Thursday, March 31, 2011

Purdue Graduate Student Symposium on Second Language Studies and ESL

Our 3rd annual graduate symposium on Second Language Studies and ESL will be held this Saturday, April 2nd in Stewart Center 218D. Registration is $5 at the door. We hope you will attend!

News: Looking for Contributors

Hello everyone, Chris here again. As the site continues to grow in popularity we want to continue to expand our content offering across all languages. We are currently looking for both full contributors and occasional contributors in German, Spanish, and French. Full contributors should be prepared to offer 4+ posts per month while occasional contributors only need to offer at least 1 post per month. As we continue to grow there will be several exciting collaborative efforts available for contributors include product development! Being a site contributor is a great addition to a CV or resume. Anyone interesting in joining our teach should send an email to

Useful Site: The Heritage Language Journal

Hello everyone, Claudia here,

Today I have a link to a great site recommended by my friend and colleague Claudia Sadowski.

The Heritage Language Journal, HLJ, is an online, blind-refereed journal, established in 2002 to provide a forum for scholars to publish the results of their research and to advance knowledge about educating heritage speakers. HLJ is published by the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA and is housed on a server hosted by the UCLA International Institute.

The journal seeks submissions from researchers and practitioners in:

•linguistics & applied linguistics
•language education
•language policy
•other relevant fields

The editors also welcome proposals for special issues focused on a single language or topic.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

News: Skype in the Classroom

Hello again, everyone, Becky here!

Skype has announced a platform for creating collaborations with other schools in specific disciplines, SKYPE in the Classroom, and there are many language options currently listed. There are already over 5000 teachers registered. You can create a group to search for partner classes, or simply find one that exists currently.


News: University of Pittsburgh Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures Conference Call for Papers

Hello everyone, Becky again!

I have pasted below a Call for Papers for the University of Pittsburgh's biannual (des)articulaciones conference organized by graduate students in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures.


DEADLINE EXTENDED: Abstracts due May 1
This year’s conference, entitled “(In)visible Cosmovisions: Dialogues in Afro and Indigenous Latin America and the Caribbean” will take place on October 21-22, 2011 in Pittsburgh. Our invited keynote speaker will be Prof. Catherine Walsh of the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito, Ecuador.

See the following website for further details:

Seventh International Conference on Language Teacher Education

Hello everyone, Becky here!

I have pasted below information about the Seventh International Conference on Language Teacher Education. Enjoy!

Expanding Our Horizons:
Seventh International Conference on
Language Teacher Education
May 19–21, 2011
Radisson University Hotel
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

The mission of the conference is to address the education of teachers of all languages, at all instructional and institutional levels, and in all the many national and international contexts in which this takes place, including: English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) instruction; foreign/modern/world language teaching; bilingual education; immersion education; indigenous and minority language education; and the teaching of less commonly taught languages. The conference aims to bring together teacher educators from these many contexts to discuss and share research, theory, and best practices and to initiate and sustain meaningful professional dialogue across languages, levels, and settings. The conference will focus on the following four broad themes:
· The Knowledge Base of Language Teacher Education;
· Social, Cultural, and Political Contexts of Language Teacher Education;
· Collaborations in Language Teacher Education; and
· Processes of Language Teacher Education

Featured Plenary Presentations & Speakers

· Heather Willis Allen
Assistant Professor, University of Miami
· Beatrice Dupuy
Associate Professor, University of Arizona
· Adriana González Moncada
Associate Professor, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia
· Brian Morgan
Associate Professor, York University, Canada
· Diane J. Tedick
Associate Professor, University of Minnesota
· Tara Williams Fortune
Immersion Projects Coordinator, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition

Sessions & Pre-conference Workshops

The conference program will include over 100 papers, symposia, and discussion sessions on language teacher education from a wide range of contexts and perspectives.

