Monday, October 31, 2011

Spanish: Refranes 4


Hello all, Claudia here,

Here are some more refranes for your collection. I hope you find these useful!


• Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.


• Si del cielo te caen limones, aprende a hacer limonada.


• Entre broma y broma, la verdad se asoma.


• En el país de los ciegos, el tuerto es el rey.


• A otro perro con ese hueso.

Spanish: Video El Grúfalo


Hello all, Claudia here,

I would like to share this translated version I found online of an animated film based on the classic children's picture book "The Gruffalo" written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Schefflerthe.
These would be a fun way to work on your students' listening comprehension. I will soon add some questions to go along with the story. Enjoy!






Update: +1 added


Hello all, Chris here with a quick update. We've added the popular Google +1 feature to the site. Check the bottom of posts for the +1 button and let us know which posts you like the most by giving it a +1!

News: Google Translate App gains momentum


Translation apps continue to evolve. Google Translate for Android is gaining support for an experimental feature that allows two people to converse in real-time, with both speaking in their native language. This could be the advent of a universal translator. The big question is how increasingly sophisticated technology will affect language teaching. Currently, over a dozen languages are supported with more soon to follow. You can read more in the link to the Gigaom article below:

Google Translate gains momentum

Friday, October 28, 2011

News: What is the "app gap" and should we be concerned?



A recent article on Edutopia focuses on the so-called "app gap" that is developing between children from low-income households and their more-affluent peers, which raises questions about how such a disparity in exposure to educational technology will affect students. The writer of the blog wonders whether this trend is something that should be immediately addressed and whether this gap is similar to the gap between students with PCs and internet access and those without. You can read more about this important trend by clicking the link below:

"App-gap in education"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

News: ELL 'Shadowing' in California shows promise


A recent Education Week article reports on a new practice by teachers and administrators at a California school. The so-called 'shadowing of ELL students by teachers and administrators has improved achievement among the ELL learners. The teachers and administrators act as observers by sitting in on the classes. It is typically observed that the students simply do not speak enough or receive enough exposure to academic language. You can read more in the full article below:

ELL 'Shadowing'

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ESL GO Speaker Series 2011



Higher Education in Afghanistan


We welcome to our ESL GO Speaker Series, three Afghan scholars who are currently taking part in the Afghan Junior Faculty Development Program hosted by Purdue University this semester.


Professor Mohammad Hussain Issari

Alberoni University & American University of Afghanistan

Professor Zakaria Shafa

Baghlan University

Professor Adel Shamsurahman

Nangarhar University


They will introduce themselves, talk about their experiences in higher education in Afghanistan, and entertain questions from the audience.


Date: FRIDAY 10/28/2011

Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Location: RAWL 1071


AS USUAL, WE WILL HAVE A HAPPY HOUR AFTER THE PRESENTATION. AT 6:45 P.M., COME JOIN US AT:

BOILER MARKET

320 W STATE ST

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN 47906

(765) 746-0101

Spanish: Día de los muertos en México.


Hello everyone, Claudia Sadowski here. In my very first post and given my Mexican background in addition to the soon to be celebrated Día de Los Muertos, I am sharing a video that I use in my class. This video portrays some of the main points to describe this celebration. Before I show this video in my class, we cover the main vocabulary words related to the topic.


Japanese: Look for a roomate!


This is a good interviewing activity to do after learning basic verbs (get up, eat, go to school, play tennis, sleep, etc). Students will ask each other about their daily activities and find out who has a similar life style with them.

Directions:
1. Fill out their own life style first.
2. Interview three classmates and fill out.
3. Ask them who they chose and why.

The following link provides a handout to supplement the activity:


Look for a roommate!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Downloads: Blank City Blocks


Hello all, Chris here with a new download. This is a simple drawing of some city blocks with streets and various buildings. This can be used for various types of activities. Enjoy!


City Blocks

Update: Downloads Relaunched


Hello all, Chris here. We've relaunching previously released downloadable activities using Google Docs to make them easier to access than with the previous file hosting service. This will also allow us to more easily feature content with downloadable content! Below you will find links to all of the previously released materials for German and Spanish.



