Archive for the ‘Languages’ Category

News: Google debuts online education tool Oppia, UNI-Collaboraion, TandemPlus CLA Language Center

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Google debuts online education tool Oppia to let anyone create interactive activities for teaching others

Google today launched a new online education tool called Oppia, currently an open source project with the goal of making it easy for anyone to create online interactive activities that others can learn from. Called explorations, these activities can be built and contributed to by multiple people from around the world through a Web interface, without any programming required….[!xKqbJ]

UNI-Collaboration: This platform is aimed at supporting university educators and mobility coordinators to organise and run online intercultural exchanges for their students….

TandemPlus, CLA Language Center, Univ of Minnesota: he TandemPlus program organizes opportunities for language students to practice and improve their abilities in the foreign language they are studying. To meet the needs of as many students as possible, we make these practice opportunities available in a variety of formats…. []

CASLS – InterCom news: Sources for Authentic Audio on Spanish, French, and German

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Sources for Authentic Audio on Spanish, French, and German
Source: Language Teachers Collaborate
Language: French, German, Spanish

From languageteacherscollaborate

Here is a collection of links to online sources of authentic audio for Spanish, French, and German:

[CASLS InterCom Article]

InterCom News & Articles: French, Spanish, Arabic, and Bloom’s Taxonomy

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

CASLS InterCom


–New Learning Resource: French Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum

Source: French Embassy
Language: French


L’Art français au Musée d’art de Saint-Louis / French Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum is a new learning resource for teachers and students developed by the University of Missouri-St. Louis with the support of the Cultural Service at the Consulate General of France in Chicago.

It provides images and descriptive texts for nearly 100 works of art by French artists. The works are among the highlights of the collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum. This resource has been designed to facilitate teaching and learning about these works, for students of French language and culture as well as students of art. It includes information about the work, the historical moment, the artistic genre, and the artist.

All texts are provided in English and French, with audio recordings in French.

This resource is available at

–Phone Conversations

Source: Spanish Phone Conversations
Language: Arabic, Spanish

The Spanish Phone Conversations website contains over 300 casual phone searchable by level, country/dialect, and topic. It is available at Read a review of this resource at

There is a companion website, Arabic Phone Conversations, available at It was featured in a past InterCom article:


–Blog Post: Bloom’s Taxonomy and Language Proficiency

Image from

Source: Amy Lenord’s Blog
Language: ANY

Spanish teacher Amy Lenord writes:

“Since my teaching assignment this year is only level 1, I have had a unique opportunity to really think about what it is we are teaching in that first level and the language tasks we ask our students to perform. One thing I have noticed is that most level one curricula focus heavily on getting students to describe people, places and things, and while I do believe this is extremely valuable, I think in level one we are missing some important every day communicative tasks in our lessons. …

“The other day I was cleaning out my portable hard drive when I ran across some jpegs of Bloom’s taxonomy I had tucked away and had an epiphany. When I read the verbage that was categorized by the taxonomy skills I realized that right before my eyes were great beginnings of real life language tasks waiting to be employed in my lessons. So, being the tinkerer that I am, I took the verbs and came up with a few ideas of my own…”

Read on for some ideas to get even beginning students using higher level thinking skills in their second language:

Webinar Announcement: CALPER/LARC webinar – Assessing Vocabulary with Dr John Read

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Webinar with Dr. John Read

Assessing Vocabularywebinar_0211

Date: Wednesday February 19, 2014
Time: 12:30-1:40 pm Pacific Time / 2:30-3:40 pm Central Time / 3:30-4:40 pm Eastern Time

Presentation Description:

Learners of second languages are very conscious that one of the key problems they face in becoming proficient users of the language is how to acquire an adequate knowledge of vocabulary. Thus, teachers need to be able to monitor their students’ vocabulary development and set realistic targets for learning the words that they need to know. At one level, this may simply mean giving regular progress tests on the vocabulary presented in the textbook or specified by the curriculum. But vocabulary tests can serve a variety of purposes in a language teaching program, such as placing students in the appropriate class, diagnosing difficulties with reading and other skills, and assessing the adequacy of the learners’ vocabulary knowledge for particular functional uses, especially when they need the second language for employment or higher education.

