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Greeting for May 2015

greeting Spring brings with it the mad rush to finish everything before the academic year ends. We hope you have been able to take some time to personally refresh your professional growth through attending one of the many local and regional meetings, conferences, workshops, and seminars that have taken place recently. Our newsletter authors have presented some ideas for ramping up the interesting and exciting in your classrooms: new apps that will jazz up presentations and ease record-keeping; thoughts on the advantages of using authentic materials; thoughts on how long-range planning can help facilitate day-to-day planning; ways to incorporate environmental sustainability into lessons; activities that illustrate and demonstrate Can-Do Statements. The calendar has a listing of some options for summer-time growth. Please take a look, and as always, let us know what you are thinking. A full pdf version of this newsletter is available here.


If you have something you would like us to list, please contact the editor: and she will be happy to include your professional event in our calendar.

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We Really Can Do it: strategies for using authentic sources to encourage language use.
Ruth Ferree, The University of Virginia

Even the title, "Can-Do Statements," suggests that these activities are within the realm of possibility for students. Using authentic materials as the starting point for language tasks can boost students' confidence, providing them with evidence that they really can read French or understand a scene in a Spanish video (Weyers, 1999).

Thanks to the Internet, access to authentic materials is relatively easy. Let's consider three categories of authentic sources and what students might do with them. First, on-line shopping sites, which I've seen generate debates as intense as if students had real money to spend. Second, video/film clips, which can engage students with strong visuals and stories. Finally, news sites, both text and video, offer the whole world of topics in the moment. These are especially useful for Advanced Placement-related themes such as global challenges and science and technology, but can also be useful with novice learners. Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Using Technology for Language Learning

Apps for 2015 and some others
Carol Marcolini, CITT for Hampton City Schools
Laurie Smith, Retired CITT from Hampton City Public Schools

Apps are powerful creative tools, interactive textbooks, and a universe of content that make for endless learning possibilities and uses. The world we live in is surrounded by endless amounts of information and as educators we have a duty to help our students master technology as well as subjects, as it applies to school and the future. Technology will be used in every aspect of our professional lives. There are many web sites that help you look at apps by category, uses, platform, dates, etc. Read more... (PDF)

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How Do We Teach Learners How to Learn?
Preparing with both Short - and Long-Term Goals in Mind

YANA: Sheila W. Cockey

Setting goals is what makes our day go smoothly. If we know where we are headed we have a much better chance of arriving. This is because we are better organized, have what we need at hand, and don't have extraneous things interferring in the process. Successful planning relies on both long term goals and short term goals and a list of resources to accompany them. Read more... (PDF)

redstar_white_bg Sound Bites for Better Teaching

Authentic Materials Advantages and Disadvantages
Marcel LaVergne, Ed.D.

Using authentic materials will prepare the students to cope with the language in its natural setting by exposing them to various accents, pronunciations, writing styles, and language functions as opposed to the controlled language found in carefully scripted textbooks. On the other hand, unless used effectively, authentic materials can immerse the students in language that is overly difficult and above their head. The teacher needs to choose carefully those materials that will supplement the curriculum and introduce interesting topics… Read more... (PDF)

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It's So Easy Being Green: Addressing Environmental Sustainability in the Business Language Classroom
Margaret Gonglewski and Anna Helm The George Washington University

As the business world now recognizes that success must come with environmental responsibility, it is essential, as well as easier than ever before, to address the topic in the business language curriculum. Materials and tools are readily available to teachers and learners online (several of which are profiled below).

There are a variety of approaches to the teaching green business and sustainability in the business language classroom. When selecting an angle or a content focus it is crucial to consider the relevance it has to students. Anchoring the content in something familiar and interesting to students will enhance their motivational level and entice them to engage more deeply with the content. Read more... (PDF)

The Language Resource is a bi-monthly publication of the National Capital Language Resource Center that provides practical teaching strategies, share insights from research, and announce professional development opportunities for all foreign language educators.

® 2015, National Capitol Language Resource Center

Also available on our website
Culture Club
A space to share multicultural and multilanguage resources for teachers and students alike
Elementary Immersion Learning Strategies Resource Guide
Sailing the 5 Cs with Learning Strategies:
A Resource Guide for Secondary Foreign Language Educators
The Essentials of Language Teaching
Portfolio Assessment in the Foreign Language Classroom Developing Autonomy in Language Learners Learning Strategies Instruction in Higher Education