Gesicht Word Search


Gesicht Word Search Answer Key


Getränke Word Search


Getränke Word Search Answer Key


Spanish - Shopping Crossword


Spanish - Shopping Crossword Answer Key

Spanish - Shops & Shopping Word Search


Spanish - Shops & Shopping Word Search Answer Key


Mit Bingo Nummern Lernen


Namensjagd


Verb Battleship

German Job Vocabulary Word Search


German Job Vocabulary Word Search Answer Key

Group Activities: Interview Bingo


You have probably used Bingo activities in lessons on teaching numbers and counting. Is that all that can be done with Bingo? Traditional Bingo activities in the language classroom lack in interactivity and mostly practice students' receptive skills. However, you can expand your activities repertoire to include a more advanced and interactive form of Bingo by using interviews (question and answers) with a target form or vocabulary. This works best if you provide students with prepared Bingo sheets as handouts in order to save time. You can setup the grid size as normal or a 4x4 for shorter versions. Instead of having numbers in each square you include a question with target grammar or vocabulary. The students must then go around and ask their classmates the various questions on the Bingo grid. If a student answers affirmatively, then they sign the Bingo sheet. If not, the student must keep asking until someone answer with yes. The first person to get a Bingo wins. The teacher should circulate to make sure the students are providing correct questions and answers.

We will be providing downloadable Bigno activities soon so stay tuned!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

TTS Avatar Demo Software


Free demo to create avatars using Text-to-Speech (TTS) by SitePal

Try this software to make virtual people who speak your text in a computer voice. Use the demo for fun, or learn the pronunciation of English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Chinese and many more!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Assesments for Japanese Language Instruction Summer Institute


This workshop is intended for postsecondary Japanese language educators who feel they have had limited training and experience in assessment (including testing), but want to improve Japanese language assessment practices in their home institutions. If this is your situation, we encourage you to apply!

Applicant Eligibility: Faculty members and Ph.D. students who are engaged in Japanese language education at postsecondary institutions are eligible to apply. Fluency in Japanese and English is required. Participants are expected to participate in sessions in English and Japanese and present their classroom assessment tool construction projects in English toward the end of the workshop. If the participants are faculty or staff at U.S. institutions, travel stipends of up to $1000 may be provided.

The deadline for application form submissions is January 31, 2012.

News: Call for Papers TCLT7





Conference Main Themes:

Mobile learning, cloud technology, building an engaged digital classroom, and application of computational linguistic research.

Travel Subsidies & Scholarships:

Accepted & registered presenters will receive a conference travel subsidy of $100-$150, and graduate student presenters will receive $200 travel scholarships, subject to funding availability. More details will be forthcoming.

Conference Languages: Chinese and English

Abstract Online Submission Deadline: 12/15/2011

Abstract Acceptance Notification: 1/15/2012

Completed Paper Submission Deadline: 3/1/2012

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spanish: Futuro y Condicional

Hello everyone, Claudia here,

I wanted to share with you a picture I made for my students to learn the 12 irregular verbs in the future and the conditional tenses in Spanish. I drew a clock and for every hour on the clock I set an irregular verb so that students can learn them and remember them if they draw the clock.

You can also make the clock hands move so you can play with it. Just spin the hands and students will have to conjugate the verb they land on. you can alternate person and number.

Teachers often use the "12 Apostles" of the Christian church as a mnemonic device with these verbs but I prefer using something everyone can relate to; since not everybody belongs to the same religion.

I hope you find this helpful and fun! Enjoy!

News: Translation Apps for the business class



Various technology companies have taken apps created to help world travelers order at restaurants or ask for directions, and converted them to more business-friendly programs. You can find more information here:

Apps

News: Miltary contractor develops app for the U.S. Army

The military contractor Raytheon believes it has created technology the U.S. Army has long sought: an app that will allow its soldiers to communicate with locals. TransTalk knows about 80,000 words in Iraqi Arabic and 30,000 more in Afghanistan's languages. The program is voice activated - users speak English into the device, and the app speaks back in the desired language. You can read more here: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/universal-translator-app/

Monday, October 17, 2011

Creating a blog for writing practices!


Konnichiwa, Yumiko here. Today I would like to introduce a blog written by one of my former students. It is well known that creating a newspaper in or out of class is a very good practice for writing. Thanks to the advanced technology, you don't need to print the papers anymore. You can pile articles online and more and more people can read it. Moreover, people can leave a comment on the articles. Sounds fun and easy, right? The student is writing a blog as an assignment of her language class, which is advanced, but a student from any level can start writing newspaper/blog. They can write about anything they like. Please visit and take a look at her website!

