Monday, May 31, 2010

News: German Links Updated

Hello all, Chris here.The links section for useful German websites has been updated with recent sites from recent posts! If you have any sites you would like to share with us, please feel free to comment or send us an email at

German: Im Wahlkampf vor mir (Song)

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share a funny song from the election time where Gerhard Schröder was running against Angela Merkel. The two candidates trade some hilarious banter.

Here are the lyrics for the song:

Liebes Volk,

doof is, bei NEUwahlen ALT auszusehen aber ich krieg das trotzdem hin! Ihr glaubt ja nicht, wer in den Umfragen vor mir liegt:

Im Wahlkampf vor mir liegt ein Zonenmädchen
warum kann es nicht eine Schönheit sein?
Die Mundwinkel im Keller, und zum Helm frisiertes Haar
mit Spreewaldgurkenatem - Angela!

Im Wahlkampf vor mir liegt ein Zonenmädchen
Mit ein paar Punkten - das pack ich mit Links
Vielleicht flut ich Sachsen-Anhalt oder schmeiß Hans Eichel raus
Egal, ich denke mir schon noch was aus.

Rata Rata Ratatata
Rata Rata Ratatata

Was tönt die Witzfigur da hinter mir nur?
Gerd: Ist die nicht mies?
Der rechnet sich noch Chancen für sich aus?!
Gerd: Das Auge wählt mit, nech?
Angie: Die Chose ist gelaufen, dieser Kleinganove spinnt!
Der glaubt doch nicht, dass er noch mal gewinnt /
Gerd: Wie '98 ...

Angie: Im Kanzleramt muß endlich mal ne Frau ran /
Gerd: Ne Frau willste doch nicht?
Angie: Die Pfeifentruppe putz ich locker weg /
Gerd: Ne Putzfrau hab ich schon!
Angie: Ich werde Sie besiegen,
Gerd: Eher lernen Schweine fliegen!
Angie: Is Zapfenstreich ham Sie das nicht gecheckt?

Rata Rata Ratatata
Rata Rata Ratatata

Ich glaub, die war zu lange in der Sonne
Dabei ist doch die Dunkelheit ihr Freund
Angie: Immerhin hab ich Freunde...
Gerd: Jetzt hat sie einen Stich - aber bestimmt nicht gegen mich
Doch wenigstens verliert sie gut gebräunt

Nun wird die ganze Sache langsam komisch!
Gerd: Dann lach doch mal!
Sie Hütchenspieler, ihre Zeit läuft aus!
Gerd: Habemus Gerhard!
Angie: Sie könn´ sich nicht mehr verstecken hinter irgendwelchen Deppen
Sie Trickser haben fertig - und jetzt raus!

Bye Bye mein Zonenmädchen, gute Reise
Gerd: Angie: Tschüß, Herr Amtsvorgänger!
Du in meinem Amt? Ich lach mich schlapp!
Angie: Für Sie wird diese Wahl mit 5 Prozent zu Ende gehen!
Gerd: Du Plumpsack, Blödsinn ich schaff locker zehn!!

Haha Haha Hahahaha Haha Haha Hahahaha

Angie: In der Sache sind Sie ein Abwahlprodukt.
Gerd: Sei Dir mal nicht so sicher ich schlag auch Frauen!

Haha Haha Hahahaha Haha Haha Hahahaha

Angie: Darf ich Sie auffordern, Herr Altkanzler?
Gerd: Zum Rücktritt? Nö.
Angie: Quatsch, zum tanzen. Als Vorbereitung auf September. Da ist nämlich auch Damenwahl.

Gerd: Irgendwie siehste aus wie mein lieblings Ozzy
Angie: Ohh wer mag das denn sein?
Gerd: Na Ozzy Ozbourne

Angie: Ist das hier der Kanzleramtsschlüssel?
Gerd: Wieso?
Angie: 321 meins!
Gerd: Ey!!

German: Zungenbrecher 4

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share some more popular Zungenbrecher or Tongue Twisters.

Weisst du das, dass das ""das"" das meist gebrauchte Wort im Satz ist? 

Esel essen Nesseln nicht. Nesseln essen Esel nicht!  

Schneiderschere schneidet scharf. Scharf schneidet Schneiderschere 

Wenn hinter Fliegen Fliegen fliegen fliegen Fliegen Fliegen hinterher 

If you have any Tongue Twisters that you would like to add, please feel free to either comment on the post or send us an email at!

German: Useful Websites

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share several useful sites I have found useful for teaching German. The first site is called Denksport, which features a wide variety of challenging puzzles and riddles. There are puzzles for all levels.

