December 29, 2013

Using Student-Made Illustrations To Extend Class Discussion


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:

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
An Idea a Day is available at
Read. Know. Learn. Go. is available at

Five Tools That Help Students Plan Stories


Here are descriptions of and links to five free tools that students can use to plan and outline their stories:

Internet Resources for Language Teachers and Students


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

ISE Beyond the Classroom: Activities for Study Abroad


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

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


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

Interactive Digital Book of Writing Prompts from MakeBeliefsComix

From presents its new free interactive digital book to encourage writing --Make Beliefs to Spark Your Writing.

The intent of Make Beliefs to Spark Your Writing is to let your mind roam to new places and ideas and express all the wonderful things that are within you. For example, make believe someone discovered a note you had placed in a bottle that washed up on the beach. What would it say? Or, imagine that today you’re going to do one heroic deed. What will that be?

To read and write in the book, just click on the cover. By doing do, you will download a PDF that will reveal a book of picture and word prompts to spur your imagination and stimulate your creative writing and thinking.

This book is formatted as an interactive digital journal or diary. It will allow you to write directly on your screen into the areas with lines on each of the book’s pages. When you are done typing, simply save the document until the next time you are inspired to make new entries. You also can print out any pages that you want. And, if you wish, you can send the completed digital book as an email attachment to someone with whom you wish to share your special thoughts.

Access the new digital book at

New Issue of Dialogue, Online Newsletter of New York State TESOL, Available


Dialogue is the online newsletter of New York State TESOL members. In the December 2013 issue:

Dialogue News & Announcements
Letter from the Editor
Upcoming Events
NYS TESOL Annual Conference Reactions

Tech Tools: Quizlet: An exciting tool for language study by David Parker
Clearly Speaking: Sentence Stress: Content Words, Function Words and Focus Words by Joyce Mandell
First Year Focus: Classroom Management, or Who’s Running the Asylum? by Jennifer Scully

Access the latest issue at

Two Online Tools for Helping with Regional and Colloquial English


Richard Byrne recently described two tools that could be of use to English language learners on his Free Technology for Teachers blog.

The first is a dictionary of American regional English. Read his description of it and access a link to the site at

The second is a game called Turn-O-Phrase, which practices colloquial phrases with images. Read about it and access it at

Free Spanish Color and Number Activities from Rockalingua


Rockalingua has a free 11-page set of printable activities to teach children Spanish colors and numbers. Learn more about and access the free activities and also read more about Rockalingua in this blog post:

Two Articles about New Year’s in Mexico

Here are two English-language articles about New Year’s in Mexico:

Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Mexico -
New Year's Rituals in Mexico -

Día de Reyes Infographic

The Día de Reyes is coming right up, and here’s an infographic about the celebration in Mexico that you can show your students:

Southern Oregon University's Summer Language Institute for French and Spanish Teachers

Are you a French or Spanish teacher? Join us for a unique, intensive program specifically designed to meet the needs of middle school, high school and community college French and Spanish teachers. Southern Oregon University's Summer Language Institute for French and Spanish teachers offers summer study programs for French teachers in Angers, France and for Spanish teachers in Guanajuato, Mexico. You can earn your Master of Arts degree over three summers or come for just one summer to receive credits applicable to ongoing recertification.

SOU's Summer Language Institute for French and Spanish teachers combines courses on language acquisition and pedagogy with language and culture courses to allow you to improve both your language proficiency and cultural understanding while becoming a better teacher.

For more information, see the program webpage at or or call Anne Connor 541 552-6743 (Spanish) or Daniel Morris 541 552-6740 (French).

Database of Classical Scholars


The Database of Classical Scholars is a project initiated by the American Philological Association and provides a virtual research environment for study of American, British, and European classical scholars. Each biographical entry contains vital information, followed by a narrative assessment of the scholar's life and contribution. The third section contains the title of the dissertation (if any) followed by extensive listing of scholars works and source material for the scholar's life. Each entry will be fully searchable in all fields. The website will also feature a separate Wikiform database for living classicists to submit entries on themselves. The website will also feature videos created by the Classics Conclave of Boston in which prominent classicists give their analysis of the present state of scholarship on the ancient world.

Access this project at

AATG German Summer Study Program for High School Students


Are you a high school student looking for adventure in Germany? Are you a parent looking to provide your child a summer study opportunity with a proven track record? Are you a teacher looking for a three-week immersion program where students connect with language and culture?

The German Summer Study Program for High School Students sponsored in cooperation with the German government's Pedagogical Exchange Service (PAD) provides homestay and school experience. Live with a German family, attend classes and experience the German language and culture firsthand. Nearly 2,500 students have benefited from this unique experience!

The 2014 Summer Study Program application is now available. For more details, including specific dates and locations, go to

Summer MA Program in Japanese Pedagogy at Columbia University

2014 Summer M.A. Program in Japanese Pedagogy at Columbia University

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures) invites applications for the 2014 Summer M.A. program in Japanese Pedagogy. The program runs from June 2nd (Monday) to August 1st (Friday), 2014.

I. Three-week Pedagogy Course (6/02-6/20):
- Elementary Japanese Pedagogy, Prof. Naomi Fujita Geyer (University of Wisconsin at Madison) and Dr. Fumiko Nazikian (Columbia University)

II. 3 MA Courses (6/23-8/01):
- Phonetics, Phonology and Morphology, Prof. Timothy J. Vance (National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics)
- Semantics, Prof. Wesley Jacobsen (Harvard University)
- Syntax, Prof. Michio Tsutsui (University of Washington)

Degree candidates may fulfill the requirements for the M.A. degree in three consecutive summers or in any three summers within a period of six years by taking eleven courses and writing an M.A. thesis. The thesis is required to have a focus on a particular area of Japanese pedagogy. Students take courses for six weeks in one summer and nine weeks during the other two summers.

We also welcome non-degree students for the three-week Elementary Japanese Pedagogy course.

Special Admission Requirements: B.A. or equivalent from an accredited institution in the U.S., Japan or elsewhere, proficiency in English (for native Japanese speakers: 570/IBT88/CBT230 TOEFL or above) or Japanese (for non-native Japanese speakers/ACTFL: Advanced-High or above).

More information is available at the following websites.

Application deadline: February 17th, 2014.
Online Application:

Successful applicants will be notified of their admission by the middle of March. On-campus housing is available during the summer.

Contact: Shigeru Eguchi, Administrative Director of the 2014 Summer M.A. Program in Japanese Pedagogy, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALAC), 407 Kent Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027
Email: se53 at columbia dot edu
Tel: 212/854-3523; FAX: 212/678-8629

Eguchi, S. Summer MA Program in Japanese Pedagogy at Columbia University. JTIT-L listserv (JTIT-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU, 23 Dec 2013).

American Association of Teachers of Japanese Spring Conference


AATJ’s 2014 Annual Spring Conference will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, March 27, 2014.

