N.C. kindergartners learn Spanish, English, Urdu | France seeks to boost students' language skills | Texas district approves virtual teacher pilot program
September 20, 2018
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N.C. kindergartners learn Spanish, English, Urdu
N.C. kindergartners learn Spanish, English, Urdu
(Pixabay)
Kindergartners at two North Carolina district schools are learning languages in a new bilingual program that officials say will improve students' learning. At one school, students are learning Spanish and English, while students at the other school have that option or can learn Urdu and English.
The News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.) (9/19) 
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France seeks to boost students' language skills
France seeks to boost students' language skills
(Pixabay)
France is taking steps to improve students' language skills -- following a disappointing international ranking -- by recommending that students watch television and films in English. Other recommendations include teaching subjects such as science, history and math in English and other languages.
The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (9/11) 
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Technology & Trends
Texas district approves virtual teacher pilot program
One Texas district has approved a pilot program to hire virtual teachers for American Sign Language classes at two high schools. ASL is considered the third most popular foreign language in the district, where it is accommodating 74 of 174 students seeking ASL instruction because of a lack of teachers.
Odessa American (Texas) (9/18),  KWES-TV (Midland, Texas) (9/18) 
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Other News
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Policy Watch
ACT to develop PISA test to assess creativity
ACT to develop PISA test to assess creativity
(Pixabay)
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is in a deal with ACT to design a Program for International Student Assessment test that would assess student creativity. If adopted, the exam could be administered as soon as 2021 across the world and would include sections on written and visual expression as well as social and scientific problems.
Education Week (tiered subscription model) (9/19) 
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Finding French teachers difficult in Canadian province
Some schools in Saskatchewan, Canada, are replacing French courses with nonlanguage courses since French was dropped as a mandatory subject. The move comes after a yearslong struggle to recruit French teachers for core and immersion courses.
CBC News (Canada) (9/17) 
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Other News
8 tips for parents of language learners
There are many ways families can support a child's language learning at home, including reading with them and encouraging curiosity. Download this infographic in English or Spanish to encourage family engagement.
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Research Notes
Individual meetings benefit teachers, students
Individual meetings benefit teachers, students
(Pixabay)
Heather Stinnett, lead adviser for Khan Lab School in California, says meeting one-on-one with her students has improved her teaching. In this commentary, she shares how the meetings have changed her classroom culture, helped her see students as individuals, and improved student scores and behavior.
EdSurge (9/18) 
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ACTFL News
ACTFL Winter Institute registration begins
Registration for the 2019 Proficiency & Performance Winter Institute is now open. Learn from nationally recognized experts specializing in proficiency-based language instruction. Locations in Alexandria, Va., and San Diego. Learn more.
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The search for ACTFL's next executive director is open
The search for the next executive director of ACTFL is being handled by Vetted Solutions working with ACTFL's Search Committee, chaired by Dave McAlpine with members Ali Moeller, Lea Graner-Kennedy, Jocelyn Raught, Mary Lynn Redmond, Debbie Robinson and Astrid Ruiz. The position profile was developed based upon Vetted Solutions' meetings with the ACTFL Board, ACTFL staff and responses to stakeholder surveys. Vetted Solutions has reviewed a great deal of information, including ACTFL's strategic plan, communications vehicles and financials in their creation of this profile. View the profile.
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The news reported in SmartBrief is a collection of articles originating from news outlets in the U.S. and around the world, and does not necessarily reflect the official position of ACTFL.

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