News: Students studying Arabic get unique experience in Qatar


Lindblom Math and Science Academy, a Chicago-area school with one of the largest Arabic programs in the country, sent 19 high school students to Qatar this month thanks to the support of the Qatar Foundation International. In addition to immersing themselves in the study of Arabic, the students will also have to opportunity to learn about water conservation and environmental issues in local waters from Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau. You can read more in the Chicago Tribune article below:


Students studying Arabic get unique experience in Qatar

Friday, October 14, 2011

News: Love for Russian at French Immersion School


The Robert Goddard French Immersion School in Prince George's County in Maryland has the largest Russian middle school program in the nation. Often, Russian programs have a large number of heritage learners. At Goddard however, 82% of the students are black or Hispanic. The interest in Russian is a bit unusual as French is the typically reported as the most popular choice of high school students. The program at Goddard is quite intensive, with students using a college level textbook. You can read more in the Washington Post article below:

Russian at French Immersion School

German: Charades with Reflexive


Chris here again with a fun activity for your German classes. Charades is a fun game that pairs well with language teaching. I recently used this for a lesson on reflexive verbs and daily routine/hygiene vocabulary.

I gathered several pictures of the target phrases such as I wash myself / Ich wasche mich and then divided the class into two groups. One student from each group came up to the front of the class and was shown a picture featuring one of the daily routine tasks. Then each student modeled the activity for their group. The group members then had to guess the correct reflexive phrase. Once you cycle through the various tasks once you could go through a second time but have the students in the groups write the correct phrases on the board after each task is modeled. You can have a lot of fun with this activity by having guy students get tasks such as applying makeup to oneself - Ich schminke mich! Students tend to really get into the acting part of the activity so motivation and attention are high.

German Video: Bairisch Lernen mit Videos

Chris here with another German video. It's always fun to show students more of the language and culture and dialects are one way to show the variety present in German. Textbooks generally do not feature much if any dialect content. Here are a few videos featuring Bavarian as part of a comedy series. It also contains translations into standard German. Enjoy!






Wednesday, October 12, 2011

News: Alabama Immigration Law results in absence of Hispanic students from school



A recent article in USA Today reports on Alabama's new immigration law which was recently upheld by a federal judge. The law mandates that schools check the immigration status of students. Officials say that the information obtained will only be shared with the state Department of Education to assess how much is being spent on teaching illegal immigrants. The issue is that many Hispanic families misunderstand the law or are fearful of its intentions. As a result, many districts are reporting the absence of hundreds of Hispanic students. It is important to note that federal law requires immigrant children to be educated in public schools. You can read the full article by following the link below:

Alabama Immigration Law

News: More FL Budget Cuts Looming


A recent article reports on the draft budget recently released by a U.S. House of Representatives committee includes about $2.4 billion in cuts to education programs, including $27 million for the Foreign Language Assistance program. Budget cuts are an ever present threat facing language programs in the U.S. You can read more in the article link below:












More FL budget cuts

Additional Link

News: Useful site helps people learn languages from one another


The site Lang-8 is operated by Ki Yoyo, a Chinese-born man who lives in Japan, was created with the goal of helping people learn languages from native speakers. People who register for the site can post written works and have other users, who are native speakers, review it for proper grammar and word usage or even just to comment and encourage the users. The site offers nearly 80 different languages and has well over 200,000 users from all over the world. You can read more about this site in the full article on the Japan Times site:

Lang-8

Sunday, October 9, 2011

News: Wisconsin School Mixes Spanish and English in dual language classes



Racine Unified school district in Wisconsin offers several classes in grades K-5 in which students spend the entire day learning in both Spanish and English. The dual language method allows Spanish speakers to learn in their native tongue while still acquiring English with the stated goal being 'bilingual biliteracy.' You can find the full article in the link below:

Dual language classes in Wisconsin

Friday, October 7, 2011

News: Federal Program recuits teachers for Chinese & Arabic courses



The federal government's Teachers of Critical Languages Program is pairing international teachers with schools in the U.S. in order to start or further develop programs in Chinese or Arabic language instruction. For more information you can read the full article on the Tennessean website:


Federal Program recuits teachers for Chinese & Arabic courses

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

GermanVideo: Mehr MediaMarkt Werbung


Chris here again with some more recent Media Markt commercials. These make great discussion starters or for warmup or cooldown at the start/end of class. Enjoy!






German Video: Funny MediaMarkt Werbung mit Mario Barth

Hello all, Chris here with a funny compilation of Media Markt commercials featuring German comic Mario Barth! Viel Spaß!



Sunday, October 2, 2011

News: IPhone App helps travelers speak in a foreign language



A article from the Boston Globe reports on a new iPhone application called "Vocre" which can convert spoken words into a foreign language, in order for people in an unfamiliar country to be able to communicate with the locals. The app was developed by myLanguage and uses another modern phenomenon -- crowd-sourcing. The program gets input from native speakers to make its use of local lingo and dialects more accurate. The application is not without its detractors however. Critics point to the rather high cost of the application and the fact that it is not very user friendly at this point. An update for the app is imminent which aims to resolve the aforementioned issues according to CEO and founder Andrew Lauder. You can read the full article below:

IPhone Translation App

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