The conference web page is available at

Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad in China


Announcing the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Competition for Summer 2014

What? Study abroad
When? Summer 2014 for four weeks
Where? China
Who? You! If you are an elementary or secondary educator in the United States in the fields of social sciences and humanities, including languages
Why? To learn about China’s country, people, and culture and to develop curriculum for U.S. schools

For additional information, read below and visit the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad (SA) Program website at:

Eligibility Requirements: You need to be: (1) A citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States; (2) Currently employed full-time in a United States school system at the K-12 level; and (3) Have at least three years of full-time teaching experience.

What the program pays for: Round-trip international airfare plus…program-related travel within the host country, room and board, and miscellaneous expenses.

What you pay for: $450.00 plus…passport, visa, travel insurance, miscellaneous personal expenses.

Application Deadline: Wednesday February 5, 2014 at 4:30pm EST

For more details go to

Basic Information about Chinese Varieties on Omniglot

Omniglot is a website dedicated to writing systems and languages. It includes a page that discusses writing in Chinese as well as the major groups of Chinese varieties (with links to separate pages for each group).

Access the Chinese page at

Arabic Learning Resources Website


Arabic learning resources is a website by a student of Arabic. From the site’s description:

This site features resources to help you learn both standard Arabic and the Egyptian dialect.

 The vocabulary lists include standard Arabic, the Egyptian (Cairene) dialect, and transliterations. You'll also find pages devoted to colloquial idiomatic expressions, proverbs, and sayings.
 The grammar lessons provide information on various topics such as pronouns, verb conjugations and tenses, and more, with examples to show usage. Most of the grammar information focuses on Egyptian Arabic, but some includes equivalent info for standard Arabic.
 The FAQ page provides general information on the Arabic language.
 The about page contains information about the transliteration scheme I use and other notes about this site.
 The links go to free websites with useful resources for Arabic language learning.

This website is available at

National TPR Storytelling Conference


JULY 21 – JULY 25, 2014

 Workshops for all skill levels
 Elementary Teachers Workshop
 ESL Teachers Workshop
 1-Day Supervisor Workshop
 Skills Practice
 Language class option
 Sessions on a variety of topics
 Chinese Tracks
 Pre-conference coaching workshop
 Collaboration with colleagues
 Networking with other TPRS teachers

Visit the conference website to learn more and to register:

Second International Conference on Heritage/Community Languages


Second International Conference on Heritage/Community Languages
March 7 - 8, 2014
UCLA Covel Commons

Pre-Conference Workshop: Attending to the Needs of Heritage Language Learners in Mixed Classrooms
March 6, 2014

The conference will focus on heritage/ community language studies as a multi-disciplinary field. Papers, posters, and panels relevant to heritage language research and pedagogy will be presented from the perspective of the following disciplines: anthropology, demographics, linguistics, sociology, applied linguistics, policy, psychology, bilingualism, education, and assessment.

The conference website is available at

Call for Presentations: Fifth American Indian / Indigenous Teacher Education Conference


Northern Arizona University's College of Education is hosting its Fifth American Indian / Indigenous Teacher Education Conference on July 10-12, 2014 at its Eastburn Education Building. This conference for preschool, K-12, college, and university educators and concerned community members is designed through panels, workshops, and papers to share ideas for improving the lives and education of Indigenous children.

Learn more about the conference at and access the call for presentations at

Book: The Grammar Dimension in Instructed Second Language Learning


The Grammar Dimension in Instructed Second Language Learning
Edited by Alessandro Benati, Cécile Laval, and María Arche
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

One of the key issues in second language learning and teaching concerns the role and practice of grammar instruction. Does it make a difference? How do we teach grammar in the language classroom? Is there an effective technique to teach grammar that is better than others?

While some linguists address these questions to develop a better understanding of how people acquire a grammar, language acquisition scholars are in search of the most effective way to approach the teaching of grammar in the language classroom.

The individual chapters in this volume will explore a variety of approaches to grammar teaching and offer a list of principles and guidelines that those involved in language acquisition should consider to design and implement effective grammar tasks during their teaching. It proposes that the key issue is not whether or not we should teach grammar but how we incorporate a teaching grammar component in our communicative language teaching practices.

Visit the publisher’s website at

Book: Second Language Acquisition and the Critical Period Hypothesis


Second Language Acquisition and the Critical Period Hypothesis
Edited by David Birdsong
Published by Routledge Taylor & Francis Group

Second Language Acquisition and the Critical Period Hypothesis is the only book on the market to provide a diverse collection of perspectives, from experienced researchers, on the role of the Critical Period Hypothesis in second language acquisition. It is widely believed that age effects in both first and second language acquisition are developmental in nature, with native levels of attainment in both to be though possible only if learning began before the closure of a "window of opportunity" – a critical or sensitive period. These seven chapters explore this idea at length, with each contribution acting as an authoritative look at various domains of inquiry in second language acquisition, including syntax, morphology, phonetics/phonology, Universal Grammar, and neurofunctional factors. By presenting readers with an evenly-balanced take on the topic with viewpoints both for and against the Critical Period Hypothesis, this book is the ideal guide to understanding this critical body of research in SLA, for students and researchers in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition.

Visit the publisher’s website at

Book: Peer Interaction and Second Language Learning


Peer Interaction and Second Language Learning
By Jenefer Philp, Rebecca Adams, and Noriko Iwashita
Published by Routledge Taylor & Francis Group

Peer Interaction and Second Language Learning synthesizes the existing body of research on the role of peer interaction in second language learning in one comprehensive volume. In spite of the many hours that language learners spend interacting with peers in the classroom, there is a tendency to evaluate the usefulness of this time by comparison to whole class interaction with the teacher. Yet teachers are teachers and peers are peers – as partners in interaction, they are likely to offer very different kinds of learning opportunities. This book encourages researchers and instructors alike to take a new look at the potential of peer interaction to foster second language development. Acknowledging the context of peer interaction as highly dynamic and complex, the book considers the strengths and limitations of peer work from a range of theoretical perspectives. In doing so, Peer Interaction and Second Language Learning clarifies features of effective peer interaction for second language learning across a range of educational contexts, age spans, proficiency levels, and classroom tasks and settings.

Visit the publisher’s website at

December 20, 2013

What To Do After the Skype Session


From the Señora Spanglish Rides Again blog:

“You arranged for your class to Skype with a native speaker--maybe a whole class of native speakers--and to carry on a real live conversation in the target language. Your kids introduced themselves, nodded and said "gracias" like they should when their compañeros across the internet answered their questions. But you still have a feeling that they have almost no idea what just happened.”

Now what? Read on for follow-up ideas at

Ideas for Reflecting On and Teaching About the Year That Was

Here for your advanced students are prompts and activities to help them reflect on this past year:

New York To Seek Federal Approval To Test English Language Learners in Native Languages


New York to Seek Federal Waiver to Test English-Learners in Native Languages
By Lesli A. Maxwell
December 16, 2013

Responding in part to concerns over assessment, New York education officials are preparing to ask the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver that would allow the state's eligible English-learners to take a language arts assessment in their native language rather than in English.

