Wednesday, June 30, 2010

German: Mit Bingo Zahlen Lernen

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share a simple and fun activity you can use to help students practice their numbers in German. Bingo is a game that most everyone is already familiar with and the activity requires little in the way of preparation. The instructor can either have the students prepare their own bingo cards or present the students with ones that have already been prepared. Full directions are listed below the activity. I find that this activity works very well as a review activity before a quiz or test which will contain numbers. Another nice feature of Bingo is that it generally does not take very long to do and thus you can in fact do several rounds of Bingo in a single class session without devoting the entire time to this activity.

Mit Bingo Zahlen (1-100) Lernen

       B                 I                N                G               O


Directions: Before the game, students fill out their Bingo cards from a range of numbers for each letter. Students must write the number out – no numerals. The ranges are listed below. The instructor then calls out numbers randomly until a student has a Bingo. The student must read aloud his/her numbers (in German of course!) to make sure that they match numbers called by the instructor. To add further practice for the students you can have the first student who gets a Bingo and successfully reads their numbers come to the front of the classroom and take over the teacher's role by reading further numbers for the class. After 3-4 Bingos it is advisable to have students make new cards.

B = 1-19
I  = 20-39
N = 40-59
G = 60-79
O = 80-100

All languages: WikIdioms

Hi all, Angelika here. WikIdioms is a multilingual dictionary of idioms in many languages! Consider contributing!

German: False Cognates

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share a few false cognates between German and English which students are likely to mix up. I always find it useful to present some of these early on so that students learn the corrects words before they get int he habit of using them incorrectly. In many cases the cognates can lead to some humorous sentences. Nevertheless, using the wrong word will drastically change the meaning of a sentences and can lead to serious misunderstanding. Here are a few common ones:

             English/German                                                 German/English
actual/actually --> eigentlich               vs          akutell       --> current, up-to-date

also                  --> auch                      vs          also            --> thus, therefore

(to)become     --> werden                   vs          bekommen --> to get, receive

fast                 --> schnell                    vs           fast             --> almost

gift (present)  --> (das)Geschenk       vs           (das)Gift    --> poison

I will present more of these in future posts!
  • What other false cognates do you know?
  • What are false cognates between other languages? French vs. Spanish etc?
  • How would you teach your students about these false cognates?
  • Should these be explicitly taught or implicitly as they arise?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

German: Vuvuzela Konzert

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share another World Cup-related video which deals with the ever present Vuvuzelas which have garnered as many headlines as any of the games have. Here we have the Germans demonstrate the proper way to play the Vuvuzela as the group goes through a few pieces of classical music:

This version has English subtitles so it might be best to show the video to your students first without the subtitles and then you can check for comprehension. Following that, you can show them this version:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Japanese: Japan Travel Video

Hi all, Junko desu.
Today I wanted to share a good introduction video of Japan. This is a good way to introduce Japan and Japanese culture briefly. After showing the video, students are to answer questions below.

In the video,

Which cultural aspect attracted you the best?
Which cultural aspect did you know already?
Can you explain what the video is about to your partner?
Were there any cultural aspects that you didn't know?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

German: Köln Links

Hello all, Chris here. Today I have some links to share for Köln (Cologne)! These should provide a solid starting point for anyone wishing to cover a unit or lesson on the city. Enjoy! If you have any links you would like to share, please feel free to comment!

News: Indiana AATG Website - New URL

Hello all, Chris here with some German related news for Indiana teachers and AATG members. For those who do not already know, the Indiana AATG chapter has moved it's website from the BSU website onto the national AATG website. The new URL is:

Friday, June 25, 2010

German: Heidelberg Links

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share a few links for Heidelberg which should provide anyone wishing to do a unit or lesson on the city with some good background material as well as numerous areas for designing activities and lessons. There is also a rather nice video below which I found on YouTube, which provides a nice visual overview of the sights around the city. Enjoy! Questions and comments are welcome! If you have any links of your own to share, please feel free to comment!

News: A New Writer Joins the Team!

Hello all, Chris here. Today I have some exciting site-related news to share! We are welcoming a new writer to our team and the first permanent writer for ESL/EFL/ELT! A big welcome to Kyle, and we all look forward to his contributions!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

French: Osez le recyclage...French Style!