The program also includes an extensive line-up of morning and afternoon pre-conference workshops including:Program Evaluation for Language Instructors; A Long-Term Approach to Foreign Language TA Development; Language Immersion Education: Is it Really Any Different?; Preparing Teachers to Understand and Act Critically Upon Language Policies; Infusing Technology into Language Teacher Education; Professional Development for Teaching Adult Emergent Readers; Exploring New Directions in the Preparation of Beginning Foreign Language Teachers; Critical Multiliteracies: Engaging Identities in L2 Classrooms; Exploring Learner Language in Language Teacher Education; Preparing Leaders in the Arabic Language Teaching Community; Culture as the Core in Chinese Teacher Education; and Technology Options for Foreign Language Teachers.
More information:
To register:

Monday, March 28, 2011

News: TexFLEC and SoCALLT 2011 - Reminder

This year, TexFLEC (Texas Foreign Language Education Conference)
will be held in conjunction with the SoCALLT (South Central Association for Language Learning Technology) Conference at the University of Texas in Austin, April 14-16 (Thursday – Saturday), 2011.

SOCALLT - South Central Association for Language Learning Technology
"Language Teaching and Learning in an Open World

The South Central Association for Language Learning Technology invites SOCALLT/IALLT members and other language teaching professionals who use instructional technologies (including foreign languages, heritage languages, ESL and ASL) to participate in our next annual meeting.

TexFLEC - Twelfth Annual Texas Foreign Language Education Conference
"Language Education Across the Academic Pipeline"

The "academic pipeline" is a metaphor that education researchers have used to describe the flow of students progress from primary schools through higher education. The theme of this year's conference addresses crucial questions about that pipeline for ELLs and foreign language learners: To what extent does K-12 language education prepare students to transition smoothly to college and higher education opportunities? What practices provide continuity and support for students as they navigate through elementary, secondary, post-secondary, and continuing education contexts? What factors cause students to "leak out" of the educational system and/or out of language studies?

German Video: Edeka Commercial - Rosmarin

Hello all, Chris here with one more Edeka commercial. This one is called Rosmarin. Enjoy!

German Video: Edeka Commercial - Gurke und Zucchini

Hello all, Chris here with another Edeka commercial. This time it is Gurke und Zucchini. Enjoy!

German Video: Edeka Commercial - Matheaufgabe

Hello all, Chris here with another of the Edeka commericals. This time it is the Matheaufgabe commercial. Enjoy!

German Video: Funny Edeka Commercial - Wursttheke

Hello all, Chris here with another funny Edeka commercial, this time it is the Wursttheke. Enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Useful Site: Animoto

Hello everyone, Becky here!

This is a link for educators to sign up to use Animoto for free:

It is yet another tool that can be used to upload music, videos, pictures, etc. There are several applications as well. Check out the site at


German Video: Funny Edeka Commercial - Parkplatz

Hello all, Chris here with another of the Edeka commercials. This time it is the Parkplatz commercial! Enjoy!

German Video: Funny Edeka Commercial: Nudelsuppentopf

Hello all, Chris here with another Edeka commercial. This time it is the funny Nudelsuppentopf commercial. Enjoy!

German Video: Funny Edeka Commercial - Ei

Hello all, Chris here with another funny Edeka commercial. These various commercials could be useful with food vocabulary or as general comprehension checks!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

German Video: Funny Edeka Commercial

Hello all, Chris here again with another funny German commercial. This time it is for Edeka. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

German Video: Funny Prank Call with Bodo Bach - Blitzfoto

Hello all, Chris here. Today I have a fun clip from German comedian Bodo Bach whose routine includes making prank phone calls. Very funny and worth sharing with your students. You will want to preview the clips to make sure that they are appropriate for the level of your students and content-wise as well. Comments welcome!

Monday, March 21, 2011

German: Verb Battleship (Download)

Hello all, Chris here again with another downloadable activity. As the Verb Battleship activity appears to be quite popular I decided it would be useful for fellow German teachers to have the activity readily available. Below you can find the activity as a PDF download. Enjoy!

