July 29, 2021
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Spotlight on Languages
Cree language, culture taught in board game
Trails and Overflow, a board game designed to teach players the Cree language and culture as they complete a journey, could be used to promote preservation efforts in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Ryan Schaefer and Eyzaah Bouza, both 20 years old, started creating the free game while attending a language revitalization and game development workshop in 2018.
Full Story: CBC News (Canada) (7/28) 
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A group of Minnesota adults who are learning English are learning to drive in a program that is designed to encourage traffic safety and educate drivers who speak other languages. Offered by a partnership of the police department and a school district and funded by a grant, the free course seeks to teach the rules of the road, including how to signal and change lanes, make U-turns and merge onto a highway, to drivers from diverse backgrounds.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (7/25) 
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Improving Teacher Wellness and Self-Care
As teachers prepare to head back to the classroom, many are looking for ways to manage and protect their mental and emotional health, especially after what has been an incredibly taxing past year. Join SmartBrief on August 26th as mental health experts offer practical tips and ideas to help teachers and school leaders. Register Now
Technology & Trends
A group of Oklahoma educators have recently attended Tulsa Public Schools' annual Language and Cultural Services Summit to learn how to support the diverse student population. English is a second language for a third of the district's students, with more than 75% identified as nonwhite and who collectively speak more than 72 languages.
Full Story: KWTV-TV (Oklahoma City) (7/26) 
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Students learn about race, racism via TikTok
(Antony Jones/Getty Images)
Legislation in some states is seeking to limit conversations about race and racism in schools, but educators say those same conversations increasingly are taking place on social media -- including TikTok. Some who produce such content for TikTok say the attention on such legislation has driven more viewers to their videos.
Full Story: EdSurge (7/27) 
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Policy Watch
CDC: Wear masks in schools
The CDC on Tuesday reversed its previous guidance on mask wearing due to the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, now recommending masks indoors in some cases, including in schools. The CDC recommends "everyone in K-12 schools wear masks indoors, including teachers, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination."
Full Story: Chalkbeat (7/27),  U.S. News & World Report (7/27),  National Public Radio (7/27),  Education Week (7/27) 
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The US Education Department and State Department issued a joint statement citing their "renewed commitment" to international education, following a decrease in interest among international students in studying in the US in recent years. "The United States cannot afford to be absent from the world stage," the statement said.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (7/26) 
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Take a deep dive into Program Improvement with TLE
The latest issue of The Language Educator (TLE) contains seven focus topics articles on Program Improvement - Setting Benchmarks and Assessing Proficiency. This is part two of a series that began in the last issue. Not a member? Join today and gain immediate access to this issue, along with a library of all past issues. Read it now.
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Become a certified OPI tester
ACTFL is seeking language professionals to serve as freelance language testers. Candidates accepted into the ACTFL ILR OPI Tester Program receive free access to training and equipment necessary to conduct oral proficiency interviews.

ACTFL is currently recruiting for multiple languages with an emphasis on the following languages: Afrikaans, Akan-Twi, Arabic-Saudi, Assyrian, Azerbaijani/Azeri, Baluchi, Bulgarian, Burmese, Chavacano, Danish, Estonian, Fula/Peul, Ga, Hausa, Hiligaynon/Ilonggo, Ilocano, Indonesian, Krio, Kurdish-Kurmanji, Kurdish-Sorani, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandingo-Bambara, Mongolian, Pashto-Afghan, Persian-Afghan (Dari), Persian-Farsi, Thai, Tibetan and Tigrinya. Apply now.
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If the ends don't justify the means, then what does?
Bob Moses,
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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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