Palestinians in Gaza express interest in learning Hebrew | Culture is responsible for French gloom, study finds | Md. educator advocates for more foreign language instruction
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March 26, 2013
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Iu-Mien people finally get a written record of their language
A professor in California has put together a 855-page dictionary as a comprehensive English translation of the Iu-Mien language. The effort took decades, and it is believed to be the only such written record of the language. The Mien people have had a difficult history that includes leaving China and immigrating to parts of Southeast Asia, which made it challenging to develop and maintain a written language. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (3/23)
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Palestinians in Gaza express interest in learning Hebrew
Educators in Gaza have seen increasing interest in Hebrew, fueled by encouragement from the Hamas government, which launched a pilot program last fall. The deputy minister of education, Mohamed Suleiman Abu Shqair, said he hopes the efforts show that the people of Gaza are "open-minded." Many look at learning Hebrew from a pragmatic standpoint, saying it will give their children better economic opportunities. The Christian Science Monitor (3/18)
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Other News
Teachers share their thoughts on digital language labs
World language teacher, Kelly Vaughn, says using the Sony Virtuosoâ„¢ technology has helped her students meet language standards through differentiated lessons. "Our language lab helps us keep students on task and working both independently and in groups, and enables teachers to monitor and give instant feedback." Read what other teachers are saying.
Technology & Trends
Md. educator advocates for more foreign language instruction
Baltimore County, Md., schools superintendent Dallas Dance recently outlined his vision for the district's future, listing foreign language as one of his top priorities. Dance said he believes students should begin learning languages in elementary school rather than middle school, and that the change will make students more competitive in the global workforce. He also said he will focus on getting students better access to technology. The Baltimore Sun (3/21)
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Teacher from France visits Va. classroom as part of partnership
Nicolas Houpert's math students in France, and Heidi Trude's French classes at Skyline High School in Front Royal, Va., have had a partnership since last year when they began communicating via Skype. The partnership grew this year to include Facebook communication, letters and, finally, a weeklong visit from Houpert to the U.S., while Trude will visit France next year. Through the communication, students in France were able to develop their English skills -- a requirement for them -- and students in the U.S. worked on their French. Northern Virginia Daily (Strasburg, Va.) (3/21)
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Policy Watch
To aid diplomacy, President Obama says "Shalom"
President Barack Obama visited Israel last week, and throughout his trip he impressed his hosts by using Hebrew words in his speeches and public appearances. Obama delved deeper than the typical "shalom" greeting and told Israelis "atem lo levad" (you are not alone). He even said some phrases with tricky pronunciations for English speakers, and many Hebrew speakers expressed appreciation for the president learning their language. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/22)
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Other News
Nominate a colleague for an ACTFL award
In addition to the popular Teacher of the Year Award, ACTFL offers ten other awards that recognize outstanding contributions to the field of language learning education. ACTFL is accepting nominations for its various awards. A deadline for a batch of the awards is approaching -- May 28th! The results of the selections are announced during the ACTFL Annual Meeting and in the January issue of "The Language Educator." More information on our awards page.
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ACTFL offers scholarships to members
Seven scholarships for language study will be offered to ACTFL members in 2013. ACTFL is partnering with four different organizations to offer summer study abroad language learning program scholarships. From study in Mexico to Chile, or even online, enrich your summer by learning Spanish or Mandarin! The deadline to apply is this Friday, Mar. 29, 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.
It is often laziness and timidity that keep us within our duty while virtue gets all the credit."
-- François de la Rochefoucauld,
French writer
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