At least to start, New York officials say they would develop a language arts test in Spanish, as two-thirds of the state's English-learner population is Spanish-speaking. The state would offer the native language assessment option to ELLs who have attended schools in the United States for fewer than five years.

Read the full, updated article at

3 Types Of Poetry That Will Help English Language Learners


3 Types Of Poetry That Will Help English Language Learners (ELLs)
By Benjamin L. Stewart
December 13, 2013

Under current standards, US students, including ELLs, must be able to perform informational and explanatory writing that includes identifying different types of poetry. Three types of poetry can help ELLs increase their English proficiency skills as they transition through the acculturation process.

Read on at

Spanish-Resources: Activities for Learning Spanish

The activities at Spanish-resources can be searched by level, topic, grammar, and more. See what’s available at

Free Printable Calendar of Art from the Spanish World


From the Zambombazo website, here is a downloadable, printable calendar of art from around the Spanish world, for free:

Winter Break Spanish Practice Packet

From teacher Maris Hawkins’ blog, here is a packet you can send home with your students over winter break so that they can keep their proficiency up while away from your classroom:

Summer Seminars Abroad for Spanish Teachers


The Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University announce this year's intensive Summer Seminars Abroad, a 16-day workshop in Spanish linguistics in Lima, Peru. The purpose of the program is to provide selected students with an opportunity to analyze and practice the Spanish language in a natural linguistic and cultural context, and to receive university credit for that experience.

The program, scheduled for July 7-24, 2014, is intended primarily for Spanish teachers. Application is open, however, to graduate students from Spanish and other disciplines who have a demonstrated ability in the use of the Spanish language and a need for this type of course. Both native and non-native speakers of Spanish are invited to apply.

For more information go to

“Real Time” World War II Tweets in Latin

Latin teachers who use Twitter may be interested in following RealTimeWWII_Latin. Tweet content has to do with what happened on this day in 1941, and everything is in Latin.

Follow at

Vergilian Society Translation Contest


Registration for the first Vergilian Society Translation Contest is now open. Top contestants can expect a small cash prize and bookplates in the late Spring 2014, prior to school award ceremonies.

The spirit of the contest is to celebrate the poet Vergil by encouraging students in K-12 to translate a selection of his verses, at sight, into fluent English.

Format: The test is designed to be written in one sixty-minute period. The selections vary from year to year. There will be at least one substantial passage of Vergil (and possibly two, with the second being shorter) designed to be written within the hour including revision.

Registration — 18 February 2014.
Administration of the Contest — 24 – 28 February 2014.

For full details go to
Register at

Pioneer Valley Classical Association Classics Day at Mt Holyoke College

The Pioneer Valley Classical Association is holding a Classics Day on Friday, January 17th at Mt. Holyoke College.

For more details and a registration packet go to

Overseas Professional Development for Russian Language Teachers through American Councils

American Councils for International Education (ACTR) is pleased to announce a limited number of fully-funded fellowship positions available for current in-service teachers of Russian in the 2014 Summer Russian Language Teacher Program, June 18 to August 4, 2014. Priority in fellowship awards will be given to active K-12 teachers of Russian who have not been to Russia in the last three years; university faculty, adjuncts, and graduate students are also eligible to apply.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

All expenses will be paid for selected fellows, less the cost of an initial program administration fee and domestic travel to and from Washington, D.C.

The Summer Russian Language Teachers Program has supported the professional development needs of U.S. teachers of Russian for more than 40 years and is one of the most respected and long-standing U.S.-Russian exchange activities. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education (Fulbright-Hays) and hosted by Moscow State University, the six-week program is designed to strengthen professional language skills and provide participants new insights in Russian language, culture, and pedagogy.

Applications for the Summer 2014 program are due March 1st. Interested applicants can access the online application via:

The fellowships provide:
- Full tuition for six weeks of study at Moscow State University,
- Housing in the Moscow State University dormitory,
- Round-trip, international airfare from Washington, D.C. to Moscow,
- Pre-departure orientation in Washington. D.C.,
- Pre- and post-program testing,
- Russian visa,
- A weekly stipend of $180,
- Weekly cultural excursions,
- Weekend trip to the Golden Ring,
- Medical insurance, and
- Ten graduate hours of credit from Bryn Mawr College.

For additional information, visit:

Or contact:
Russian Outbound Programs
American Councils for International Education (ACTR)
1828 L St, NW Suite 1200
Washington, D.C. 20036
outbound at americancouncils dot org

Warchol, M. [SEELANGS] Overseas Professional Development for Russian Language Teachers through American Councils (ACTR). SEELANGS listserv (SEELANGS@LISTSERV.UA.EDU, 16 Dec 2013).

Consortium for Language Teaching & Learning

The National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland, working under the auspices of the STARTALK project, has established the Consortium for Language Teaching & Learning to help encourage ongoing language learning, share information about resources for language teaching and learning, and foster collaboration among organizations that are committed to promoting language learning. JNCL-NCLIS is proud to be a partner in the consortium and is currently developing a database of heritage language programs. Read more about the consortium partners at

TOEFL Grants and Awards

The deadline for applications for TOEFL Grants and Awards is February 15th, 2014. Awards are available in a variety of categories and provide funding for activities, projects and research in the field of international education and foreign or second language assessment. Among them are the Small Grants for Doctoral Research in Second or Foreign Language Assessment to help students complete the research for their dissertations in a timely manner. The others include:

· TOEFL Board Grants
· TOEFL International Speaker Grants
· Library and Resource Center Award
· TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award

Applications received after February 15th will be considered for the next application deadline in October.

For more information about the awards, please visit

Dantas-Whitney, M. [BILING] TOEFL Grants and Awards. BILING listserv (BILING@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU, 19 Dec 2013).

Indiana University Summer Language Workshop

The 2014 Indiana University Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL) is accepting applications for intensive study of Arabic, Hindi-Urdu, Hungarian, Mongolian, Persian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Swahili, Tatar, Turkish, and Uzbek.

* All students pay in-state tuition and earn 6-10 credits.
* Competitive FLAS and ROTC Project GO scholarships available for qualified students.
* Classes will be held June 9 - August 1, 2014; all levels of Arabic and first year Russian will begin June 2, 2014.
* 4 and 5-week options are available for Russian (ending on July 3).

Priority application deadline: February 1, 2014.

See for more information and to apply.

Questions? Please contact swseel at indiana dot edu or 812-855-2889.

Farmer, M. [SEELANGS] Indiana University Summer Language Workshop. SEELANGS listserv (SEELANGS@LISTSERV.UA.EDU, 17 Dec 2013).

Overseas Eurasian Language Programs through American Councils

American Councils for International Education announces its Summer 2014, Fall 2014, and Academic Year 2014-15 language study programs in Eurasia. The Eurasian Regional Language Program (ERLP) features language and cultural immersion in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.

Applications and complete program information are available at

ERLP provides participants with intensive individualized instruction in nearly 20 regional languages in 10 Eurasian countries. Courses are designed to strengthen speaking, listening, reading, and writing proficiency in the language of study. Classes are conducted in small groups or private tutorials by native speakers with extensive experience teaching foreign students. In addition to classroom learning, American Councils emphasizes language immersion outside of the academic program through: volunteer opportunities, cultural excursions, other extracurricular activities, and life with host families.

