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January 8, 2013
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News for and about language educators

  Spotlight on Languages 
  • Language acquisition begins before birth, research finds
    Infants begin absorbing language -- and can recognize foreign languages -- even sooner than previously thought, according to a study. "This is the first study that shows fetuses learn prenatally about the particular speech sounds of a mother's language," says Christine Moon, a professor at Pacific Lutheran University and co-author of the study. "This study moves the measurable result of experience with speech sounds from six months of age to before birth." MedicalDaily.com (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Calif. immersion program seeks to preserve Hmong culture
    Susan B. Anthony Elementary School in Sacramento, Calif., recently started one of only two Hmong immersion programs in the U.S. Dual immersion programs in languages such as Spanish and Mandarin are much more common than Hmong, but Sacramento is home to a large Hmong community. "The idea of the Hmong immersion program is so students will become bicultural and biliterate in both English and Hmong," said Lee Yang, the school's principal and a former director of Sacramento City Unified School District's Multilingual Literacy Department. PRI (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
SmartBrief is on Remind
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  Technology & Trends 
  • Technology connects Ind. students to the rest of the world
    The St. Michael School in Schererville, Ind., has established a pen pal program to expose students to other cultures. With teachers facilitating the learning process, students use digital communication, translation programs, discussion boards and other tools to interact with classrooms in places such as Mexico, Russia and Norway. "We find a partner classroom and collaborate on school projects, practice foreign language skills and establish international friendships," said Brenda Tovsen, the school's technology coordinator. The Times (Munster-Hammond-Merrillville-Valparaiso, Ind.) (1/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Khan Academy continues to grow more popular
    The Khan Academy, which offers free online lessons on various topics, has grown increasingly popular among students and teachers worldwide, with 7 million students now reportedly using its resources each month. The goal is for students to learn about specific topics using the online videos, then work collaboratively and creatively in the classroom with the help of their teachers. Critics, however, say the approach is likely to work only for motivated students. ABC News (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
  Policy Watch 
  • Foreign languages play a critical role in education
    Learning a second language should remain an emphasis in schools, along with math and reading, asserts Carla Thomas McClure, an education writer and editor. Among the potential benefits of a greater focus on second language learning are achievement gains, improved cognitive ability, and better readiness for college and career. McClure also offers a list of steps that schools can take to establish successful foreign language programs. District Administration magazine (1/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Opinion: Time to re-evaluate Canadian approach to language
    It's time for Canada to commit to making its population truly bilingual, writes Irvin Studin of the University of Toronto. Studin writes that the odds of encountering someone fluent in both English and French in Canada are less than you would expect, and he recommends the country embrace a language policy to make it multilingual. The Toronto Star (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  ACTFL News 
  • Last chance to submit a proposal for ACTFL 2013
    There is only one more day to submit a proposal for ACTFL 2013 in Orlando, FL. The deadline is Jan. 9. As a reminder, compelling proposals address the needs of today's learners and educators by focusing on innovations and research-informed practices. Special consideration will be given to proposals that highlight personalizing the learning experience, engaging the learner, collaborating with others and assessing learning and teaching. Submit a proposal today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Request free ACTFL information packets for your students
    Request packets loaded with information about the products and services available from ACTFL. Included are sample copies of The Language Educator and Foreign Language Annals. Encourage your students to take advantage of the many professional and career-related resources offered by ACTFL. ACTFL student membership is only $25/year. To order these FREE packets, send an e-mail containing your name, address and number of packets requested to membership@actfl.org. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ACTFL ->ACTFL Home  |  Join ACTFL  |  The Language Educator
2012 Annual Convention & World Languages Expo

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  SmartQuote 
It is wise to keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final."
--Roger Babson,
American entrepreneur and business theorist


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