Tuesday, January 31, 2012

News: Call for Papers HALT

Deadline - February 15, 2012

News: 2012 FLAME Conference

News: 2012 LFLTA Conference

10 Foreign Remakes of American TV Shows

Chris here again. Today we have an article to share brought to us by Katina Solomon from zencollegelife.com. The article focuses on 10 Foreign Remakes of American TV Shows Very Different Than the Original! This is a good lead-in for opening up discussion on TV and film in the countries where your target language is being spoken.

Foreign remakes of American TV shows

News: Social media and technology connects classrooms across the world

An ever increasing number of schools are using social media, videoconferencing and other technology to help teach students about the similarities and differences of students in other countries and cultures. At one Pennsylvania school, an ongoing project has high school students from different countries collaborating on wiki pages. In addition, it is reported that classrooms at schools in more than 200 countries and territories are connecting using the ePals social learning network. You can read more about these interesting uses of technology  in the Education Week article link below:

Language Advocacy: Why study German?

Chris here again with a helpful resource for fellow German teachers. We are frequently asked by students and teachers 'What can I do with German?' or 'Why should I study German?' This is especially relevant as students often find Spanish to be 'easier' and perhaps more relevant. Then there are the so-called "critical" languages such as Arabic and Mandarin Chinese among others. What can German teachers do to show reasons why studying German will be worth the students' time? Below is a good resource to get you started:

AATG - Why study German?

SDSU Comparison Study

If you know of any other websites or resources providing good reasons to study German, please feel free to share!

Teaching Materials: Make Me a Story

Make Me a Story demonstrates the power of digital storytelling as a useful tool for teaching writing and engaging students. The book takes teachers step-by-step through all the elements of a project, from research through assembling the story on the computer. Make Me a Story also includes a CD with 27 student examples. You can find more information on the publisher's site via the link below:

Please let us know if you have used Make Me a Story and what your experiences with it are. While the focus of the book is on K-5, how could digital storytelling be used in high school and college language classrooms?

Monday, January 30, 2012

The 8 Easiest Languages for English Speakers to Learn

Chris here again. Today we have an interesting article brought to us from OnlineCollege.org's Helene Schmidt. This one is about the 8 easiest languages for English speakers to learn.You can check it out via the link below:

8 Easiest Languages for English Speakers 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

News: Connecticut students to begin learning languages earlier

Education officials in Stamford, Conn., are creating a new elementary school world languages program in an effort to introduce students to languages at an earlier age. Typically, most students in the district do not study foreign languages until high school. According to Marty Abbott, executive director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, "it's really never too early to start having students be exposed to languages other than just their native languages, because when a young child hears the sounds of a different language, they're much more likely to be able to imitate those sounds." You can read more in the Stamford Advocate article below:

Connecticut students to begin learning languages earlier

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fokus: Hamburg Complete

Chris here with an exciting update! Fokus: Hamburg is now complete and will be available for purchase on our store shortly.



If you have any questions please feel free to comment or send us an email @ clteacherstoolbox.blogspot.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

French: SAMU de l'Environnement France 3 Alsace_26

Johanne here with another French video I would like to share. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Technology: Educreations App

Chris here with a useful app I found which could be useful in your language classroom. Take a look at Educreations, an online whiteboard. It also allows students to add their own narration and really allows them to create a multimedia presentation. It is available as an IPad app or as a browser version, and best of all, it is free! If you already have experience using Educreations, please tell us about it. What uses do you see for this app in a language classroom?


News: Tenure becomes more difficult to get

Chris here again with your language news. A recent USA Today article reports that several states have abolished teacher tenure while others have weakened as a result of a push for rigorous teacher evaluations that factor in students' achievement on standardized tests. You can read more via the link below:

Tenure becomes more difficult to get

French: Douces France(s) (5/10)

Johanne here with the fifth part in the Douces France(s) series. Enjoy!

Douces France(s) (5/10) - videos.arte.tv

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

German: Gegen den Strich cartoons

Chris here again with a useful website for fellow German teachers. Take a look at Gegen den Strich which feature hundreds of funny cartoons. You will want to choose them carefully as many are not appropriate for class. There are however several which would work well in German classes. Below is a link to one such cartoon:

Gegen den Strich

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

News: France adjusts employment provisions for foreign students

France. Working permit applications from foreign students will be reviewed as a result of criticism from students, heads of schools, and companies that immigration laws were forcing highly qualified graduates to leave the country. You can read more about this policy change in the article below:

France & employment for foreign students

French: Douces France(s) (4/10)

Johanne here with the fourth video in the Douces France(s) series. Enjoy!

Douces France(s) (4/10) - videos.arte.tv

French: Douces France(s) (3/10)

Johanne ici. Here is the third video in the Douces France(s) series. Enjoy!

