January 14, 2014

Changes to InterCom

We have made some changes to InterCom and will no longer be using Blogger to share content. 
InterCom helps language educators stay up-to-date on issues in language education and locate quality, relevant ideas for the classroom in one weekly customized email digest. Our editor monitors professional online communications such as listservs, blogs, and organizational websites to find the most relevant, useful information and resources for language professionals. Each issue of Intercom includes:
  • Weekly topic: A brief insight into an issue relevant to language teaching and learning
  • Activity of the week: An activity exemplifying the application of the week's theme
  • Spotlight: Update on CASLS activity
  • Publications: Links to publications that match your interests
  • Professional development: Links to professional development opportunities
  • Language corner: Resources and ideas for language professionals, customized to your interests
If you would like to continue to receive InterCom, please subscribe.

December 29, 2013

Using Student-Made Illustrations To Extend Class Discussion

From http://martinabex.com

Teacher Martina Bex writes:

“One of my favorite strategies for generating interesting discussions based on new vocabulary is having students draw an illustration for a scenario. For example, have the kids draw a picture of somewhere that they went, something that they saw, what they watch on TV, or what they like. These illustration-based discussions are great for providing compelling, comprehensible input to students because they personalize the structures. Here are several strategies for extending the activities beyond the actual discussion.”

Read on for the strategies: http://martinabex.com/2013/12/20/extend-your-discussion

New Ideas and Tools Each Day

The ellensclass blog is by an English language teacher, and it is full of activities, ideas, and reflections for students and teachers. Associated with the main blog are two others, An Idea a Day and Read. Know. Learn. Go. The first provides a new idea or writing/speaking prompt each day, while the second provides a new description of a tech tool each day.

The main blog is available at http://ellensclass.wordpress.com
An Idea a Day is available at http://useenglisheveryday.wordpress.com
Read. Know. Learn. Go. is available at http://readknowlearngo.wordpress.com

Five Tools That Help Students Plan Stories

From http://www.freetech4teachers.com

Here are descriptions of and links to five free tools that students can use to plan and outline their stories: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2013/12/five-tools-that-help-students-plan.html#.UsBQzPZRaU4

Internet Resources for Language Teachers and Students

From http://mafla.org

The Massachusetts Foreign Language Association’s website includes a Hot on the Web page, which is frequently updated with websites of interest to language teachers and students. Recent posts include new year’s activities in French, a reading for Día de los Reyes in Spanish, and a Pinterest board with holiday traditions.

Browse the page at http://mafla.org/teaching-ideas/h-o-w

ISE Beyond the Classroom: Activities for Study Abroad

From http://isebeyondtheclassroom.wikispaces.com/Introduction+and+Instructions

Based on the 21st Century Skills Map developed through a collaboration spearheaded by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), ACTFL/P21 Skills for World Language Students, ISE has developed this wikispace as a resource to share activities that deepen your students' experiences before, during and after their program abroad.

Each of the skill based pages on this site includes
1. the 21st century skills specific to world language learners,
2. the goals to develop those skills
3. and proposed activities to help your students achieve these goals before, during and after their ISE program.

Contributors to the pages have uploaded files that include study units and other destination and language based material to help you prepare your students to make the most of their program abroad. Search by destination (China, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Spain) or language (French, German, Spanish, Mandarin) to access the files. You may narrow down your search further by clicking on "Pages and Files" above this page and then by searching the "tags" set up by language, destination and/or specific 21st Century skill. You can also contribute your own files.

The website is available at http://isebeyondtheclassroom.wikispaces.com/Home+Page

Article: Supporting English-Learner Achievement: What States Can Do

From http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning-the-language/2013/12/supporting_english-learner_ach.html

Supporting English-Learner Achievement: What States Can Do
By Lesli A. Maxwell
December 19, 2013

English-language learners are in every state, most school districts, and many classrooms. At 10 percent of the nation's public school population and growing, education policymakers in every state need to be attuned to their needs.

So argues a new policy brief from the Education Commission of the States.

In the brief, ECS describes the prevalence of English-learners and the diversity of the population, which varies greatly state by state. The brief then outlines a number of areas where policy actions could help educators better support the success of ELLs.

Read a summary of the policy brief and access the brief itself at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning-the-language/2013/12/supporting_english-learner_ach.html