Most Clicked ACTFL SmartBrief Stories


1. Study explores ties between climate, languages

ACTFL SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

Complex tonal languages -- those in which tones can change the meaning of a word -- more often are spoken in warm, dry areas. Such languages are 10 times less prevalent in dry, subfreezing climates, according to a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers say the findings show how climate can shape how languages evolve. ScientificAmerican.com (01/28)


2. How some language teachers use technology to boost learning

ACTFL SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

Foreign language teachers in some Pennsylvania districts are using language learning technology to bolster instruction. Technology tools for language learning include the use of smartphone and computer applications, video games and online programs to learn vocabulary words and translate phrases. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (01/28)


3. Heritage speakers spark demand for new language programs

ACTFL SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Demand for language learning programs in less common languages such as Hmong, Arabic, Hindi and Swahili often begins in the community, said Marty Abbott, executive director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. "Generally, those programs don't happen without a local community of heritage speakers that are interested in having their children maintain and develop the language," Abbott said. District Administration magazine online (01/27)


4. 4 tips to help new ELL students adjust

ACTFL SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Educators can help new students who are English language learners adjust to the classroom by aiding their transition, sixth grade literacy teacher Rhonda Stewart writes in this blog post. She offers four ideas to welcome these students, including creating a welcome packet and conversation cards that teach students key phrases to help them learn English and navigate the classroom. Scholastic.com (01/23)


5. How 3 educators use technology in the classroom

ACTFL SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Teachers profiled in this article are finding new ways to use technology in their classrooms. One teacher has created a YouTube channel, where students share their work. The medium has been effective, the teacher said, in helping some students feel more comfortable sharing work with others. eSchool News (free registration) (01/26)


6. N.J. school focuses language options on global goals

ACTFL SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Students at a New Jersey school have access to Spanish, Latin and Arabic courses. Other schools in the state are finding ways to offer languages, such as Arabic, which some say are playing a larger role in the global world. "We don't want them to just get a job, but to effect change in the world," school President Donald Reilly said. "Part of that is understanding others, both their language and their culture." Press of Atlantic City (N.J.) (tiered subscription model), The (01/24)


7. Colleges make difficult decisions to trim programs

ACTFL SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

Humanities programs such as music and foreign language are being cut at some colleges as lawmakers, administrators and others look for ways to trim costs. Indiana State University recently cut 48 academic programs, including art history, German and journalism. Hechinger Report, The (01/28)


8. Illustration helps explain links between Indo-European, Uralic languages

ACTFL SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Guardian (London), The (01/23)


9. Documentary explores what's at stake when languages disappear

ACTFL SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

PBS (01/27)


10. Student designed mobile language app earns top honor

ACTFL SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Miami Herald (tiered subscription model), The (01/25)




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