U.S. undergraduate or graduate credit is provided through Bryn Mawr College.

- Armenian in Yerevan, Armenia
- Azeri in Baku, Azerbaijan
- Bashkir, Buryat, Tatar, Yakut, etc. in Russia
- Chechen or Georgian in Tbilisi, Georgia
- Kazakh in Almaty, Kazakhstan
- Kyrgyz in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
- Romanian in Chisinau, Moldova
- Persian (Dari, Farsi, Tajiki) or Uzbek in Dushanbe, Tajikistan
- Turkmen in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
- Ukrainian in Kyiv, Ukraine

Applications, additional program information, and eligibility requirements are available at

Applications for the summer 2014 term are due by February 15, 2014.

Applications for the fall 2014 and academic-year 2014-15 programs are due on March 15, 2014.

Must be 18 to apply.

Email: outbound at americancouncils dot org

American Councils for International Education
Attn: Outbound Programs
1828 L Street, N.W. Suite 1200
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone: 202.833.7522

Warchol, M. [ILR-INFO] Overseas Eurasian Language Programs. ILR-INFO Discussion Group (ILR-INFO@FSILIST2.FSI.STATE.GOV, 17 Dec 2013).

TESOL’s Electronic Village Online


For five weeks in January and February, TESOL experts and participants from around the world engage in collaborative online discussions or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These sessions bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by land-based professional development conventions and allow a fuller development of ideas than is otherwise possible.

Sessions are free and open to anyone around the globe. It is not necessary to attend the TESOL Convention in order to participate. All you need is access to the Internet.

Sessions run from January 13 to February 16, and they are asynchronous. For more information and a list of sessions go to

Classical Association of New England Annual Meeting


The 2014 Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of New England will take place March 7-8 at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, NH. For more conference details, including a scholarship for first-time attendees, go to

Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement and Conference


WISE 2014 Conference
Thursday and Friday, February 6-7, 2014
Pre-conference workshop: Wednesday February 5, 2014
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

WISE is designed for faculty who lead or teach short- or long-term programs abroad, and for study abroad professionals who assist students in this important cross-cultural experience. It is a place where faculty, study abroad professionals, and other international education and assessment experts can share insights, strategies and personal experiences about intercultural competency in practical, hands-on sessions.

This conference aims to explore students’ intercultural learning abroad from a variety of angles. WISE 2014 will include four sessions focused on the most important intercultural training models now in use. WISE 2014 will also feature a session focusing on the variety of inventories and tools being used to assess students’ intercultural competency and awareness.

Visit the conference website at

Call for Papers: 2014 SLA Graduate Student Symposium at the University of Wisconsin


The SLA graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa have formed a partnership to host an annual SLA Graduate Student Symposium. Organizing and hosting the conference alternates between the universities. Graduate students in SLA and related disciplines present their work and meet distinguished researchers in their field.

The theme of the 2014 symposium is Crossing Borders: Engaging and Connecting and will take place in Madison, Wisconsin on April 11th and 12th, 2014. The organizing committee is honored to welcome Lourdes Ortega from Georgetown University and Judith Liskin-Gasparro from the University of Iowa as this year's plenary speakers.

The organizers seek proposals from graduate students whose research both reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the field of SLA and draws on connections and engagements among the disciplines and perspectives. Studies from a variety of areas will be accepted. These areas include but are not limited to:

 Classroom research
 Second and foreign language pedagogy
 Psycholinguistic approaches to SLA
 Generative second language acquisition
 Heritage language acquisition
 Language and culture
 World Englishes
 Learner corpora and SLA
 Testing and assessment
 Analysis of discourse and interaction
 Computer-assisted language learning

Proposals are due February 1, 2014.

View the call for papers at

Call for Proposals: COFLT Spring Conference

COFLT Spring Conference: A Joint Conference with Language in Motion Northwest
Theme: Culture, Communication and Intercultural Competence
Location: Pacific University, Forest Grove
Date: Saturday, March 1, 2014

Submission Deadline: Monday, January 13, 2014

View the full call for proposals at
View the submission guidelines at

Call for Papers: CIBER Business Language Conference


16th Annual CIBER Business Language Conference
“Embracing a New Era for Business, Language, and Culture”
April 24-26, 2014
Park City, Utah

The Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBERs) invite you to join them in Park City, Utah for an exchange of ideas and perspectives on how foreign language educators best assess and meet the current and future linguistic and cross-cultural needs of global business leaders. The 16th Annual CIBER Business Language Conference goal is to link the needs indicated by U.S. business and the professions with the skills of language administrators, instructors, and researchers at all levels (K-12, college and university, and in-service) in the commonly taught languages as well as those languages for which the current needs are critically lacking or are currently in a developing stage.

The organizers welcome papers from individuals and programs that supply training or instruction for the following:

 Critical language needs at the state, national, or international level (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, etc.)
 Formal and/or informal needs assessments conducted for determining of language/cultural goals
 Tailoring instructional practices or programs to meet learner or client linguistic needs
 Meeting cross-cultural communication needs for professional contexts
 Meeting the needs of heritage language speakers
 Curriculum development to meet the needs of a specific business or profession
 Technology applications for meeting linguistic/ cultural needs of business and/or the professions
 Assessment of linguistic proficiency, cross-cultural communication, or content knowledge
 Developments in theory and method for Business Language Studies

Submission deadline: February 1, 2014.

View the full call for papers at

Call for Papers: Language Revitalization: Sleeping and Awakened Languages of the Gulf South


Conference on Language Revitalization: Sleeping and Awakened Languages of the Gulf South
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, March 7-9, 2014

A language dies every two weeks. In Louisiana, two of the original ten indigenous languages are still spoken in daily communication, but all these founder populations feel a vital connection to their linguistic and cultural roots; many have active language revitalization programs either in place or on the drawing board. This conference, sponsored by the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South and the Tulane Linguistics Program, aims to build a community where indigenous tribe members, linguists, pedagogues, and materials developers can come together and share experiences, methodologies, linguistic analyses, and cultural knowledge. The goal is to share successes and failures in order to create and improve available resources for strengthening indigenous languages.

The organizers welcome abstracts on topics related to our panels:

- Methodology for teaching and studying indigenous language
- Archival materials use
- Practical orthographies
- Analytic software
- Interactive media for language promotion
- Technology in documentation: Methods and pitfalls
- Teaching materials
- Linguistic analyses of Gulf Coast languages
- Language revitalization: Linguistic, ethnographic, and practical studies

This is not an exhaustive list and individual papers and/or colloquia on topics outside these remits are warmly welcomed.

Abstracts are due by January 31, 2014.

