend on your continuing input. Contact Culture Club Editor Christine for questions and comments. 

redstar_white_bg Root Words

Challenges and Strides in Heritage Language Education by Victoria Hasko, Ph.D.

On the pages of the NCLRC Newsletter and beyond, language educators and scholars have been pondering over the question of how the U.S. language education system can be improved to ensure maintenance and development of heritage languages. The question does not have easy answers, as we are only beginning to understand the nature of heritage language acquisition and to envision solutions for developing an effective and responsible heritage language education policy.

Here, I will provide an overview of some of the critical issues that the field of heritage language education is facing today and will share some innovative educational initiatives that heritage language educators have been recently experimenting with in the state of Georgia, a state with a rapidly growing immigrant population. Read more...

redstar_white_bgTech for Teachers

Interested in having your students enter the ACTFL 2010 Video Podcast Contest but not sure where to begin? Check out our article and view last year's winning entries. The contest challenges students to develop a video public service announcement that addresses the theme: Discover Languages...Discover the World. Submission deadline: December 20, 2009.

Georgetown-hosted Joint Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Association for Language Learning Technology (MAALLT) and the Southeast Association for Language Learning Technology (SEALLT) Our Changing Environments: Cultivating New Spaces, Tools, and Ideas in Language Learning. March 10-13, 2010. Deadline for Proposals: November 22, 2009. Click here for details.

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_bg Testing Tips

How language testing can (help) save your language program by Meg Malone

We live in an age of accountability; since No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was enacted, this accountability has resulted in increased testing in U.S. schools. Because foreign (or world) languages are not considered “core” subject areas, many states do not require testing of foreign languages. Read more...

redstar_white_bgNCLRC Staff

Get to know the NCLRC Staff at ACTFL! NCLRC will have a booth in the exhibit hall under the LRC Pavilion by Concession Stand A. We will be giving away lots of free goodies so be sure to stop by. Staff will also be presenting throughout the conference. Our presentation schedule is online here, or see information below:

Friday, November 20th
Free Resources for Every Educator
11:00am - 12:00pm
San Diego Convention Center/ Room 2

Attracting and Holding the Attention of Those Millennial Digital Natives
Robbins & Mahajan
1:15pm - 2:15pm
San Diego Convention Center / Room 7A

Saturday, November 21st
Meeting the Connections Goal through Differentiated Instruction
Chamot & Genovese
10:00am - 11:00am
San Diego Convention Center / Room 7B

Survey of Schools Teaching Arabic as a Core Course, 2009
Johnson, Keatley, & Greer
5:30pm - 6:30pm
Marriott Hotel / Torrey 1

Guitars in the Classroom, AMIGO and Song-Based Learning
Harris-Padron & Baron
6:45pm - 7:45pm
San Diego Convention Center / Room 5B


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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