Bonjour tout le monde, c'est Johanne.

Au bout de quatre saisons à observer les francais sur leur térritoire, j'ai pu remarquer que la plus grande majorité de la population de ce pays prend bien soin de recycler systématiquement au point que ce geste devienne second nature.

Sur ce, j'invite tous les étudiants FLL-FR 201 & 202 à suivre ce petit documentaire sur les trois éléments (en vidéo) du recyclage en France et d'en partager leurs opinions en classe avec leur professeur de Francais.

After four full seasons of observing the French lifestyle, I have come to the conclusion that recycling has become an integral part of one's life. In other words, it is simply normal to do so- and not recycling might even get you a "nice-little-French- dare" from the locals! Here is the official documentory link to show you the process of the American slogan: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle.

The suggested level is FR 201-202 or roughly third or fourth semester French. Questions and comments welcome!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Japanese: World Cup Terminology in Japanese

Hi all, Junko here.

Did you know that Japan is in the World Cup? They might not be the strongest team, but they are not too bad :) Anyway, here is a link for the soccer/world cup vocab you can use in class:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spanish:The Spanish Subjunctive Song

Hello again, Becky here!

A colleague of mine (Donnie Phelps) recently shared this subjunctive song with me to help students remember when to use the subjunctive in Spanish and I thought I'd share...


¿Cuándo se usa el subjuntivo?


Emociones y Deseos

¡Oh Duda De!

Usa la forma de “YO”,

Y el fin opuesto…

Así se forma el subjuntivo

¡Oh Duda De!

¡Sepa! ¡Sea!

Dé, Esté, Haya y Vaya,

¡Oh Duda De!

Spanish: Song Bank for Spanish Class

Hello everyone, Becky here!

I came across this list of songs in Spanish according to lesson and it has been very helpful to me. Enjoy!

Chiquitita - ABBA - los pronombres familiares

Fernando - ABBA - los tiempos verbales

Cuando nadie me ve - Alejandro Sanz - el tiempo presente

Quisiera ser - Alejandro Sanz - el verbo “querer”

¿Sabes? - Alex Ubago - los terminos romanticos

En el rio - Amaral - el imperfecto vs. el preterito

Marta, Sebas, Guille - Amaral - la amistad

Rosa de la paz - Amaral - los articulos

Salta - Amaral - los mandatos familiares

Hombre del piano - Ana Belen - comparacion con “Piano Man”

Solo le pido a Dios - Ana Belen y Victor Manuel - el subjuntivo

La puerta de Alcala - Ana Belen/Victor Manuel - la geografia de Madrid

Vivo por ella - Andrea Bocelli - las preposiciones

Una nacion - Barrio Boyzz - el patriotismo

Eres - Cafe Tacuba - ser vs. estar

Circulo de tiza - Carlos Varela - Cuba

La vida es un carnaval - Celia Cruz - el infinitivo vs. el gerundio

Cuando te vi - Charlie Bravo - el preterito

Ave Maria - David Bisbal - clausulas con “si”

Llorare las penas - David Bisbal - El futuro

Penelope - Diego Torres - la historia de un amor perdido

La tierra - Ekhymosis - los pronombres familiares

Por ti - El Canto del Loco - el presente perfecto

Quizas - Enrique Iglesias - el subjuntivo

Louis - Franco De Vita - las profesiones

Bailame - Gipsy Kings - el calo

Hotel California - Gipsy Kings - comparacion con la version inglesa

Montana - Gipsy Kings - el tiempo presente

Ayer - Gloria Estefan - el preterito

Dame futbol - Ignacio Copani - los deportes

La extrana pareja - Ismael Serrano - el impefecto vs. el preterito

Vine del norte - Ismael Serrano - Chile

No me ames - J. Lopez/M. Anthony - los mandatos

Bonito - Jarabe de palo - la concordancia

Corazon - Jarabe de palo - la historia de un corazon

Que bueno, que bueno - Jarabe de palo - los complementos directos

Romeo y Julieta - Jarabe de palo - el imperfecto vs. el preterito

De colores - Joan Baez - los animales

Guantanamera - Joan Baez - la poesia de Marti

Te recuerdo Amanda - Joan Baez - los desaparecidos

Fiesta - Joan Manuel Serrat - las fiestas espanolas

Mi Ninez - Joan Manuel Serrat - el imperfecto vs. el preterito

Otro dia mas sin verte - Jon Secada - los mandatos familiares

Al otro lado del rio - Jorge Drexler - el verbo “remar”