View the full call for papers at

Volume 43, Issue 2 of International Association For Language Learning Technology Journal


Volume 43, Issue 2 of the IALLT Journal for Language Learning Technologies is now available online. In this issue:

Effects of Technology Modes on Ratings of Learner Recordings    
Cultures and Communities in the Virtual World: Beginning the Exploration    
Learner Agency, Motive, and Self-Regulated Learning in an Online ESL Writing Class
Legal Issues & LLT Googlizing Copyright    
Language Learning Technology MALL: Future Directions for BYOD Applications

Access these articles and articles from past issues at

Book: The Handbook of Spanish Second Language Acquisition


The Handbook of Spanish Second Language Acquisition
Edited by Kimberly L. Geeslin
Published by Wiley

Bringing together a comprehensive collection of newly-commissioned articles, this Handbook covers the most recent developments across a range of sub-fields relevant to the study of second language Spanish.

 Provides a unique and much-needed collection of new research in this subject, compiled and written by experts in the field
 Offers a critical account of the most current, ground-breaking developments across key fields, each of which has seen innovative empirical research in the past decade
 Covers a broad range of issues including current theoretical approaches, alongside a variety of entries within such areas as the sound system, morphosyntax, individual and social factors, and instructed language learning
 Presents a variety of methodological approaches spanning the active areas of research in language acquisition

Visit the publisher’s website at

Book: Task Equivalence in Speaking Tests


Task Equivalence in Speaking Tests
By Chihiro Inoue
Published by Peter Lang International Academic Publishers

This book addresses the issue of task equivalence, which is of fundamental importance in the areas of language testing and task-based research, where task equivalence is a prerequisite. The main study examines the two ‘seemingly-equivalent’ picture-based spoken narrative tasks, using a multi-method approach combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies with MFRM analysis of the ratings, the analysis of linguistic performances by Japanese candidates and native speakers of English (NS), expert judgments of the task characteristics, and perceptions of the candidates and NS. The results reveal a complex picture with a number of variables involved in ensuring task equivalence, raising relevant issues regarding the theories of task complexity and the commonly-used linguistic variables for examining learner spoken language. This book has important implications for the possible measures that can be taken to avoid selecting non-equivalent tasks for research and teaching.

Visit the publisher’s website at

Book: Teaching Foreign Languages for Tourism


Teaching Foreign Languages for Tourism
Edited by Gloria Bosch and Torsten Schlak
Published by Peter Lang International Academic Publishers

The aim of this book is to offer a broad picture of the current state of academic research on foreign language teaching for the tourism sector from different perspectives and cultural backgrounds. This multilingual volume includes sixteen essays written in four different languages – Spanish, German, French and English – of relevance for tourism. The articles offer different approaches and methods – most of them in applied linguistics – and constitute research studies as well as practical teaching proposals for different languages. The practical teaching proposals have been offered in training programs for tourism studies at different European universities.

This volume will contribute to the foundation of a specific discipline which combines foreign language teaching and learning on the one hand and tourism on the other, its main trends and the skills it requires, and suggests fruitful directions for future research in this field.

Visit the publisher’s website at

December 15, 2013

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements


The NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements represent the culmination of a collaborative effort between the National Council of State Supervisors (NCSSFL) and ACTFL, to connect NCSSFL's LinguaFolio with ACTFL's Proficiency Guidelines. The combination of these two documents into a single, cohesive set of statements makes clear how the performance that language learners demonstrate into the familiar context of the instructional setting points toward a targeted proficiency level. Language educators have requested a clear connection of these two major initiatives, so useful to guide educators and learners.

The Can-Do Statements help learners identify what they need to do to function at a specific level of proficiency. The statements also help educators plan curriculum, units of instruction, and daily lessons to help learners improve their performance and reach a targeted level of proficiency. Through multiple opportunities to show that they "can do" in classroom formative and summative assessment, unit by unit, learners collect the evidence that points toward a specific proficiency level. The proof that a learner has reached a proficiency level can only occur through an independent assessment of proficiency such as the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview or Writing Proficiency Test; however, the Can-Do Statements provide a tool for leaners to chart their progress and for educators to organize and support the learning.

Learn more and access the full document at

Teaching Numbers

Members of the MoreTPRS listserv have been sharing ideas for teaching and practicing the number 1-30. Here is the thread on Yahoo:

You will need to join Yahoo in order to see the posts.

Blog Post: “Brain Breaks” for the Language Classroom


Do your students have trouble sustaining focus for your entire class? Try some “brain breaks” – short activities in which students have a chance to re-charge, so that they can renew their focus on the next part of your class. Here is a recent blog post talking about brain breaks and describing several different kinds that you can use in your classes:

Article Provides Formula for Talking about Controversial Issues with Young Students


Foreign language teachers often like to include current events and global politic in their curriculum. However, since these are often controversial topics, teachers may be worried about offending students, parents, or administrators. Here is a recent article about how one teacher talks about current events with middle school students. Although the topic she uses as an example is gun control, the formula she describes could apply to any controversial topic.

Read the article in the Atlantic here:
Read a summary of the author’s recommendations here:

Foreign Language Advocacy Video: Lead with Languages

From the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, here is a short animate video emphasizing the importance of foreign language learning in the United States:

GlobalFest 2014 in Normal, Illinois


GlobalFest 2014 "You are the Key to the World" will take place Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1, 2014. This Celebration of World Languages & Cultures will take place at Normal Community West High School, 501 North Parkside Road, Normal, Illinois 61761. The deadline to register is December 20, 2013.

For more details go to

Oral Practice/Conversation Game Using M&M’s

Here is a description (and accompanying handouts) of an activity used for oral practice, in which the color of an M&M determines what a student will talk about:

Using Jokes with English Language Learners


Teacher Larry Ferlazzo’s latest post in the New York Times’s Learning Network feature is about using jokes with English language learners. Access an article, follow-up questions about the article, and suggestions for teachers at

Christmas Resources for Spanish Class


Here is a Spanish teacher’s blog post in which she shares some Christmas resources that she has created in past:

Lots of Resources on the Recursos para Maestros de Español Website


The Recursos para maestros de Español website is full of worksheets and other resources by teachers, for teachers. Most of the material is aimed for the upper elementary, but many can be used at other levels as well. Immersion teachers may find these resources especially helpful.

Explore this Spanish-language website at

Spanish Language Article and Translation/Discussion about the Poinsettia


Here is a Spanish-language article about the Poinsettia. On the next page is a section-by-section English translation with some discussion of salient grammatical points:

World Cup Ideas for Spanish


Teacher Maris Hawkins is applying her enthusiasm for soccer and soccer news in her Spanish classes and on her blog. Here are her two latest posts with classroom activities relating to the World Cup in 2014:

Sixth Annual French Night at the Blazers

The Alliance Française will again partner with the Blazers for the 6th Annual French Night at the Moda Center, oBatum2011n Wednesday, February 19 at 7pm. This is a unique opportunity for Portland's French-American community to come together to cheer the Blazers' Nicolas Batum as the team takes on the Western Conference Champions, the San Antonio Spurs. For this group event, the Blazers are often able to arrange for Batum (and sometimes Tony Parker as well) to meet up after the game for Q&A. Make sure to buy your tickets with the special group code (go to for the details) in order to qualify for the post-game event.