Douces France(s) (3/10) - videos.arte.tv

Technology: Digital media and children

Chris here again. Today we have another guest post from Melissa Spears on digital media and distance learning. Take it away Melissa:

Digital Media - The Present Sensation for Kids

Do you know how digital media can help kids work, think and learn with perfection? You can’t deny that television stands as the most dominant media in the majority of homes. Moreover, experimenting with technically enriched applications, playing high-resolution video games and spending hours on internet exploration have emerged to be the most happening pastimes of kids and teens in today’s world. Still, some parents exist who have a propensity to stop their kids from falling prey to the spells of digital media. Now, they should be aware of some real facts and judge accordingly whether digital media can do any good to their kids or pollute their mind.

According to comprehensive reports published by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, the varied applications of media can immensely help a child grow if only his/her parents can give some time and come up with positive responses for their child’s interest. Anything that comes online tends to excite kids and therefore they almost turn restless to know and learn from their near ones who are none other than their parents.

Today, the online platform has provided innumerable learning resources like e-books, e-readers, course software and course tablets. Compared to those typical text books, these are no doubt better and effective substitutes that can make people of all ages take education sportingly. For kids, parents must take interest and participate in every learning activity taken up by their little ones. In fact, encouragement and support on behalf of the parents can let a child cross almost half the path of success.

A recent national survey was conducted where it was found that out of 1000 parents of children aged between 12 and 17, two-thirds of them regularly interact with their kids regarding internet applications. Approximately, half of them help and inspire their kids in relation to computer usage. Experts have opined that instead of spending long hours in classrooms, a child can learn much faster by accessing websites that have now become a necessity for every human being. 

With the help of high-resolution learning software enriched with graphics and animations, kids can not only get ecstatic but will love to keep each and every lesson in mind just like they don’t forget the gaming instructions. In fact, the Digital Youth Project came up with similar reports which say that one of the best learning styles for a kid is to hang around with a friend. This can result in the formation of healthy conversations between them. Rather, they might discuss what they love to play or watch or learn. This will excite each other and therefore their ideas will further get nurtured.
For the college goers and those already on the job, online learning has been a sensational medium for career development. Moreover, distance learning has always been beneficial for those who cannot afford to travel abroad. Plenty of colleges and universities have started offering distance learning courses and will continue to offer more and more online provisions to one and all.

So, it can be concluded that one can learn and pursue courses through various ways rather than doing the same in typical classrooms. Online learning is certainly one of the best ways which will keep encouraging you to develop your career standards with the passage of time. So, go online, spend some hours for it with pleasure and give your career a boost. Good luck!!

Author’s bio:
Melissa Spears here gives us a real picture of the seeming impact of online learning for kids and the coming generation. She shares with us how online education or distance learning stands so different from conventional education. Those who are heading to pursue MBA or any such career oriented programs can certainly benefit from distance learning.

If you have any questions or comments for Melissa feel free to comment below or email us at clteacherstoolbox@gmail.com.

French: Douces France(s) (2/10)

Bonjour everyone, Johanne here again with the next video in the Douces France(s) series from Arte. Enjoy!

Douces France(s) (2/10) - videos.arte.tv

News: Promoting your language program

Chris here again with an excellent article I found on the ACTFL site regarding the promotion of language programs:

Spreading the Word as a Matter of Survival

Definitely worth reading, especially if your program is facing difficulties! Do you agree with the suggestions in the article? How do you promote your language program?

Monday, January 23, 2012

German: Kaffee

Chris here again with another fun article I found. This one is more for advanced levels unless you chose to break it down for lower levels. This is an article on coffee drinking habits in Germany and the coffee industry. The article includes a useful chart as well. You can find it via the link below:


There is also a second article:

Wie viel Kaffee trinken Deutsche?


German: Mozartwege

Hello all, Chris here again. To add on to the post on Mozart als Tourist, here is an accompanying website about the Mozartwege one can travel today. This works well with a lesson on Mozart and/or tourism as well. Enjoy!


German: Mozart als Tourist

Chris here with an interesting article on Mozart I found on Spiegel Online. As we cover a unit on Salzburg this was a nice piece of supplementary information for the class. Enjoy!

Mozart als Tourist

French: Douces France(s) (1/10)

Bonjour everyone, Johanne here with the first in a ten-part video series from Arte.tv. This is a great series to use in your classroom. Enjoy!

Douces France(s) (1/10) - videos.arte.tv

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shop Language Teacher's Toolbox

Welcome to the Language Teacher's Toolbox online store!

Below you will find our selection of products for language teachers!

Coming Soon!


Focus: Belgium

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!