Verb Battleship (German)

German: Namensjagd Icebreaker Activity

Hello all, Chris here with the next post featuring a downloadable activity! This time I would like to share a fun icebreaker activity I call Namensjagd which I generally use during the first few days of an intermediate level class. Take a look at the activity and give it a try in your classes! You will of course want to change a few of the questions to suit your context. Comments welcome!


Friday, March 18, 2011

Webinars: Voice Thread and Elluminate Free Webinar Saturday!

Hello everyone, Becky again!

Clasroom 2.0 is hosting a free webinar called "Voice Thread: What's new and exciting?" this Saturday. This will give you the opportunity to learn more about Voice Thread and to experience Elluminate, which is the "virtual classroom" many online schools use to host live lessons.

Visit for more information.


Useful Sites: The MIXXER Website

Hello everyone, Becky here!

It's a free educational website for language exchanges via Skype.


(Photo is property of MIXXER website. All rights theirs.)

News: Article Link about Changes in Grading in Schools

Hello everyone, Becky here!

I encourage you to take a look at the New York Times link below to the article "A's for Good Behavior" about changes being made to the assessment system in schools. It's really interesting!


News: Linguafolio Information and How to Link

Hello everyone, Becky here!

I have copied a link below about using Linguafolio (a portfolio assessment instrument designed to support students in setting and achieving their goals for learning languages with instructor guidance):


News: IV Congreso Internacional de FIAPE - Reminder

La Federación Internacional de Asociaciones de Profesores de Español (FIAPE) con la colaboración de los Cursos Internacionales de la Universidad de Santiago de Compostela celebrará durante las fechas 17, 18, 19 y 20 de abril de 2011, en los edificios de la Facultad de Filología de la mencionada Universidad de Santiago, su IV Congreso Internacional bajo el lema: La enseñanza del español en un mundo intercultural. Jornadas pedagógicas.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

German: Mit Bingo Nummern Lernen Activity (Download)

Hello all, Chris here with the newest addition to our downloadable content! Today I have a ready-to-use number Bingo for German to share! Enjoy!

Mit Bingo Nummern Lernen

German Video: Funny IKEA Commercial

Hello all, Chris here again with another funny commercial. This time it is for IKEA. Enjoy!

German Video: Funny German Volkswagen Commercial 2

Hello all, Chris here with a few more funny Volkswagen commercial. Enjoy!

German Video: Funny Mercedes Commercial

Hello everyone, Chris here again with another funny German car commercial. This time it is for Mercedes. Enjoy!

German Video: Funny VW Commercial

Hello all, Chris here with a funny Volkswagen commercial I found on YouTube. Car commercials and as well as those for other products can be used as short fillers between activities, warmups at the start or end of class, as discussion starters or the basis for activities. Enjoy!

News: World Languages Day 2011 @ MSU

Hello all, Chris here with some news. Michigan State University's annual World Languages Day is coming up in April! This is a great event to attend for high school language learners! There are several great activities to participate in!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

German Video: Gespräche 8

Hello all, Chris here with the next video in our Gespräche series featuring Anna and Marek discussing Currywurst! Enjoy!

Fragen zum Video:

1 Was erzählt Marek über die Currywurst?
2 Womit isst er Currywurst?
3 Gibt es Currywurst in Hamburg?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spanish Video: Conversaciones Españolas 5

Hello all, Chris here with the next video in our Conversaciones series! Sandra and Claudia discuss activities and nightlife in Sandra's hometown in Columbia.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

French Video: Henri Salvador - Jardin d'Hiver

FR. 101-202 or higher: This is a creative vocabulary/verb builder. The French Instructor will block a few key words for French Language learners to attempt to recognize and fill in the blanks (---).