The second site is called, which features language tutorials and plenty of other resources for all German, French, Spanish, and more.

The third is the Tagesschau site which unsurprisingly features all of the latest news one would expect to find. There are numerous articles and videos available here. The site is part of ARD which has several links for sports, weather, culture, and many other links. There is also a 'Mediathek' which features a large number of videos.

I hope these websites will prove useful in your language classes. If you have any questions or would like to share a site of your own, please feel free to comment on the post or email us at!

Spanish: Encuentro Internacional de Profesores de Español como Lengua Extranjera

Hello all, Claudia here,

I thought you might be interested in attending the Encuentro Internacional de Profesores de Español como Lengua Extranjera: Comunidad ELE.
The conference will cover specific topics related to the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language, teaching experiences and strategies, and workshops and seminars for teachers of Spanish as a foreign language, it will be held from June 30th to July 2nd in Salamanca, Spain.

Follow this link for more information:

Spanish: Soccer Podcast

Hi everyone, Claudia here,

With the World Cup almost here I think many students would be interested in talking about soccer in class. A fun way to do so is to use a recent posdcast by Newsbites about one of this year's most famous soccer players. This would be a good way to practice listening conversation while covering a current topic. The website provides the transcription for the poscast making it easier for you to design your own questions and activities.

Friday, May 28, 2010

German: Useful Site - Wer - Weiss - Was

Hello all, Chris here. Today I have a cool site to share with fellow German teachers:

I stumbled across this site and thought it has some potential at advanced levels. Essentially the site is a big knowledge base on virtually any subject, similar to Such sites could serve a dual purpose and one could design activities where students either had to find answers on a specific subject or post their own question and keep track of how many responses they get and how accurately the responses answer the questions. The variety of subjects is of course only limited by the language abilities of your students.

  • How would you use such sites?
  • Could you design activities for use with these sites for lower-level students?

News: Links Updated!

Hello all, Chris here. Just a quick update for our Spanish colleagues. The useful links section for Spanish has been updated with several new links! If you have any useful websites that you would like to share with us, please feel free to either comment on one of our posts or send us an email at: !

Spanish: DOCTOR Mnemonic - Ser y Estar

Hi everyone, Claudia here,

Doctor is a nice mnemonic for remembering the uses of the Spanish verb 'ser'. You should try sharing it with your students, I'm sure it will help them a lot!

D →Description → Ella es alta

O →Occupation → Eres estudiante

C →Characteristic → Él es gracioso

T →Time / Date → Son las tres; hoy es martes

O →Origin → Soy de Venezuela

R →Relationship → Ella es mi abuela

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Spanish: Gomaespuminglis Funny Video

Hello all, Claudia here,

Today I would like to share a funny video on learning English through Spanish. You can show this video to your advanced students and discuss how different expressions could be confusing and missleading when translated literally into another language. You would have to be familiar with the Peninsular Spanish dialect to understand some of the expressions used in the video which would also be fun to talk about with your students.

Let me know if you can think of any other fun activities we could apply to this clip! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spanish: Adivinanzas 2

Hi all, Claudia here,

I would like to add a few riddles to go with my first post on Adivinanzas.

Cuando me siento, me estiro,
cuando me paro, me encojo;
entro al fuego y no me quemo,
entro al agua y no me mojo.

R: La sombra.

Una vieja arrugadita
que de joven daba vino
y ahora es una frutita.

R: La pasa

Redondo, redondo,
no tiene tapa
ni tiene fondo.

R: El anillo.

Spanish: Refranes 1

Hello everybody, Claudia here,

Here are some refranes to use in your classes, I will be posting more soon. If you need ideas on how to use sayings in your classes you might want to check my previous post on Refranes.

• Más vale malo conocido que bueno por conocer.

• Muerto el perro, se acabó la rabia.

• No dejes para mañana lo que puedas hacer hoy.

• Se dice el pecado pero no el pecador.

• Lo que es del cura va para la iglesia.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

French Documentary: La Medina de Tanger (Advanced)

Hi everyone, Aurore here! This is a video about a very important city both in Morocco and in Europe! Firstly, Tangier is a bond between Maghreb and Europe, then it is a city that has always had a great influence for painters of all time. Apparently, the light is very special, and many paintings offer views of this city. Finally, you also have an insight on the way Morocco evolves today. Share cultures!

La Medina de Tanger.

1.Qui les Tangérois ont-ils vu débarquer? (4 éléments de réponse)

2.Quel monument est le témoin du départ des étrangers de la ville ?

3.Quel est le but de Rachid concernant sa ville? Quel travail fait-il ?

4.Qu’est-ce qui fait la magie de Tanger ?

5.De quel peintre célèbre voit-on le tableau (il a peint la porte de la Kasbah)?

6.Qu’est-ce que Rachid a crée il y a quelques années avec des amis ?

7.Pourquoi l’hôtel Continental est-il important ? (raisons passée et présente)

8.Depuis quand et pourquoi Tanger a-t-elle connu un regain d’activité et d’éclat ?

9.Citer des éléments en cours de restauration dans la Medina. (2 éléments)

10.Quelle menace plane sur la Medina ? Pourquoi est-ce que c’est un problème ?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

German: Amazing Race 2010 Video

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share some video footage taken while we were running the Amazing Race this past semester. The videos feature various groups tackling challenges at the Hamburg and Leipzig stations. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

News: AATG Summer 2010 Newsletter

Hello all, Chris here. The latest AATG newsletter is available! Please visit the following link:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spanish: Useful Sites

Hello all, Claudia here,

I would like to share some useful links with you. You can find nice Spanish music, news, videos and more through these online TV and radio sites. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

German: Amazing Race Spring 2010

Hello all, Chris here. Today I have something pretty exciting to share! Recently I designed an activity which I called the Amazing Race based off of the television show with the same name. For more information on the show please check here:

This activity replaced the usual oral exam in the fourth semester German courses. Inspiration for the activity came after watching a recent episode of the show where the contestants were actually in Hamburg, Germany. As Hamburg is one of the chapters in our textbook, I began to think of how the television show could be adopted to a campus setting.

I designed the activity to take place within a limited area on the Purdue campus as doing the activity without set borders would likely lead teams to go hunting for clues in too wide an area. The main issue when designing the activity was how to make it all fit within a 50 minute class period as well as the fact that we would need to do this activity for all three courses within our section. I settled on doing the activity during each class' normal meeting time to avoid having to deal with scheduling a large number of people outside of regular meeting times. Thus, we would do the activity a total of three times. Fortunately, all of our classes were back-to-back and so we were able to finish the oral exam for all three section in a mere three hours.

Students formed groups of 4-5 in each class. There were four stations for the activity, each themed according to one of the chapters in our textbook. The stations used were Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Leipzig. At each station students would choose between two different types of activities which would test their language abilities. The students would also receive an evaluation at each station and thus at the end each group and each student would have a total of four evaluations which would form their grade.

To add a more competitive element for the students, I contacted the Goethe-Insitut in Chicago who graciously supplied a host of prizes such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, pencils, stickers, etc. These would be awarded to the groups who had the highest scores for the event (grade - time elapsed = final score). Thus, it was important for groups to finish quickly but actual performance quality was still the most important factor. Groups who took longer than the 50 minutes of course time would receive a time penalty.

I will not go into specific details of the event and its activities here as I am currently working on an article for publication for this. Look for a fully-detailed account in a future issue of Die Unterrichtspraxis.

Questions and comments welcome! Enjoy the pictures from the event below!

News: German Language Advocacy

Hello all, Chris here. This is a followup to a recent post about the need for language advocacy in today's market. Too many language program are threatened. For our fellow German teachers, here is a link to a list of very useful websites to help promote German and why German is still an important language to learn in the United States:

If you are a German teacher please tell your colleagues about these sites!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spanish: Alejandro Magno

Hello everybody, Claudia here,

I would like to share a short video from ArteHistoria introducing Alejandro Magno. They have more videos you can show after the intoduction one. Using videos about famous historical figures is a nice way to practice listening comprehension. While introducing a topic that most students find interesting they get exposed to the language and learn about history.
Many of the videos on the site include the script of the video. This makes it easier to come up with questions you might want to ask your students as follow up. I will include the script below the video.

A finales del Siglo IV A.C. Alejandro III, llamado El Grande o Magno, uno de los grandes genios militares de todos los tiempos, marcó el rumbo de la Historia. Heredero de las glorias culturales helenas, supo reunir bajo su mando a todas las ciudades griegas para luchar contra un enemigo común: los persas. Su aventura inicial se transformó en una marcha triunfal de conquista, con batallas cuyos ecos resuenan desde la antigüedad como Gránico, Issos o Gaugamela.

Alejandro, supo llevar con maestría y arrojo a sus tropas a lo largo del todopoderoso Imperio Persa y sus inmensas provincias. A su paso fundó numerosas ciudades con su nombre, atravesó ríos, desiertos y montañas y sus ejércitos alcanzaron incluso las remotas orillas del Indo y la actual Afganistán.

Gracias a Alejandro, por primera vez en la Historia, fue creado un Imperio Universal, promoviendo la helenización cultural de los países conquistados. Pero esta magna obra fue efímera. Alejandro murió en Babilonia cuando tan solo tenía 33 años. Con él desapareció el primero de los grandes imperios, aunque su figura se convertirá en una referencia para posteriores sueños de conquista.

Friday, May 7, 2010

French: La maison d'être

Hello all, Claudia here,

Even though I don't teach French, today I would like to share with you a mnemonic my high school teacher gave us while I was learning French. It is really hard for students to learn when to use the verb être while using the passé composé. One thing my teacher used to do was draw a house on the board and tell us that the 'house verbs' were the ones that used être as an auxiliary. Of course we also had to remember that this would only work if the verb didn't have a direct object.
I hope you find this helpful!

News: ACTFL Connection May 3, 2010

Hello all, Chris here. The latest issue of the ACTFL Connection (May 3, 2010) is now available for those interested! Please follow the link below:

Footage restored to Fritz Lang's "Metrolopolis"

Found this in the NYTimes online.

"... an 80-year quest that ranged over three continents seems finally to be over, thanks in large part to the curiosity and perseverance of one man, an Argentine film archivist named Fernando Peña... Mr. Peña discovered a full-length copy of “Metropolis” in 2008 in the archives of the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

News: Advocating Language Study - 'English is not Enough'

Hello all, Chris here. With another school year coming to a close it is time to reflect on the state of Language Teaching and Language Learning throughout the country. Many language programs across the country, from middle school through to the graduate level have increasingly come under fire. It is more important than ever to advocate for the importance of studying languages in today's global marketplace. Please follow the link below for a recent article by Catherine Porter (Past-President of the MLA) entitled "English is Not Enough":

Monday, May 3, 2010

Japanese: TPR Game

ジャンケン(janken; rock, paper, scissors) is a popular game in Japan. It is played with your hands. Saying "paa" with an opened hand means paper, saying "guu" while making a fist means rock, and saying "choki" while putting 2 fingers out means scissor. There are many variations of janken, but let me introduce one of them today. Here is an example game of janken.

If you win, you can hit your opponent, and if you lose you can defend your self with a hat.
It is such a fun activity!

Local Events: Conference by Central Association of Teachers of Japanese

Hi all. Junko desu.
Here is some information about a conference which will be held on May 22nd and 23rd at Purdue campus. We will welcome some notable professors and have some interesting presentations and discussions. Some of the presentations will be done in English, so you might be interested in them:

9:15 amTakako Akiha (Tohoku University)
投射モデル(the Projection Model)」の格助詞「で」の学習・指導への応用
9:45 amMichael Dixon (Indiana University)
The effects of computer-assisted text input in early JFL learning
10:15 am-
10:30 am
10:30 amKiyomi Fujii (University of Arizona), James Elwood (University of Tsukuba) & Barron Orr (University of Arizona)
Collaborative mapping: Google Maps for language exchange
11:00 amKeiko Schneider (South Methodist University)
iTunesU integrated Japanese program
11:30 am Keiko Kuriyama (Indiana University)
日本語未習者・既習学習者ダイナミックを考慮した情意要因の研究 (Anxiety and motivation in first-year Japanese: How true beginners and advanced beginners affect each other)
1:30 pm

Lunch (delivered)
1:30 pmTomohisa Machida (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Foreign language anxiety among intermediate-level university students of Japanese
2:00 pmYukari Nakamura (University of Florida), Kiyomi Fujii (University of Arizona) & Hiroko Fudano (Kanazawa Institute of Technology)
Everybody in a circle now: Developing intercultural competence through Japanese college club activities
2:45 pm
2:45 pmMisumi Sadler (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) & Jung Sun Kim (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Developing an intercultural competence: The culture-learning discussion forum for first-year Japanese language courses
3:15 pmGuohe Zheng (Ball State University)
Authentic Materials for the Teaching of Spoken Japanese: Implications of Hirata Oriza’s Theory on Contemporary Colloquial Theatre
3:45 pm-
4:00 pm
4:00 pm -
5:00 pm
Keynote Speech 1
Mutsuko Endo-Hudson (Michigan State University)
6:30 pmDinner at a local Japanese restaurant for interested participants

Sunday, May 23
9:00 am–
Keynote Speech 2
Nobuko Chikamatsu (DePaul University)
Preparing students for life-long learning of Japanese: Content-based language instruction with integrative curriculum development approaches
10:00 amSadatoshi Tomizawa (Ball State University)
日本語習得とオーセンティックコミュニケーションを目的 としたロールプレー
10:30 amNaofumi Tatsumi (Purdue University)
American learners’ compliment responses in Japanese
11:00 am -
11:15 am
11:15 amShoko Watarai (University of Michigan) & Eiko Hirakawa (University of Michigan)
『日本語文法辞典:A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar』に準拠したワークブックの開発:中級以降の学習者による初級文法の正確な運用を目指して
11:45 amYoshitomo Yamashita (Seton Hall University)
第二言語学習者の読解におけるマルティ・コンピテンス:回想ミス キュー・アナリシスと眼球移動研究は何を示してくれるか
12:15 pmKoji Tanno (University of Washington)
How do learners of Japanese describe mental states in personal stories and how can we help them?
12:45 pm
Closing Remarks
Mariko Moroishi Wei (CATJ 22 Organizing Committee Chair, Purdue University)

French Documentary: Tanger, un pari pour l'avenir (Advanced)

Hi all, Aurore here. Here is another interesting video Maghreb. It focuses on the candidature of Tangier to host the International Exhibition of 2012. It's a chance to hear a bit about this beautiful country and its rich culture. The different speakers have a rather neutral accent, so there isn't any problem in understanding them. Enjoy!

Tanger, un pari sur l’avenir. France 24.

1.Où se trouve Tanger ?

2.Comment la ville est-elle appelée ?

3.A quel événement la ville est-elle candidate ?

4.Comment la ville espère-t-elle convaincre de sa légitimité à organiser cet événement ?

5.Quels sont les buts du conseiller du roi ? (3 éléments de réponse)

6.Quel est le thème de la fête ?

7.Dans quelle mesure cela serait-il une aubaine pour Tanger ? (4 éléments de réponses)

8.Qu’est-ce qui se passera après l’événement ?

9.Qu’est-ce que Tanger développe depuis 5 ans ?

10.Citer 3 éléments qui rendent le Maroc particulièrement attractif.

11.Quelle est la crainte de certains habitants ? Pourquoi ?

12.Quel est l’argument du président du groupe « Relais de Paris ».

13.Quels sont les 2 enjeux de la candidature du Maroc ?

New: ACTFL Connection

Hello all, Chris here. The latest issue of the ACTFL Connection is out! Follow the link to read more:

ACTFL Connection

Sunday, May 2, 2010

News: ESL GO Newsletter

Hello all, Chris here. This one is for our fellow ESL teachers. The latest issue of the Purdue ESL Department's ESL GO Newsletter is now available! Follow this link to access it:

Update: April & 4 Month Summary 2010

Hello all, Chris here. Whew, the month of April is behind us and what a productive month it has been! We have reached a new high both in quantity and quality of posts, with a whopping 49 posts in April! The team of contributors has also been expanded with two new German contributors joining the ranks! We have also had more regular posts by our newer contributors! Let's continue the momentum and make May an even better month!

In related news, our Facebook group has really taken off with new fans joining daily! We have also started to work with the discussions feature on our FB page which will become a knowledge base of various issues teachers have to deal with as well as activity types, tips and tricks for teaching etc.

We will also be launching a special feature for those who become Followers of our site! While we appreciate all of our supporters on Facebook, we also want to encourage people to become followers of our site. To add incentive, we will make available to our followers a special PDF which will contain all of our posts and will be available for download on a quarterly basis! In addition, followers of the site will be the first to have access to future releases and products which will be coming out in the near future! Once things are moving along and we are in a position to release teaching materials and other products, there will likely be a discount available exclusively to Followers of the site! Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

French: Une étude sociologique

Bonjour à tous! As a teacher of (young) adults, I take in consideration the current events in the language target to better put the language in its proper place for a learner, for it is vital to not only study the fundamental rules, but to also understand its context...its culture. In other words, to (really) get what make the language AND its people tick!

French level: Advanced (FR 300-400)
Objective: Analysis of current event-Photographs
Location: France-Europe
Instructions: Students will give a detailed description of both images; then, will make a logical-analytical-historical statement of the (possible) meaning of images. Compare & Contrast.

+Painting: "La liberté guidant le peuple" 1830. E. Delacroix

+Photograph: "Outrage à la France". 2010. Sources RTL-TF1!/?article_comment_action=displayReportAbuseForm&newsCommentId=951481


Teaching Topics

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