Subjunctive mood shows the joys, challenges of French | How a teacher in Spain teaches English through playwriting | Multilingual Prince Charles looks to add Arabic to his repertoire
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March 19, 2013
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Globalization strengthens commitment to language learning
Los Angeles Times writer Cindy Chang tells the story of her relationship with Mandarin. Chang, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, avoided speaking Mandarin so as not to stand out from her peers -- before the days of emphasis on the global economy. Now the ability to speak another language is seen as a valuable skill, she writes, highlighting the lengths to which parents and communities are going to preserve foreign languages and cultures. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (3/16)
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Subjunctive mood shows the joys, challenges of French
Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is learning to speak French, and recently his instructor started introducing him to the subjunctive mood. "The terror of French students," Coates calls it. It's used in French to express deeper subtleties of meaning, he writes. While learning it is difficult, the experience has taught Coates how incredible the study of language can be. The Atlantic online (3/14)
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Other News
21st Century Technology for Language Learning
Strong communications skills enabling students to succeed in the 21st century global marketplace are the focus of the instructional technologies from SANS Inc. More and more schools are understanding that digital language labs and 24/7 virtual learning spaces help to engage their students more fully. Read the latest news on our blog.
Technology & Trends
Survey: Teaching MOOCs is time consuming but worth it
Nearly 80% of faculty who teach massive open online courses said the courses "are worth the hype," according to a survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Still, a majority -- 55% -- said teaching MOOCs takes time away from other duties such as research and traditional teaching. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free content) (3/18)
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Shared words, interests are at heart of Twitter "tribes"
Twitter users often form "tribes" marked by common interests or occupations or unique word usage, researchers at Royal Holloway and Princeton universities say. "This means that by looking at the language someone uses, it is possible to predict which community he or she is likely to belong to, with up to 80% accuracy," Royal Holloway researcher Dr. John Bryden says. RedOrbit (3/14)
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Other News
Policy Watch
Dual immersion popularity spreads to Wyoming
A group of parents and educators in Wyoming's Natrona County School District are advocating for the addition of dual immersion programs in some elementary schools. Group members recently observed other schools operating such programs in Utah and were impressed. "You just have to see it to believe it," said Randall Larson, a local principal. "It's not a barrier for the kids at all." Star-Tribune (Casper, Wyo.) (tiered subscription model) (3/17)
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Foreign languages could be dropped from Mich. graduation rules
Legislation being considered by lawmakers in Michigan would eliminate foreign language studies from the state's high school graduation requirements. However, a recent survey finds that foreign language immersion programs already are declining in other districts nationwide -- particularly those in poor and rural areas. Supporters say the bill would benefit students who are focused on technical careers, rather than college, but opponents, including the Michigan Department of Education, cite the benefits of foreign language education. The Detroit News (3/18)
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Spring 2013 webinar series fast approaching
The spring webinar series, "Curriculum and Instruction: Purposeful Planning to Increase Student Learning" will take place on the following dates: April 3rd, 17th and May 8th. Tune in at 3:30 pm EDT on April 3rd for the "Curriculum Design" webinar featuring speakers Donna Clementi, Lawrence Univ, WI, and Laura Terrill, Indianapolis, IN. Register to experience the process of creating a standards-based curriculum that includes performance indicators appropriate for each language learning level.
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Startalk summer programs announced
ACTFL is now accepting applications from teachers and students for STARTALK summer programs. Apply for any of the three programs: Discover Arabic, Chinese or Russian. The teacher programs are intensive two-week sessions that provide professional development with a focus on quality instruction, curriculum and assessment. The student programs include classroom instruction as well as cultural field trips. Application deadline: April, 19 2013. Learn more.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Head of Modern LanguagesThe Nightingale-Bamford SchoolNew York, NY
Kindergarten/World Language Partner Teachers - Spanish Immersion ProgramSeaford School DistrictSeaford, DE
Assistant Professor - FrenchAustin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN
Researcher in Applied LinguisticsHoroof Language CenterDubai, United Arab Emirates
Click here to view more job listings.
You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it."
-- Margaret Thatcher,
British prime minister
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