Jardin D'hiver

Je (voudrais) du soleil vert
Des dentelles et des (théières)
Des photos de (bord de mer)
Dans mon (jardin) d'hiver

Je voudrais de la (lumière)
Comme (en) Nouvelle Angleterre
Je veux (changer) d'atmosphère
Dans mon jardin d'(hiver)

Ta robe (à) fleur
Sous la (pluie) de novembre
Mes mains qui (courent)
Je n'en peux plus de l'attendre
Les (années) passent
Qu'il est loin (l'âge) tendre
(Nul) ne peut nous entendre

Je voudrais (du) Fred Astaire
(Revoir) un Latécoère
Je voudrais (toujours) te plaire
Dans (mon) jardin d'hiver

Je veux (déjeuner) par terre
Comme au long des golfes (clairs)
T'embrasser les yeux (ouverts)
Dans mon jardin d'hiver

Ta robe à fleur
Sous la pluie de novembre
Mes mains qui courent
Je n'en peux plus de l'attendre
Les années passent
Qu'il est loin l'âge tendre
Nul ne peut nous entendre
Je voudrais du soleil vert
Des dentelles et des théières
Des photos de bord de mer
Dans mon jardin d'hiver

Je voudrais de la lumière
Comme en Nouvelle Angleterre
Je veux changer d'atmosphère
Dans mon jardin d'hiver

Ta robe à fleur
Sous la pluie de novembre
Mes mains qui courent
Je n'en peux plus de l'attendre
Les années passent
Qu'il est loin l'âge tendre
Nul ne peut nous entendre

Je voudrais du Fred Astaire
Revoir un Latécoère
Je voudrais toujours te plaire
Dans mon jardin d'hiver

Je veux déjeuner par terre
Comme au long des golfes clairs
T'embrasser les yeux ouverts
Dans mon jardin d'hiver

Ta robe à fleur
Sous la pluie de novembre
Mes mains qui courent
Je n'en peux plus de l'attendre
Les années passent
Qu'il est loin l'âge tendre
Nul ne peut nous entendre

--Henri Salvador

French Video: La France aux yeux d'une étudiante colombienne

Bonjour everyone, Johanne here again. Today I have another video to share which provides a good view of France through the eyes of someone who isn't French. This video is also for the low-intermediate level.

FR.201-202 or higher

French Video: Erasmus à l'Université de Strasbourg

Bonjour everyone, Johanne here. Today I would like to share a video on the University of Strasbourg. This is for the low-intermediate level.

FR.201-202 or higher.

French Video: Paris - encore Paris!

Bonjour everyone, Johanne here. Today I would like to share a useful video for instructors at the intermediate level.

FR.201-300: this video will be useful to French Instructors as a vocabulary built-up.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Japanese: Role Play- at study-abroad fair

Hi all, Junko desu. Today I want to share a fun role-play activity. The role play will be placed at a study-abroad job fair. A student comes into a booth, and ask questions. The person at the booth will answer any question that the student has, and give him/her some advice using an information sheet!

You are thinking about going to study abroad to Japan next year, but you don’t know what to do. Ask a person at a booth about application process, good university to study and which is better home-stay or dorm.
留学部の人(person at a booth)
You are an expert in study-abroad to Japan. Answer any question that the student has. Ask the student what kind of classes s/he is interested in.

Here is the model conversation:
あのう、すみません。ちょっとよろしいですか?(anou sumimasen, chotto yoroshii desuka)
はい、何でしょうか。(hai, nandeshouka)
日本へ留学したいと思っているので、色々教えていただきたいんですが。(nihone ryuugaku shitaito omotteirunode, iroiro oshiete itadakemasennka)
はい、いいですよ。どこか行きたい大学はありますか。(hai iidesuyo. dokoka ikitai daigakuwa arimasuka)
えっと、実は、全然わからないんです。どこかいい所をアドバイスしていただけませんか?(etto , jitsuwa, zenzen wakaranainndesu. dokoka iitokorowo adobaisu shiteitadakemasenka)

German Video: Gespräche 7

Hello everyone, Chris here with the next video in our Gespräche series! This time Anna and Marek talk about their recent vacations! Enjoy!

Fragen zum Video:

1 Welche Städte hat Anna besucht?
2 Wie findet Anna Boston?
3 Wie findet Anna Washington?
4 Was hält Anna von New York?
5 Was hat Marek während den Ferien gemacht?
6 Welche Städte hat er besucht?
7 Wie war New Orleans?
8 Wo ist er mit seiner Freundin in New Orleans geblieben?

German: Karneval 2011 (Köln)

Hello all, Chris here. Today I would like to share a video from Rosenmontag in Köln. This one is from 2010. Below that is also a link to Köln's homepage which features many useful links, videos, and information from this year's events. This is definitely something fun to share with students. Various lessons and activities are possible for Karneval.

  • How would you do a lesson on Karneval?
  • What types of activities would you do?
  • What would be some necessary vocabulary and/or grammar to do a lesson on Karneval?

(Image from All rights theirs)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spanish Video: Conversaciones Españolas 4

Hello everyone, Chris here again with the next video in our Conversaciones series! This time Sandra and Claudia talk about Colombia!

News: 500th Post!

We've reached our 500th post! Thanks to all our contributors and everyone who visits the site! Next stop, 1000 posts!


Hinamatsuri- Doll Festival

Hi all, Junko desu. Today I want to share a short video clip explaining 雛祭り(hinamatsuri), Japanese doll festival on March 3rd every year.

Follow the link for more info. Enjoy!

French Video: Cliché ! version française

Bonjour everyone, Chris here. Today I would like to share a funny French video found on YouTube which lists various French stereotypes. This video would work well in class as a starter for a cultural lesson. Enjoy!

(French flag used from Wikipedia. All rights theirs.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Group Activities: Amazing Racing Compilation Video

Chris here again with another video. Today I would like to share a short compilation video featuring clips from a recent activity in intermediate German classes which was inspired by the show 'The Amazing Race'. The activity featured small groups having to locate various language stations themed after chapters we covered in class. The chapter's themselves were thematically organized by German cities. Students received clues to find the stations and upon arriving at each station they would complete either a language or culture challenge. The groups were evaluated at each station. A final composite score was given including completion time. Comments welcome!

Spanish: Los Carnavales

Hi all, Claudia here,

Los Carnavales are a very important part of Latin American culture and are celebrated all over the world. This is a famous tradition you should certainly share with your students. I would like to share a few links you can go to if you want to learn more about Los Carnavales.

(Foto taken from the first link)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spanish: Trabalenguas 4

Hello all, Claudia here,

I would like to share a last set of trabalenguas with you. Please let me know if you know of any other tongue twisters that you would like to share with us. Enjoy!

Perejil comí, perejil cené
¿cuándo me desperejilizaré?

Compré pocas copas,
pocas copas compré
y como compré pocas copas,
pocas copas pagué.

Si Sansón no sazona su salsa con sal, le sale sosa;
le sale sosa su salsa a Sansón si la sazona sin sal.

Son las cinco menos cinco
faltan cinco para las cinco,
¿Cuántas veces dije cinco
sin contar el último cinco?

María Chuchena su choza techaba,
y un techador que por ahí pasaba le dice:
María Chuchena, ¿Tu techas tu choza o techas la ajena?
No techo mi choza ni techo la ajena.
Yo techo la choza de María Chuchena.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chinese: Useful Sites

Hello all, Bailu here. Below are some useful sites to learn Chinese language and culture.

The Chinese Outpost
A comprehensive website for Chinese Language Learning, Chinese culture and history, Chinese latest news as well as other useful resources.

A good self-study website for all academic levels from newbie to advanced. It also provides video channels, community activities and personal study plans. However, it is not free(have 7-day free trail).

A comprehensive website with dictionary, readings, vocabulary, chat and other cool resources.

BBC-Real Chinese
A language learning website with well-designed practical topics, videos, guides and notes, as well as Chinese games.
(Chinese flag picture from Wikipedia. All rights are theirs.)

News: Free play "The Monkey King" March 3-5

Hello all, Bailu here. I am excited to announce this free performance (Thursday, Friday, & Saturday nights @ 7:30, and Saturday afternoon @ 2:30)that showcases one of the many famous stories of the mischievous Monkey King. Folktales of the Monkey King are famous throughout China and Chinese history; every Chinese knows these stories and can tell you about the Monkey King, they all learn about him and his mischief while very young. (see the flyer for more details)

German: Gesicht Word Search

Hello all, Chris here. Continuing with the downloadable content, today I would like to share another simple word search, this time for Gesicht vocabulary. Enjoy!

A Linguistic Approach to Test-Taking

My mom sent me this activity that she was required to do in her education class. It's supposed to illustrate how to write poor exam questions, the idea being that if you're a savvy test-taker, you will be able to get all these answers right, even without knowing what any of the words mean. Involved in the process of doing this are a lot of neat linguistic observations, so I thought I'd share the activity with you. If you happen to teach linguistics to education majors, you can also tie into their interests even more with this.

Try taking the test first:

1. What is the primary purpose of the cluss in frumpaling?

A. To remove clussprangs
B. To patch tremalis
C. To loosen cloughs
D. To repair plumots

2. The fribbled breg will ninter best with an

A. Mors
B. Ignu
C. Derst
D. Sortar

3. Why does the sigla frequently overfesk the trelsum?

A. All sigla are mellious
B. Siglas are always votial
C. The trelsum is usually tarious
D. No trelsa are directly feskable

4. Trassign normally occurs under which of the following conditions?

A. When dissles frull
B. When lusp trasses the vom
C. When the belgo lisks easily
D. When the viskal flans, if the viskal is zorti

5. What probable causes are indicated when doss occurs in a composts?

A. The sabs foped and the doths tinzed
B. The kredges roted with the rots
C. The rakogs were not accepted in the
D. The polats were thenced in the sluth

6. Which of the following is/are always present when trossels are being gruven?

A. Rint and vost
B. Vost
C. Shum and vost
D. Vost and plone

7. The nintering function of the ignu is most effectively performed in connection with the

A. Arazma tol
B. Groshing stantol
C. Fribbled breg
D. Frallied stantels



Now check the answer key to see how well you did.

1. The answer is A. There is cluss in the question and in the answer. It makes sense cluss would be in the answer.

2. The answer is B. B is correct because you have (an) so the answer has to start with a vowel.

3. The answer is C. It is the only answer that is not absolute and there are not many absolute answers in life.

4. The answer is D. D is the only answer that contains a condition and the longest answer is usually the right one.

5. The answer is A. It is the only answer that has two causes. With the "and" you must have two causes – the question is plural so the answer is plural.

6. The answer is B. Vost is in every answer so it must be B.

7. The answer is C. The earlier question talked about the fribbled breg and the ignu. You could look back at the other question and deduce the answer.

8. The answer is D. The test is following a pattern ABCD, ABCD.

You could apply this test to your class one question at a time, telling the students at the beginning of the year that you're going to have "pop quizzes" and pulling this out as a silly attention grabber every time, using only whichever question is applicable to the unit you're starting: #2 for phonology, #1 and #6 for morphology (6 is not directly related but helps with the concept of figuring out how to do a morphology problem), #3 and #4 with semantics (discussing the features of "frequently" and "usually" or "conditions" and "if"), and #5 for (morpho)syntax. Or, if you're like me and you usually teach language acquisition after teaching all the theoretical units, you could give the test all together as a simultaneous review of the concepts you've already talked about and an introduction to a discussion on how we learn a second language (and the impact our second language skills have on our ability to learn in a second language). Whether your students are future educators or not, they're all familiar with the dreaded ritual of test-taking. Maybe this activity will help them feel a little bit smarter about the process (or teach them something they didn't know!) while allowing you to make linguistic connections at the same time.


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