Enfoque: Latin America

German: Deutsche Bahn Werbung (lustig)

Chris here with a funny German commercial I found for Deutsche Bahn (DB). Feel free to use this in your classes:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

News: Canadian government to no longer offer language training

Canada's federal government will no longer employ teachers to help government workers learn to speak English and French. As a result, nearly 200 people will lose their jobs as a result.Government workers will be taught at private schools instead. You can read more about this change in the article below:

Friday, January 20, 2012

News: Budget cuts signal tough times for language funding

Congress recently passed a budget bill that resulted in a $27 million cut for grants to foreign language programs at public schools across the country. "What this cut does is pull the rug out from these programs," said Martha Abbott, executive director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. 

While many European languages such as German, French, and Russian have declined as a result of the budget cuts, so-called "critical" languages such as Mandarinand Arabic have continued to see increases in class enrollment and program development. 

How have budget cuts affected your language program?

Update: LTT webstore coming soon

Hello all, Chris here again with an exciting update. Over the weekend we will be adding an online store to the site to make it easy, fast, and safe for anyone wishing to purchase our existing products (Enfoque: Latin America and Focus: Belgium) as well as all of the new releases we having coming this year! Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

News: Global Kidz Lab - technology powers language learning

Global Kidz Lab in Centennial, Colo., is using interactive whiteboards, iPads, and other digital technology to help young students immerse themselves in foreign cultures and languages. Instructors conduct the entire courses in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish or French. According to co-founder Jen Sorge,  "the end result is the kids are having so much fun they’re not really realizing they’re learning."You can read more about this exciting program in the link below:

Global Kidz Lab

How do you use technology in your teaching?

Do you have any experience with interactive whieboards or using iPads in the language classroom?

What do you think about this program?

News: Ohio studnets get early Chinese lessons

Students at Old Orchard Elementary in Toledo, Ohio are getting an early taste of Chinese language lessons. Once a week, instructors from the Confucius Institute program at the University of Toledo visit the school to practice new words. You can read more in the article link below:

Students get early Chinese lessons

News: Are Americans too monoligual

NY Times columnist Michael Erard writes about the difficult in assessing just how bilingual Americans  and our culture are. You can read his latest article via the link below:

Are Americans too monolingual?

News: Tech developing working on program to translate the internet

Former CEO of ReCAPTCHA and computer science professor, Luis von Ahn, made his name by selling technology that allowed Google to digitize books. His latest venture is Duolingo, which would translate websites into other languages. You can read more in the CNN article below:

Duolingo - Translate the internet

What applications do you think this could have for language teaching?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

News: Central Florida schools moving towards dual-language immersion

Dual-language courses are on the rise in Central Florida. A school in Seminole County is featuring an experimental class with the aim of having its students able to be fluent in both English and Spanish within a year. This is part of an overall trend across the country for schools to help bridge the gap between English and Spanish speakers while simultaneously boosting academics. You can read more about these exciting programs in the article below:

Central Florida schools moving towards dual-language immersion

News: Scotland aims to increase foreign-language assistants

As a consequence of an 80% decline in foreign-language assistants in Scotland, the government plans to meet with foreign diplomats about the issue. Read more in the article below:

Scotland aims to increase foreign-language assistants

News: French for Hispanophones at Cal State Long Beach

At Cal State Long Beach, an innovative approach is helping Spanish speakers learn another language. French for Hispanophones capitalizes on the similarities between Spanish and French to help accelerate students on the road to fluency. The program's popularity on the 30% Latino campus has grown to the point that the school added Italian for Spanish speakers to its course offerings. The success of this program has led to educators considering the  adoption of the method at other institutions as well. You can read more about this program in the link below:

French for Hispanophones at Cal State Long Beach

News: Google Chrome extension eases typing on a foreign keyboard

Google Chrome has an extension which makes typing on a foreign keyboard much easier. Take a look at Google Input tools which offers virtual onscreen keyboards. You can find out more in the article below:

Google Input and typing on foreign keyboards

News: Radio Bilingue

Radio Bilingue is America's public broadcasting network that targets Spanish speakers. The network, with seven FM stations in California speaks to immigrants, farmworkers and first-generation Hispanics. The network hopes to foster a more active sense of citizenship among Latinos. You can check out the site in the link below:

Radio Bilingue

News: Push for Mandarin instruction in Houston

The Houston Chronicle recently featured an article in favor of the Houston Independent School District's decision to open a Mandarin magnet school in the fall. The article notes that China's effect on the future of the world's economy cannot be denied, it makes sense to give students the skills they need to communicate with the Chinese. You can read more in the link below:

Mandarin instruction in Houston

French:Nutritionniste FR

Johanne here, back again with another useful video for fellow French teachers. Enjoy!

French: Chic - Arte tv (par Isabelle Giordano)

Johanne here with more French videos to use in the classroom. This one is from Arte tv: Lydia GAUTIER - Consultante The...


French: How to fake French

Johanne here again with another fun video for my fellow French teachers. This is a video on how to fake French. Enjoy!


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