Quoi de neuf: Defining Politeness in France, Holiday Savings, and More. Alliance Française (15 Dec 2013).

In the News: Prices in French Café Depend on Customers’ Politeness

This week several media outlets picked up the story of a French café where customers are charged less if they are more polite. Read more via the following links:

Creating a Scavenger Hunt with Google Maps Street View


Here is a description of an activity in which students use street view in Google Maps to conduct a scavenger hunt “in” Paris. The blog post includes the scavenger hunt and map for Paris, but the idea could be used for any language:

Ancient Greek Grammars Online

Here is a list of Ancient Greek grammars that have been digitized:

Activity: Roman History through Mobile Devices

Here is an activity description in which students use their cell phones to find the information they need to construct a large timeline of Roman history:

2014 Zeph Stewart Latin Teacher Training Award


2014 Zeph Stewart Latin Teacher Training Award
Open to those preparing for Latin teacher certification. APA membership is not required.
Funding available: Up to $1500
Deadline: March 3, 2014

For application details go to

Washington Sängerbund: DC-Area German Singing Society


Washington Sängerbund is the oldest German singing society in the Washington area. You can learn more about joining (there are weekly Monday evening rehearsals) or see a schedule of upcoming performances (packed full for Christmas) at

Short Films for Children from the “Mo&Friese“ Festival in Hamburg


Short Films for Children from the “Mo&Friese“ Festival in Hamburg
A Program about Friendship, Courage and Phantasy
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 4 pm
Goethe-Institut, 150 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 200, Chicago
For Children Five Years and Older
Free Admission

See the lineup of films at

Belarusian Summer Language Institute 2014


Dr. Maria Paula Survilla, Executive Director of the Center for Belarusian Studies at Southwestern College (Winfield, KS) invites undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the Center’s 3rd International Summer School of Belarusian Studies from July 6 to August 3, 2014.

The program, co-sponsored by the Belarusian Historical Society (Bialystok, Poland), will be held at the Belarusian Cultural Center and Belarusian Lyceum in the town of Hajnowka, located in the Podlasie region of northeastern Poland, an area of great natural beauty and home to Poland’s large ethnic Belarusian population—an ideal setting for the study of Belarusian language, history, society, and culture, as well as for the study of a broad range of issues relating to cultural diversity and minorities policies in the EU. Ambassador (retired) David H. Swartz will serve as the summer school’s Program Director. Amb. Swartz was the first U.S. ambassador to Belarus. His career also included service as Dean of the School of Language Studies at the U. S. Department of State.

For full details go to

2014 JET Memorial Invitation Program: High School Travel to Japan

From the JTIT-L listserv:

Dear Sensei-gata,

Greetings from the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles!

We are now accepting applications for the 2014 JET Memorial Invitation Program, which will provide 32 American high school students with the opportunity to visit Japan for two weeks in July. This program was started after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 when two Americans participating in the JET Program as assistant English language teachers lost their lives. They had a positive influence on the people and communities they served and JET-MIP was created immediately following the 2011 disaster to commemorate their work. If you are interested in submitting an application for one of your students, please see the list of important dates and the website below for information on the 2014 program:

 February 8, 2014: NJE application ends at 5PM Eastern Time
 March 2, 2014: NJE Examinations Begin
 April 11, 2014: NJE Examinations End
 April 16, 2014: JET-MIP Applications Must Submit to JFLA by E-Mail, Fax, or Mail
 End of April, 2014: Preliminary Selection Will Be Made, Both Student and Teacher Will Be Notified
 End of April, 2014: Online Interview
 Mid-May, 2014: Final Selection Will Be Made, Both Student and Teacher Will Be Notified

Program Period: July 6th – 24th, 2014.

I have also included a link to the 2014 JET-MIP page on our website so you can download the Program Announcement and the Fillable Application Form. Please read through all the materials and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

2014 JET-MIP Website

NJE Website

With regards,
Thomas Lin
2014 JET-MIP Coordinator
The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
5700 Wilshire BLVD, STE 100
Los Angeles, CA 90036
T: 323-761-7510
F: 323-761-7517

Lin, T. (USA Only) Announcement for Japanese-Language Teachers: 2014 JET Memorial Invitation Program. JTIT-L listserv (JTIT-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU, 11 Dec 2013).

Seeking Student Reporters for K-12 Chinese Magazine

iRead Magazine is a new digital magazine dedicated to K–12 Chinese language learners and is sponsored by the Chinese Language Education & Research Center (CLERC). iRead seeks to expand their pool of contributors to include greater representation from different programs and regions of the country. Submissions may be in the form of text, as well as photographs, sketches, comics, audio, and video. Questions and submissions may be directed to Abby Zhang, Editor, at abby dot zhang at ireadmagazine dot com

Asia Society Chinese Language Initiatives. Chinese Language Matters newsletter. 13 Dec 2013.

Radicals Reveal the Order of Chinese Characters

Here is an article about the importance of radicals in learning Chinese characters, along with a link to a list of resources to help teachers with radicals:

Online Professional Development Opportunity: Interactive Arabic Classroom

Due to the popularity of the fall course, Aldeen Foundation and Qatar Foundational International are offering a second online professional development program for Arabic educators called Interactive Arabic Classroom from January 6 to February 17, 2014. The course allows you to spend about 90 minutes per week listening to lectures and watching instructors model the best teaching practices, and also interact with experienced teachers during live classes online. The cost is $75 per teacher or $300 per school (up to 6 teachers). Space is limited to 40 teachers, and registration runs from December 16-30 or until the course is full. Register online at and email Mrs. Thouraya Boubetra with any questions at aldeenarabiconlineeducation at aldeenfoundation dot org

NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities for School and College Educators


Each year, the National Endowment for the Humanities offers tuition-free opportunities for school, college, and university educators to study a variety of humanities topics. Stipends of $1,200-$3,900 help cover expenses for these one- to five-week programs.

Explore the opportunities coming up in summer 2014 at

Southern Conference on Language Teaching 2014 Conference


2014 SCOLT Conference
March 13-15, 2013
Memphis, Tennessee

The Southern Conference on Language Teaching will be partnering with Memphis City Schools, the South Eastern Association for Language Learning Technology, and the state associations from Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee to offer a dynamic program.

Registration deadline is February 14, 2014.

Learn more and register at

2014 Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages


2014 Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Unlock the Gateway to Communication
March 20 - 22, 2014
Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
St. Louis, MO

Visit the conference website at

Call for Papers: Journal of Creative Practices in Language Learning and Teaching


Creative Practices in Language Learning and Teaching is an internationally refereed online journal published twice a year by Universiti Teknologi MARA Kedah (UiTM Kedah).

CPLT welcomes contributions on creative practices / innovations in language learning and teaching. You are cordially invited to submit your manuscript for volume 2, Number 1, 2014 by/no later than 01 March 2014.

