What does the future hold for Iceland's language? | Students gather to celebrate German culture | How global competency is being built by foreign-language teachers
October 18, 2018
ACTFL SmartBrief
News for and about language educators
Spotlight on Languages
What does the future hold for Iceland's language?
What does the future hold for Iceland's language?
Iceland's flag (Pixabay)
Icelandic, Iceland's official language and the tongue spoken by the Vikings, is facing challenges as the island nation becomes less isolated, writes Ragnar Jonasson, an author from Iceland. In this commentary, Jonasson highlights how tourism is transforming Iceland's economy and ponders what it means if English becomes more commonly used.
The Guardian (London) (10/17) 
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Students gather to celebrate German culture
Nearly 800 students from 19 middle and high schools across the District of Columbia, Maryland and central Pennsylvania recently celebrated German culture and heritage at German-American Day on a Maryland college campus. The students performed traditional folk dances, enjoyed German food and took the opportunity to sharpen their German-language skills.
Carroll County Times (Westminster, Md.) (10/16) 
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Other News
See a virtual field trip in action!
HMH Field Trips for Google Expeditions and Teacher's Guides offer resources to easily plan trips and to motivate students to communicate for authentic purposes. Learn more about the experiences of students in Mount Prospect, IL as they take Field Trips to Mexico and Spain.
Technology & Trends
Schools seek to close "homework gap"
School districts are experimenting with ways to provide broadband access for students who lack service at home, a problem that particularly affects rural and minority children, the Department of Education says. One solution to the "homework gap" problem: mapping out areas where students can access free Wi-Fi.
EdSurge (10/15) 
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Other News
Policy Watch
Opinion: What's behind the opt-out movement?
Opinion: What's behind the opt-out movement?
The testing opt-out movement appears to be picking up steam, with 1 in 5 New York state students opting out of standardized exams over the past four years, according to Oren Pizmony-Levy, assistant professor Columbia University's Teachers College. In this commentary, he suggests that students and families might opt out less if they were included in the decision-making process and if testing policies were more transparent.
The Hechinger Report (10/18) 
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Effort seeks to involve teachers in research
The nonprofit Jefferson Education Exchange and the US Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences are collaborating on a listening tour aimed at identifying ways education research could be more accessible and useful for teachers. Mark Schneider, director of the IES, says teachers should be more involved in the process.
EdSurge (10/16) 
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Other News
Research Notes
Can silence improve learning?
Can silence improve learning?
Students who have time for contemplative reflection during the school day are better able to retain what they learn, writes Dana Weeks, head of Germantown Friends School. In this blog post, she shares how her own school ensures students have time to be silent with their thoughts.
Edutopia online (10/15) 
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Seeking native/heritage speakers in the D.C.-metro area
We are seeking native or heritage speakers of Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai for audio and video production for ACTFL's Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages. Casting positions include actors and voice-over roles for each language. Actors should appear between the ages of 10 and 18. Contact us to learn more today.
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ACTFL Proficiency & Performance Winter Institute
Attention all language educators. The 4-Day OPI Assessment Workshop is being held in multiple languages including Arabic, Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese. Make sure to register before Dec. 8 to get in the action.
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Annual Convention and World Language Expo
When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means the sun is about to set.
Lin Yutang,
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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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