The NCLRC Language Resource
VOL. 13, NO. 6

Arabic Calligraphy

October 2009
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This year the NCLRC Newsletter will take a look at the Power of World Language Learning in a Global Economy. We plan to address current issues in language education from recent budget shortfalls and discussions on professionalism in the field to the newest technology and how to teach digital natives.
This month's newsletter features an article by Leah Mason on Expansion Grants v. Recession Cuts: A Balancing Act in Language Education. Our Root Words section has a new article discussing the much debated topic of mixing Spanish for Native Speaker students with students learning Spanish as a World Language in the same class. Don't miss the numerous scholarship opportunities for students and teachers highlighed in the Critical Languages section. The hunt is on! Join in the Culture Club Scavenger hunt. Get the latest updates on NCLRC by following us on Twitter!
See an example of microteaching from our STARTALK Hands-On Arabic K-12 summer institute in our Language Resource Podcast: Simulating a Souq with Rana Abdul-Aziz.

Global Lightbulb

redstar_white_bg Announcements:

  • ACTFL 2010 Call for Proposals: Languages: Gateway to Global Communities. The ACTFL 2010 Annual Convention and World Languages Expo will be held in Boston, MA from Nov. 19-21. Deadline for submissions is January 10, 2010.
  • U.S. House of Representatives Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) reintroduces Foreign Language Education Partnership Act (H.R. 2111 in the 110th): This legislation would provide incentives for creating model programs of articulated, sequenced foreign language instruction from K-12, with the goal of graduating high school students with an advanced level of proficiency.
  • The National Capital Language Resource Center received a STARTALK Grant for the development of a multi-media professional development workshop for Arabic teachers. The workshop is expected to be completed by February 2010.
  • STARTALK 2010 Online Proposals are now available! The National Foreign Language Center is soliciting proposals from eligible schools, post-secondary institutions, or community-based organizations to participate in the STARTALK project. The 2010 proposal submission process will run from October 8 through November 5, 2009. Click here for more details.
  • ACTFL Foreign Language Standards Impact Study: ACTFL is currently assessing the impact the Foreign Language Standards have had on the profession after a decade in existence.All language educators, at all levels and settings, are needed to participate in this survey! To take the survey visit ACTFL
  • First Native Language Network e-newsletter: The Indigenous Language Institute's newsletter, Native Language Network, chronicles the efforts of those working in the field of community-based indigenous language revitalization. Sign up here.
  • Support the Global Language Network as they strive to win a $10,000 grant from Ideablob!
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redstar_white_bg Feature article

Expansion Grants v. Recession Cuts: A Balancing Act in Language Education
by Leah Mason

The relationship between government and language education is one which we don’t often reflect upon, yet one which significantly affects educators and classroom goals. The government utilizes multilingual individuals in a variety of roles across all agencies and supports language education efforts through programs and initiatives covering K-16 education and beyond. A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled Comprehensive Plan Needed to Address Persistent Foreign Language Shortfalls was issued in September 2009 outlining the deficiencies of Foreign Service officers in language-designated positions. While the State Department has increased and improved training and recruitment efforts for Foreign Service officers over the past three years, nearly one third of all officers did not meet the linguistic requirements for their positions.

This timely report gives cause for language educators to step back and reflect upon changes in language education within the K-16 system, a primary pipeline to government positions requiring linguistic proficiency. 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:

  • Help!  My school board is cutting foreign language programs left and right!   We're going to lose our French program; we've already lost our Japanese program.  Our Spanish program is losing its upper level courses.  All of our classes are bigger because they've laid off some teachers and are not hiring enough new teachers. What can we do to stop it?

Read YANA's Answer...

redstar_white_bg Readers' Corner

Monthly Question
This month's question is: How do you demonstrate to students, parents, and administrators the value of your language program? Click here to answer the Question.

Last month we asked "What collaborations have you found most valuable in your teaching practice?" Read responses here.

This month's poll asks about: How is the economy impacting your classroom? Click here to participate in the poll.

Last month, we asked, "Which collaborative approaches to learning does your school use for teacher development?" 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.

Arabic Webcasts


Russian Webcasts


redstar_white_bg Culture Club

edited by Christine Meloni

For this month the majority of our rooms have been updated! Read about why the citizens of San Marino live so long, or try out a lesson plan for writing cinquains. Enter the October Where in the world mystery photo contest! Visit the Current Directory to see what else is new and what each room has to offer.

We are extending the deadline for entries to our Third Annual Culture Club Scavenger Hunt to November 20, 2009. You can complete the hunt in one of three languages (Spanish, French, or Italian) to WIN A SCHOLARSHIP TO AN NCLRC 2010 SUMMER INSTITUTE!. Read more about the instructions and prizes here.

redstar_white_bg Root Words

by Belinda Sauret

Can it be done? Is it really possible for Heritage Language students to learn well in a class where the majority of students are second-language learners?

Belinda Sauret explores the topic of mixing Spanish for Native Speakers students and Spanish as a World Language students in the same class through the different perspectives of two teachers. She also offers suggestions of resources available for teachers who find themselves in this situation. Read more...

redstar_white_bgTech for Teachers

Call for Papers: Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) Journal SPECIAL ISSUE: Second Language Acquisition Theories, Technologies, and Language Learning. Extended abstracts (~500 words) are due by January 15th, 2010. Full-length manuscripts are due by May 15th, 2010. Click here for details.

27th Annual Conference CALICO 2010: Enhancing Language Learning: Research, Innovation, and Evaluation in CALL , June 8-12 at Amherst College. Deadline for proposal submissions is October 31, 2009. Click here for details.

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

East Coast Organization of Language Testers (ECOLT) will hold its eighth annual conference this fall, November 6-7, 2009, at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. The theme of ECOLT 2009 is: Frameworks, Standards, and Scales.

The Assessment Training OnLine (ATOL) course is a moderated, distance-learning course that uses interactive units to introduce teachers at the secondary and post-secondary level to oral proficiency assessment.

Notes from a Novice Tester by Francesca Di Silvio
You may notice some changes to this month’s Testing Tips column: new title, new author and, as always, new content. Read more...

redstar_white_bgNCLRC Staff

The staff welcome our new interns! This year's newest interns will support the Arabic K-12 School Survey, the Arabic Multi-media Project, Chinese Webcasts, and DesiLearn.

Arabic K-12 School Survey

  • Zainab Adham
  • Iman Sheybani-Nezhad

Arabic Multi-media Project

  • Zeid Aghabi
  • Maha Saad


  • Susan Lee
  • Aieysha Kayani

Chinese Webcasts

  • Maggie Dunlop

General Outreach

  • Angela Livengood

Returning interns Casey Filer, Erica Manta, Danielle Fearon, and Flavia Vehbiu will continue in their roles supporting the website, Culture Club, Arabic K-12 Research Study, and general office needs. We are thrilled to have such a stellar group of interns!


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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