See the full call for papers and a link to the current issue at

Call for Proposals: New Book Series: Bilingual Processing and Acquisition


John Benjamins Publishing Company is pleased to announce a new book series: Bilingual Processing and Acquisition. The Bilingual Processing and Acquisition book series seeks to provide a single forum and home for the highest-quality monographs and collective volumes related to language processing issues among multilinguals and learners of non-native languages. These volumes are authoritative works in their areas and should not only interest researchers and scholars investigating psycholinguistic and neurocognitive approaches to bilingualism/multilingualism and language acquisition but also appeal to professional practitioners and advanced undergraduate and graduate students.

In an attempt to be as inclusive as possible, this book series aims to publish volumes that represent the various subfields pertaining to bilingual/multilingual processing and acquisition as demonstrated in current research trends. Some of topics covered may include but are not limited to: language acquisition in adults; language acquisition in children; language attrition (native and non-native); linguistic competence and performance; processing perspectives of interlanguage development; bimodal bilingualism; phonological processing; morphosyntactic processing; orthographic processing; lexical processing; processing perspectives of code-switching; language activation; language representation; language selection; language and inhibitory control; speech perception; language production; working memory; cognitive consequences of bilingualism/multilingualism; cognitive executive functioning; innovative methodologies; artificial intelligence; computational modeling; cross-linguistic interference; language disorders; neurolinguistic approaches to bilingualism/multilingualism; and neurological and cognitive issues in healthy and brain-damaged bilinguals/multilinguals.

View the full call for book proposals at

November/December 2013 Issue of NCLRC Language Resource Newsletter


The November/December 2013 issue of the National Capital Language Resource Center’s Language Resource newsletter is available online at

This issue focuses on proficiency: NCLRC’s authors approach proficiency from different angles and with different goals in mind, each bringing you thoughts about goal-setting, ways to use film to increase and track proficiency growth, collaborative efforts and much more. This issue starts a series which will follow a school system as they struggle to answer the choice of Heritage or Native Speaker programs and designing courses that meet the needs of their community.

Book: Online Teaching and Learning


Online Teaching and Learning: Sociocultural Perspectives
Edited by Carla Meskill
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

Online Teaching and Learning shows how learning through the Internet depends on complex human interactions for success.

The text uses sociocultural theory as its foundational stance to empirically examine the dynamics of these interactions. It seeks to understand meaning making in all of its social, linguistic and cultural complexity. Each chapter examines how it is that culturally and historically situated meanings get negotiated through social mediation in online instructional venues. It extends the ways we think and talk about online teaching and learning.

Visit the publisher’s website at

Book: Assessing Second Language Pragmatics


Assessing Second Language Pragmatics
Edited by Steven Ross and Gabriele Kasper
Published by Palgrave Macmillan

This volume is the first book-length collection of studies on the assessment of pragmatic competencies in a second or foreign language. Grounded in theoretical perspectives on communicative and interactional competencies, the first section of the book examines the reception and production of speech acts through a variety of assessment methods and a range of quantitative and qualitative analyses. The second section investigates interviewer and candidate interaction in different forms of oral proficiency interview.

Visit the publisher’s website at

Book: The Metalinguistic Dimension in Instructed Second Language Learning


The Metalinguistic Dimension in Instructed Second Language Learning
Edited by Karen Roehr and Gabriela Adela Ganem-Gutierrez
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

The metalinguistic dimension refers to the way in which learners bring to bear knowledge about language into their learning of a second language, the "L2". This book brings together new research on the metalinguistic dimension, given its increasing importance in the study of L2 acquisition.

In applied linguistics it is widely accepted that L2 learners develop and use knowledge about language when engaging with the challenging task of acquiring a new language; this applies to both children and adults. It is definitions of the metalinguistic dimension that vary, and findings regarding its role in L2 learning are not necessarily homogenous or compatible. The scope exists for further, empirical, detailed research. This book explores the nature, development and role of the metalinguistic dimension and is appropriate for SLA scholars and those working in language and education.

Visit the publisher’s website at

December 8, 2013

Description Words

A MoreTPRS listserv user recently requested ideas from her colleagues on how to review description words, and what some useful description words would be. See her query and her colleagues’ responses at

Nine Reasons To Use Posters in Your Language Classroom


Teacher Adam Simpson describes having his students make posters in class, and then he gives nine reasons why making posters is a good activity for language learners. Read his blog post at

Iowa Task Force Outlines Challenges for State's English-Language Learners


Iowa Task Force Outlines Challenges for State's English-Language Learners
By Lesli A. Maxwell
December 3, 2013

Just under 5 percent of students in Iowa's K-12 schools are English-language learners, a share that has risen every year for more than a decade. And in 23 of Iowa's school districts, English-learners comprise more than 10 percent of the student body.

That demographic shift alone—coupled with very low achievement levels for students whose first language is not English—prompted state education officials to take a closer look at what policies and practices are needed to better serve Iowa's growing population of English-learners. These are issues that many states that have experienced a rapid influx of immigrant families must tackle.

Iowa took it on this fall, with a task force assigned to look at ELLs, the instructional practices being used to teach them, and their academic outcomes. The task force's findings are outlined in a report that was published last week by the Iowa Department of Education.

Learn more about and access the report at

Civics Lessons for ESL Instructors


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers lesson plans with instructions and teaching strategies for novice and seasoned ESL instructors preparing students for U.S. citizenship. Lessons include content on American Government, American History, and Integrated Civics covered in the Civics Test as well as language needed for the reading and writing portions of the English Test. Handouts with interactive games and student-centered activities encompass all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Access these materials at

Five Fun Websites for Young English Language Learners


Here are descriptions of five websites that young English language learners may benefit from:

37th ELT Blog Carnival: Celebrations

Participants in the ELT Blog Carnival have contributed posts about celebrations and teaching English. See the results at

Learn more about the ELT Blog Carnival and see past Carnivals at

Spanish Project Ideas

FLTEACH listserv users have been sharing ideas for Spanish class projects in two different threads. Click on the links below to go to the original query, and then click on Next in Topic to see the responses.

Zambombazo’s Top Spanish Songs of the Year

We love the Zambombazo website, and we know that many Spanish teachers are always on the lookout for new music to share with their students. Check out Lista Mundial: Los mejores discos de 2013 at . Then listen to a free compilation of songs at . This is the first of a December series of free Monday gifts; see what today’s new gift is at . Finally, see what other music has been recommended since the list was released:

Childhood Questions in Spanish

Here is a list of questions about people’s childhood – the questions rely heavily on the use of the imperfect:

Photo Series: The Best Christmas Markets in France

Here is a nice series of photos and French-language descriptions of holiday markets in France:

Le Journal en Français Facile

From RFI, here is the daily news, presented in “easy” French: easy on the vocabulary and heavy on the context:

Online French Advent Calendar Features a Song Each Day

Here is an online Advent Calendar in French, where clicking on a day leads to a recording of a French Christmas song:

Gaudium Mundo: A Month of Latin Holiday Songs


Gaudium Mundo started as a project back in 2006, and it continues to grow every year thanks to people's contributions and helpful suggestions. The songs include traditional Latin hymns and carols, plus popular English Christmas songs translated into Latin - and some Polish carols translated into Latin, too. See the songs of the day at

New this year: a Pinterest board at

Digital Pompeii Project


The Digital Pompeii Project is a joint venture of the Classical Studies Program, the Humanities Program, and the Center for Advanced Spatial Technology at the University of Arkansas. Its goal is the creation of a comprehensive database for visual art and material culture at Pompeii; the database will be linked with 3D models of the city that can be explored in real time. Currently, the project is focused on modeling the houses found in the Hauser in Pompeji series, as well as the Villa Arianna at Castellammare di Stabia, in conjunction with the Restoring Ancient Stabia foundation.