To see the detail and registration, please go to the webinar homepage.

[CALPER Facebook post]

Conference Announcement: CLTA (California Language Teachers’ Association)

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

CLTA (California Language Teachers’ Association) in San Diego! March 13 – 16, 2014

California Language Teachers Association Conference: This year’s focus is Common Core and Technology. There will be a workshop on implementing Common Core including emphases on ELL students. There will be a wide array of presentations that deal with not only Common Core but also new technologies, flipped classroom, QR Codes, iPads and Apps as well as many other topics that will help language teachers improve their craft….



To see the conference detail, please visit


[From: LARC_SDSU Twitter @LARC_SDSU]

News: MOOCs courses in foreign languages.

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

It’d be interesting to see what kind of courses will be offered in foreign languages.

QuickWire: Coursera Joins Foundation to Offer MOOCs in Spanish

Coursera, a company that helps clients build massive open online courses, will soon expand its reach internationally by offering Spanish-language MOOCs. On Wednesday the company unveiled its latest partnership, with a Mexican philanthropic organization called the Carlos Slim Foundation, and announced plans to translate 50 Coursera courses into Spanish by the end of the year…


Articles Jan 27, 2014- Newspaper AR, Most mispronounced word in English…etc

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Japan Using #AR To Teach Kids to Enjoy the Newspaper!


‘Phenomenon’ is the most mispronounced word
With nine letter and four syllables, the tongue-twisting ‘phenomenon’ has been named as the most mispronounced word in the English language.


The South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI) Funding

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Apply for funding to learn a South Asian language this summer!

The South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI) based at the University of Wisconsin – Madison is offering intensive summer courses in the following South Asian languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Pashto, Sanskrit, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, and Urdu. 

Applications for Summer 2014 are now being accepted for the following funding opportunities:

FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellowships: Open to graduate students who are US citizens or permanent residents, deadline February 15, 2014.

Half/Full Fee Remissions: Open to all SASLI applicants, deadline March 15, 2014.

Project GO funding for Hindi and Urdu: Open to ROTC undergraduates who are US citizens, deadline January 10, 2014.

$1000 Fee Remission: Open to all SASLI applicants who do not have other, external funding.  Priority deadline April 1, 2014.

Details and links the applications can be found on our website:

[Source:  This LCTL-T listserv sponsored by CARLA at the University of Minnesota]

International TV programs

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Not only SCOLA service described in the previous post, there are other services (with or without the fee) for international TV and films.

The viki website can search the movies and films by languages and/or countries.  The hulu website allows you to search the international movies and films by genre.

viki website

viki website

hulu website

hulu website


There are also the issues and barriers associated with broadcasting the international TV programing.

There was the live event called “Language Lab Unleashed (LLU) Live #9: Int’l Television Programming & Language Centers” at Language Lab Unleashed website [].

It is the event in which 3 language lab directors (also some are language instructors) sharing the ideas of viewing and using the international TV.

Fundamentally, the most significant aspect of having such service is for instructors to figure out what they would like to do with this sort of content.  Depending on the needs, there may be some alternative option that they can seek out.

They have also emphasized that the technology is already there for us to stream the international programs but we have the regulation of the geographical location for some services.

Through the live session, they have talked about pros and cons between International TV service and purchasing films as well as what kind of device and services are currently available on the market.  These are some of the device and services mentioned in the event.

Roku is the digital streaming player that will send the programing to TV monitor through WiFi.

ROKU device

ROKU device

There are the services such as dishworld which has the contract with Roku device to connect to the service.


Again, the bottom line is the question of ‘how the instructors and students would like to use the content’.  Depending on the purpose of its use, some may be better off with purchasing the series of films.  Other may decide to go with subscribing the services such as SCOLA [previous blog post].


Advocacy video, NCLRC newsletter, NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statement, ACTFL 2013 presentation handouts

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Foreign Language Advocacy Video: Lead with Languages



The November/December 2013 issue of the National Capital Language Resource Center’s Language Resource newsletter is available online at

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements
Progress Indicators for Language Learners – See more at:


Did you miss the 2013 ACTFL Convention? You can download 125+ presentation handouts here:

[Twitter: Center for Language Study at Yale]