Maria Isabel - Jose Feliciano - la playa

No soy feliz -Jose Feliciano - el impefecto del subjuntivo

Que sera - Jose Feliciano - el futuro

Amigos - Juan Luis Guerra - la amistad

El costo de la vida - Juan Luis Guerra - los terminos economicos

La bilirrubina - Juan Luis Guerra - la salud

Las avsipas - Juan Luis Guerra - el subjuntivo

Ojala que llueva cafe - Juan Luis Guerra - el subjuntivo

A Dios le pido - Juanes - el subjuntivo

Fijate - Juanes - la protesta contra la minas de tierra

La camisa negra - Juanes - el amor malevolo

La historia de Juan - Juanes - los ninos callejeros

Nada valgo sin tu amor - Juanes - ser vs. estar

Suenos - Juanes - la paz vs. la violencia

Voverte a ver - Juanes - los tiempos de ser

Fotografia - Juanes con Nelly Furtado - el tiempo presente

Amate - La Ley - los mandatos familiares

Geografia - La oreja de Van Gogh - los terminos geograficos

La playa - La oreja de Van Gogh - el superlativo

La llorona - Lila Downs - las leyendas

Matador - Los Fabulosos Cadillacs - el crimen

El rey - Luis Miguel - el corrido mexicano

Hasta que me olvides - Luis Miguel - el subjuntivo

Cuando los angeles lloran - Mana - la destrccion de la selva

En el muelle de San Blas - Mana - el preterito vs. el imperfecto

Justicia, Tierra, Libertad - Mana - la justicia social

La selva negra - Mana - la destruccion de la selva tropical

Mis ojos - Mana - las partes del cuerpo

Pobre Juan - Mana - la inmigracion

Vivir sin aire - Mana - la naturaleza

Me gustas tu - Manu Chao - gustar

Dimelo - Marc Anthony - los tiempos verbales

Preciosa - Marc Anthony - el amor por la patria

Antes muerta que sencilla - Maria Isabel - el maquillaje

El cine - Mecano - el cine

Eugenio Salvador Dali - Mecano - el arte

Hijo de la luna - Mecano - las leyendas

Laika - Mecano - el imperfecto

Un ano mas - Mecano - La Nochevieja

Eres tu - Mocedades - la naturaleza

4:30 - Obie Bermudez - la rutina diaria

Amor del bueno - Reyli - el preterito

El y Ella - Ricardo Arjona -la historia de una pareja

Si el norte fuera el sur - Ricardo Arjona - el condicional

Copa de la vida - Ricky Martin - los deportes

La bomba - Ricky Martin - los adjetivos

Maria - Ricky Martin - los adjetivos

El progreso - Roberto Carlos - el medio ambiente

Como nosotros - Ruben Blades - el imperfecto vs. el preterito

Muevete - Ruben Blades - los paises hispanoparlantes

Patria - Ruben Blades - el amor por la patria

Pedro Navaja - Ruben Blades - el crimen

Amor prohibido - Selena - el tiempo presente

Ciega, sordomuda - Shakira - los adjetivos

Estoy aqui - Shakira - el participio presente

Inevitable - Shakira - saber vs. conocer

No - Shakira - los mandatos negativos vs. el subjuntivo

Ojos asi - Shakira - la lengua arabe

Que vuelvas - Shakira - el subjuntivo

¿Donde estas corazon? - Shakira - los tiempos verbales

Unicornio - Silvio Rodriguez - las leyendas

A encontrarte - Sin bandera - el tiempo presente

Te esperare - Sin bandera - el subjuntivo

Ellas danzan solas - Sting - los desaparecidos

Viaje tiempo atras - Thalia - el futuro

Colores del viento - Vanessa Williams - la naturaleza

Super heroe - Vico C - el imperfecto vs. el preterito

News: The Language Teacher's Toolbox Reaches 200 Posts!

Hello all, Chris here. We have recently topped the 200 mark in posts! Thank you to everyone who continues to help with the blog and all of the excellent articles and contributions from our writers! Next stop is 250 posts and then the big 500!

Interested in becoming a writer or contributor to the site? It's easy! Just send us an email at and we will contact you with details about your roles and responsibilities. This is a great way to buff up your CV!

German: DAAD 'Young Ambassadors' Program

Hello all, Chris here. Fellow German teachers, today I would like to share a recent bit of news I received from AATG and DAAD regarding the 'Young Ambassadors' program. There is also the newer 'Research Ambassadors' program. These are great programs and opportunities for your students so please help spread the word in your upcoming courses. Please read on for a detailed description of the program:

"Since 2005, DAAD New York has been operating its highly successful "Young Ambassadors" program, consisting of recently-returned undergraduate students who have studied in Germany are willing and excited to promote Germany as a study and research destination on their campuses. In an effort to assemble a similar cadre of informed and enthusiastic experts and advisers on higher-level research opportunities in Germany, DAAD New York launched its Research Ambassadors program last year. After a very successful first year, we are pleased to announce the call for applications for the second round of Research Ambassadors.

DAAD Research Ambassadors' primary role is to inform students and researchers in the USA and Canada about Germany as a research destination and to foster collaborations with German colleagues. They are a group of scholars and scientists committed to a wide range of activities to promote research in Germany, from providing information, mentoring, participating in panel discussions or information fairs, to being available to answer questions via email, hosting information events, etc.


Eligible applicants:

-have completed a total of at least 10 months conducting research in Germany at the doctoral level or above;
-are familiar with the current research landscape in Germany for their respective discipline;
-are willing and able to attend the DAAD Research Ambassadors Training Workshop in New York City, from the evening of Thursday, August 19 until mid-day on Saturday, August 21.

Scholars and scientists from all disciplines are invited to apply.

Priority will be given to former recipients of DAAD grants and scholarships (i.e. DAAD Alumni), but other "Germany Alumni" will be accepted, including German nationals who studied in Germany but are now living in the US or Canada.


The main responsibility of a DAAD Research Ambassador is to promote research opportunities in Germany in his/her professional community, university or organization, and discipline. This can take the form of:

-Contacting departmental chairs and senior administration officers to share information about study and research opportunities in Germany, including DAAD grants and other organizations' funding programs.

-Arranging an informational meeting on campus each academic year for students in their department and/or prospective applicants to DAAD programs.

-Providing advice and support to students and researchers interested in pursuing academic activities in Germany in his/her field from any university or institution in the US or Canada - and potentially doing the same for German DAAD grantees currently studying in North America.

Once selected, short biographies and photos of the DAAD Research Ambassadors will be posted to and so that interested parties can contact them with questions about research in specific fields in Germany.

At the end of each academic year, each Research Ambassador submits a short report to DAAD with any important contacts made and meetings organized. DAAD will include a short report form on the website to fill out.

Research Ambassador terms are for one academic year, and can be renewed. The RA may also request a multiple-year term.

DAAD will make reimbursements available upon request to cover expenses related to production of promotional materials or for refreshments at meetings or informational events.

Application and Deadline

To download the application, please go to the following link:

Applications must be received by Tuesday June 22, 2010.

If you have any questions about the program or application process or if you need more time to prepare your application, please contact Ms. Amra Dumisic at or (212) 758-3223 x211."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

German: Schland O Schland Lyrics

To accompany Chris' post of the YouTube phenomenon, here is their official website with the lyrics to the song. Please to enjoy! ;-) The link to the lyrics are in the bottom bar of the flag under the link HIER!

ACTFL Position Statement on Language Learning for Heritage and Native Speakers

Hi all, Angelika here. ACTFL posted their Position Statement on Language Learning for Heritage and Native Speakers

The World Cup – Vocabulary

Hi all, Angelika here. If you are looking for vocab lists for the World Cup, here is a great multilingual link:

Monday, June 14, 2010

German: Uwu Lena - Schland o Schland Video

Hello all, Chris here with another cool music video I found for the 2010 World Cup. The song is by Uwu Lena and is called 'Schland o Schland'! The song is slow enough for students to follow along and like the 'Schwarz Rot Gold' song, it provides a good opportunity to teach cultural material. Comments welcome!

German: Schwarz Rot Gold Video von Die Fraktion

Hello all, Chris here. Check out this video made after Germany defeated Australia 4-0 in the opening match of the 2010 World Cup! The band is Die Fraktion! After each match Germany plays, the band will compose a variation of the song. This would be a great song to teach in class!

You can also check out the original music video here:

Spanish: Día del español

Hi all, Claudia here,

On june 19th, the Instituto Cervantes will be celebrating the second edition of Día del Español, a website designed for this day where you can find several activities and videos you can vote for. This is a world wide event celebrated simultaneously at all the Cervantes centers. They will have activities for all: art, games, dancing lessons and more.

For more information follow this link:

Friday, June 11, 2010

German: German World Magazine

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share an excellent resource with fellow German teachers, the German World magazine! This is a very informative and useful magazine and well worth subscribing to! They currently have a special subscription offer for Teachers, Students, and "Stand Up for German Learning members" where a subscription is only $ 4.95 a year (instead of $19.95). Head on over to the following link if you are interested in this offer:

You can also further connect with German World at the following places:
on Facebook and or

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

German: Spiegel on Scientology

Great article in Spiegel on Scientology in Germany. There is a movie posted to Youtube in segments, which originally aired on Germany's Channel 1 (Das Erste), Bis nichts mehr bleibt <Until Nothing Remains>. It's worth checking out. You can definitely see why Germany more than many other countries (including our own) would take a strong stand against such an organization. The parallels with the Nazis and the Stasi are easy to see. If nothing else, the abuses perpetrated by this "church" shown in this film demonstrate the appropriateness of the laws Germany has enacted since the end of WWII and again after reunification to protect its citizens against such parasitic cults. There is also a documentary that accompanies the film.,1518,675298,00.html

Part1 of 9 on Youtube <Until Nothing Remains>

Useful website- Japanese

Hi all, Junko desu.
Today I wanted to share a useful website for Japanese teaching, called "エリンが挑戦!にほんごできます(Erin's challenge, I can speak Japanese)." This is a short TV program for Japanese learners and have been broadcasted on TV in Japan. They have many situational video clips, and learners are supposed to answer questions after watching the cilps. Now they have a new website, and you can watch them online for free!

Click on a video, and you can have subtitles on with any language you want.

Spanish: Student Videos

Hi all, Claudia here,

I recently ran across a great video that I would like to share with you. This video was a project by a few Spanish students and I find it very creative and fun. I haven't had the opportunity to assign my students an activity like this one but I would really like to do so. This is an example of how you can use videos in your class, you could also do commercials. Part of this video is a representation of the One Semester of Spanish Love Song I told you about a while ago.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spanish: AP Summer Institute for Teachers

Hello everyone, Claudia here,

Centro MundoLengua is offering a summer workshop for Spanish teachers in Sevilla, Spain, from 6/20/2010 to 7/2/2010. The program is officially recognized by the College Board for teachers of Spanish.

The purpose of this 2-week workshop is to familiarize participants with the AP curriculum, resources and program goals, as well as the AP exam and its grading. You will learn strategies for assessing your students’ progress in Spanish, and will create and share new activities for speaking, listening, writing and reading.

For more information check out their link:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

News: 2010 ACTFL Convention

Hello all, Chris here. Just a reminder for those who might be interested in attending,  the dates and location of the 2010 ACTFL convention are below:

ACTFL 2010 Annual Convention and
World Languages Expo
Nov. 19-21, 2010
Boston, MA
Early-bird deadline: 7/14/2010
Advance deadline: 10/13/2010
Register online
Reservation deadline: 10/14/2010
Book Housing online

You can also download a preview brochure of the convention here:

German: Funny Video - 'Gimme Hope Joachim'

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share a pretty cool video with fellow German teachers which is about the upcoming World Cup and the German soccer team. It is called 'Gimme Hope Joachim. Songtext, Information, and more at:

oder become a Fan on Facebook:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Japanese: Hikaru Utada Music Video

Hi all, Junko here.

Here is another song for dictation. The melody of the song might be a little fast, but words are easy to cacth.

宇多田ヒカル(Hikaru Utada): Traveling

しごとにも せいが 出る(            )
タクシーも すぐ つかまる、とび乗る めざすは きみ
どちらまで行かれます?(           )
ふけいきでこまります、しめます ドアにちゅうい
風に またぎ 月へ のぼり ぼくの せきは きみの隣
ふいにわれにかえり、クラリ (         )のごとし
Traveling (     ) Traveling (     ) アスファルトをてらすよ
Traveling どこへ Traveling 行くの とおくなら どこへでも
Traveling もっと Traveling ゆらせ こわしたくなる しょうどう
Traveling もっと Traveling とばせ いそぐことは ないけど
聞かせたい(       )(            )
気持ちに はくしゃかかる ねらいどおり
なみと はしゃぎ 雲を さそい ついに ぼくは きみに出会い
わかさゆえに すぐにチラリ 風の前のちりに おなじ
Traveling むねを Traveling よせて いつもより めだっちゃおう
Traveling ここは Traveling いやよ もくてきちは まだだよ
Traveling (    )Traveling 下げて 何もこわくないモード
Traveling ここで Traveling いいよ すべてはきぶんしだい
みんな(       )時間だ 待ちきれずこんや 
かくれていた ねがいが うずきます
みんなもりあがる時間だ どうしてだろうか 少しだけ ふあんが のこります
Traveling (     ) Traveling (     ) アスファルトをてらすよ
Traveling どこに Traveling いるの これからが いいところ
Traveling もっと Traveling ゆらせ こわしたくなる しょうどう
Traveling もっと Traveling とばせ とまるのがこわい ちょっと

Japanese: Mr. Children Music Video

Hi all, Junko desu.

Sometimes classes go faster than you planned and you would be like "what should I do?", right? Should I just keep talking or have them talk?

Song dictation is like my back-up plan. You need to be careful which song to use though, since songs are pretty difficult to catch in general. For a beginning level, I always choose rather slow songs, than super fast rap songs.

ミスターチルドレン(Mr. Children):ギフト (Gift)

一番きれいないろって何だろう 一番ひかってるものって何だろう
ぼくは(         ) さいこうのギフトを 
きみがよろこんだ すがたを(      )をしながら
ほんとうのじぶんを(        )っていうけど 
うまれたいみを (      )っていうけど ぼくの両手がそれをわたすときふと 
なぞがとけるといいな うけとってくれるかな
(     )あいだ きみに わたしたくて つよく にぎりしめていたから
もう(        )になって いろはかわりはて 
(    )か(    )でこたえろという なんだいをつきつけられ
ぶちあたったかべの(    )で ぼくらは またまよっている まよっているけど
しろとくろのその(    )に むげんのいろが ひろがっている
きみに にあういろ さがして やさしい名前をつけたなら
ほら 一番きれいないろ 今 きみに送るよ
ちへいせんの先にたどりついても (     )ちへいせんがひろがるだけ
もうやめにしようか じぶんのむねに聞くと
まだ(        )と へんじが聞こえたよ
知らぬまにふえていったにもつも まだ何とかせおっていけるから
きみの分まで持つよ だからそばにいてよ それだけで (    )は かるくなる
はてしない たびじのはてに えらばれるものとはだれ
たとえぼくじゃなくたって それでもまた(     )いく (     )いくよ 
ふりそそぐひざしが あって だからこそひかげもあって そのすべてがいみを持って たがいをたたえているのなら もうどんなばしょにいても ひかりをかんじれるよ
今 きみに送るよ 気に入るかな うけとってよ 
きみとだから さがせたよ ぼくのほうこそ ありがとう
一番きれいないろって何だろう 一番ひかってるものってなんだろう
ぼくは(      ) きみがくれたギフトを いつまでも(    )のおくで
ほらひかってるんだよ ひかりつづけるんだよ


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