Learn more about the project and explore the models at

Games for Classical Language Classrooms

On the Classical Association of New England blog this week: a games roundup. Here are some game descriptions and links to online games:

Germany Announces 2013 Youth Words of the Year


The German initiative Jugendwort des Jahres ("young person’s word of the year") has declared the winning word for 2013 to be Babo ("boss" or "leader"), above fame ("great, super, popular") and gediegen (literally, "dignified," but here, "great/cool"). In places four and five came In your face (that’s straight up) and Hakuna matata (no problem, no worries).

Since 2008, young people in Germany have been invited each year to submit and discuss their favorite words on . The voting starts mid-year and involves the top 30 words. The most popular go through to the next round and are submitted at the beginning of November to a jury made up of a range of language specialists. The jury chooses the winner from the top 15, as well as the words that place second to fifth.

Visit the Jugenwort website at

German Language Skills Can Earn Students a Linfield College Scholarship

From the AATG-L listserv:

I am writing on behalf of the Office of Admission and Department of Modern Languages to share an opportunity with you for interested students to win scholarships based on their German language skills.

Each February, Linfield hosts a Competitive Scholarship Day program where students considering Linfield College as an option to continue their education are invited to take one of thirty subject exams designed by our various academic departments. One of these exams is offered in German and three students can win up to $20,000 (which must be used at Linfield).

The German exam scholarships are awarded on the basis of a written examination and an oral interview. The written exam will test reading, writing and aural comprehension. The oral interview consists of a 20-minute interview in which a student’s overall abilities with the language are assessed. The department selects those students who have developed their language proficiency to the highest levels in relation to the time they have been exposed to the language.

If you have students in your classes that you believe would be a good match for Linfield College, and would have potential for success in the German exam, please encourage them to submit their application for admission by December 9, and select German as their top option. Information regarding the application is online at

I hope this information is useful to you, and your students. If I can provide any additional information regarding Linfield College, including opportunities to study German, or our admission and scholarship process, please don’t hesitate to ask. Vielen Dank!

Hommel-Ingram, G. [AATG-L] scholarship information for Linfield College, Oregon. AATG-L listserv (, 3 Dec 2013).

K'iche' Maya Oral History Project


The K'iche' Maya Oral History Project involves the digitization and online dissemination of over one hundred oral histories which were collected in western Guatemala during the 1960s and 1970s. Now digitized and disseminated, this collection of oral histories is available to international audiences, thereby promoting and enhancing the teaching and learning of K'iche' Maya worldwide.

Learn more about and access this collection at

Kathryn Davis Fellowships for Peace: Attend a Middlebury College Language School


Middlebury College is pleased to announce The Kathryn Davis Fellowships for Peace: Investing in the Study of Critical Languages. These 100 fellowships are made possible by a generous gift from Kathryn Davis, to address today's critical need for increased language proficiency in the United States.

The Kathryn Davis Fellowships cover 100% of tuition, room, and board for one summer of summer language study from beginner to graduate levels in any of the ten languages offered at the Middlebury College Language Schools: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian.

The Davis Fellowships are merit-based and intended for exceptionally qualified individuals with demonstrated interest in one or more of the following areas: international, global, or area studies; international politics and economics; peace and security studies; and/or conflict resolution. Individuals in other fields, including working professionals, are encouraged to apply if their field of expertise requires them to study one of the critical languages listed above.

Applications for the Kathryn Davis Fellowship must be postmarked by January 14, 2014.

For full details go to

Study Abroad in Nicaragua for Spanish Teachers


Miami University is offering a Study Abroad experience designed specifically for K12 licensed Spanish teachers. Participants will earn six CEUs from the university while staying in beautiful Granada, Nicaragua July 5-19, 2014. The program fee includes the six CEUs, a homestay with a local Nicaraguan family, advanced conversation classes with native speaking professionals, a service-learning opportunity in local schools, several excursions, and all in-country transportation. Additional costs include airfare and personal spending money.

For more details go to

Virtual Information Session: Online Graduate Certificate in Instructional Technology Integration

You are invited to attend a Virtual Information Session about ACTFL and University of Maryland University College (UMUC)’s Online Graduate Certificate in Instruction Technology Integration on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 from 6:30 - 7:30 PM Eastern Time.

The 12-credit online certificate in Instructional Technology Integration adapts four courses from the UMUC Master of Education in Instructional Technology program, tailoring the courses for those teaching language in both K-12 and higher education. Each 3-credit course focuses on incorporating current and emerging technologies into language curriculum, instruction, and assessment to maximize student learning. All courses are completely online.

For more information about the certificate and to register for the information session, go to

Fourth Annual Alabama Modern Languages Conference


Fourth Annual Alabama Modern Languages Conference
AMLC 2014
Converging Cultures: Languages, Literatures, and Identity
February 2-8. 2-14

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Claire Kramsch (The University of California, Berkeley)

For more details go to

43rd Annual National Association for Bilingual Education Conference


43rd Annual NABE Conference
February 12-15, 2014
San Diego

The NABE conference is the largest gathering of parents, teachers, administrators, policy makers, future teachers, and professors dedicated to serving bilingual and English Language Learners in the United States.

The annual meeting has expanded beyond the field of bilingual education to include 21st Century Learning, Title l , Title lll , Pre-School, Dual Language, Foreign Languages, especially the critical languages, English as a Second Language, Gifted and Talented programs, Sheltered Instruction, Heritage Language Programs, and other approaches for multilingual students from Pre-K to grade 16.

Visit the conference website at

Fifteenth Annual Texas Foreign Language Education Conference


Fifteenth Annual Texas Foreign Language Education Conference (TexFLEC)
February 14 and 15, 2014
College of Liberal Arts Building
The University of Texas at Austin

The Texas Foreign Language Education Conference (TexFLEC) at The University of Texas at Austin is an annual conference that brings together researchers, educators, and students in the fields of foreign language education, TEFL/TESL (Teaching English as a Foreign or Second Language), linguistics, and applied linguistics. TexFLEC provides conference participants with the opportunity to share diverse up-to-date ideas.

Visit the conference website at

AZ CALL Conference


AZ CALL Conference
Saturday, February 15
Memorial Union (MU) ASU
Tempe campus

Coordinated by ASU English Associate Professor Bryan Smith, AZ CALL is a one-day conference held each year that brings together computer-assisted language learning enthusiasts from around the state and region to share ideas, network, and receive valuable feedback on scholarly research, academic papers, and major conference presentations which are in progress or preparation.

More information: