A bumper crop of resources to help make the new academic year a success
New Brunswick and Québec are celebrating 400 years of Francophone history by signing a joint declaration on the Canadian Francophonie, as a testimony to their deep attachment to the French language and to their desire to continue to advance and promote French in Canada. continue reading
August 22nd, 2016 | Leave your comments
Preschool skills are transferred from one language to the other
New research from the University of Missouri shows that Spanish-speaking preschoolers experience significant improvements in their English skills when they have a good grasp of Spanish letters and numbers. In another study, the researcher found that behavior traits play a role in English learning. These findings suggest that early education programs that connect children’s word and math skills in Spanish to those in English can increase school readiness for Spanish-speaking children. continue reading
August 16th, 2016 | 3 Comments
Kristal Bivona looks at teaching specialized Spanish programs
For years, English language instructors have had access to a wide variety of materials to help teach English for specific purposes; now, Spanish teachers have a burgeoning subfield of teaching Spanish for specific purposes. In the U.S., students can take advantage of courses in Spanish for business, Spanish for academic research, and Spanish for the health care industry. A course in Spanish for specific purposes will address grammar, but it may not be taught in a communicative approach and may not even instruct all four skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
July 19th, 2016 | 3 Comments
It’s not only humans who have language systems built on linguistic rules and patterns. Gelada monkeys from the Ethiopian highlands have exhibited that their calls follow the same linguistic rule that is evident in many languages—Menzerath’s law.
July 14th, 2016 | 1 Comment
Kathy Stein-Smith explains why demand is growing for French the world over.
There is one skill that is being learned around the world, with enrollments growing by 50% in Asia and Africa, while in the U.S. programs are being reduced and even eliminated. This highly sought-after global skill is not social media, data analytics, or coding; it is learning French. French is a language that reflects both the rich cultural and historical heritage of France and also that of the worldwide Francophonie. It is a language of international diplomacy, a global business language, and a top internet language, which points to the growing importance of French.
July 12th, 2016 | 2 Comments
Paula Cuello and Lori Langer de Ramirez explore environmental
studies in the Spanish classroom.
It all started with my sixth-grade son. After returning from summer vacation, he visited our fourth-floor science wing and was thrilled to notice a large fish tank with five new creatures inside. The axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) intrigued him, and it wasn’t long until he convinced me to have a look. At first I was turned off. These small creatures look oddly unfinished. They are somewhat squishy and, as they don’t have eyelids, they never blink, giving them a creepy air. But after seeing them through my son’s eyes, I started appreciating their cuteness. Their mouths are arranged in perma-smiles and their black beady eyes are quite endearing. Over time, the ratio between love and hate moved heavily over into the “love” column, and I was hooked.
July 12th, 2016 | 2 Comments
Paula Love shares her insights on what the new legislation will mean to language and literacy educators in terms of funding, accountability, and professional development.
July 6th, 2016 | Leave your comments
Özge Karaoğlu asks if all the children we teach really are digital natives
WHAT IS A DIGITAL NATIVE?
The term digital native was coined at the beginning of this century. It reflected the idea that young people today have grown up in a digital, media-saturated world. According to the theory, these young digital prodigies should have a different way of looking at online technology and different expectations and comfort levels when it comes to the role of technology in their learning. They are connected multitaskers who are the native speakers of the new digital world, and their expertise extends to computers, video games, the internet, and all the latest social and mobile technologies.
We assume that they must somehow have a naturally deeper knowledge and understanding of all of these technologies compared to so-called digital immigrants, people like their teachers who weren’t born into this technology and were forced to learn it.
July 6th, 2016 | 1 Comment
Common Core supporters in Massachusetts will no longer worry about defending their stance on a November ballot. The citizens-backed petition to end the Common Core in Massachusetts was struck down by a Supreme Court Ruling on Friday. The petition sought to revert Massachusetts to its pre-Common Core standards. It also sought to set up a review structure for its standards, in which educators release all state assessment test “questions, constructed responses and essays, for each grade and every subject.” The Supreme Court ruled that the repeal ballot was erroneously certified by Attorney General Maura Healey, as each ballot can only have one policy issue for voters to decide on and this one had two. The ballot could propose to repeal the Common Core, or implement a review standard, but not both. The court stated that voters must be able to decide on a unified statement of public policy. continue reading