Wednesday, April 19, 2017

News: Trump's New Visa Order and Higher Ed (Chronicle of Higher Ed)

Below is a link to a recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Education which discusses an issue I am sure will be near and dear to many a fellow language educator, namely the new order Pres. Trump has made regarding H1-B visas. The full article is linked below:

Any comments on this development, please share below!

Let us know what you think!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Italian: Beginner Lessons

Brush up on your Italian or start fresh with this fun guide from

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German: Otto von Bismarck

Here is a great article for German learners interested in history. This article features the Iron Chancellor himself, Otto von Bismarck.

Let us know what you think!

Map of Tourist Destinations

Here is a link to a Thrillist article featuring a map showing each European country's most popular tourist attraction:

What other popular sites do you know of for the countries whose language your are learning?

Let us know what you think!

2017 Share Fair @ Indiana University

From Indiana University:

Dear Language Coordinators, Chairs, DGSes, Program Directors, and AIs,   

Join us at the Share Fair as we explore how we can incorporate current events such as politics, sports, movies, music, art, pop culture, Internet memes, technology, etc. into the language classroom. Watch (and participate in) rapid-fire 5-minute presentations from your peers about exciting ways to make the language more relevant and fun to learn by including up-to-the-minute happenings in your language classroom! Refreshments will be provided. 

Please register now to attend at ​ in order to receive an event package which includes a folder, notepad, pen, presentation handouts, and an event program. Online registration will end on Friday, April 7, 2017 at 12:00 noon. Registration at the event is available but does not guarantee an event package.  

Theme of the Share Fair Spring 2017:   
The Here and Now:  
Incorporating Current Events into the Language Classroom 

Special guest presentation: 
 "Teaching the Crisis: Literacy, Current Events and Language Pedagogy"  
by Dr. Franklin L. HessSenior Lecturer at Institute for European Studies  
and Coordinator of the Modern Greek Program 
Event Time: Friday, April 7, 2017, 2:00-4:30 pm 
Location: Fine Arts 102 

Presenters and Presentation Title
Ryan Lidster   “Rituals as Windows into Community Identity” 
Ángel Milla Muñoz ”Parliament” 
Yewande Aluko “Knowing the World and Learning the Words: Using Current Events to Build Students’ Vocabulary” 
Paul Coates “Twittering in the Classroom”  
Xiaoying Liles “The Farewell Speech” 
Claire Fields “Hot off the Press: Exploring Idioms in the News” 
Juan Morilla  “Una cervezauna historia 
Yanting Li “Moving the Academy Award Ceremony into Your Classroom” 
Silja Weber “Text vs. text: What just happened?” 
Marzia Bagnasco Teaching Italian Language and Culture through Immigration, Empathy, and Film 

To get an idea of what a Share Fair presentation is like, watch five-minute video recordings from the most recent Share Fair: 

About the Share Fair  
The Share Fair originated with and is organized by graduate studentssupported by the Center for Language Excellence (CLE), the Center for Language Technology (CeLT), and a faculty support committeeand sponsored by many language programs and departments at IU. This semester, it is sponsored by the Institute for European Studies.  It is one of the eight Share Fair Series Sponsors for Fall 2016 to Spring 2020, along with East Asian Languages and Cultures; French and Italian; Literacy, Culture & Language Education; Near Eastern Languages and Cultures; Southeast Asian Studies; Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures; and Spanish and Portuguese.  

The  Share Fair Mission Statement  
The IU Foreign/Second Language Share Fair is a semi-annual event that encourages both graduate students and faculty to share inspiring ideas, useful teaching strategies, and new activities that can be widely applied in language classes. Our vision is to create and foster a true community of language educators through interdepartmental collaboration. We believe in the supporting power of networking and learning from peers, and it is our mission to provide a casual and welcoming environment for this unique and worthy  cause. 
To help promote this event, please consider:  
1) Forwarding this e-mail to the language instructors in your department.  
2) Contacting AIs in your department and encouraging them to attend (and hopefully present in  the future).  
3) Mentoring younger AIs in your program through the application process for the next Share Fairs. 
4) Printing a copy or two of the attached flyer and putting them up around your AI offices.  
5) Coming to the event yourself and inviting your fellow instructors to join you.  
Thank you all for your continuing support!  
The Share Fair Organizing Committee   ​

Let us know what you think!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Being Bilingual and Your Brain

Below is a link to an article from World Economic Forum which explains the benefits of being bilingual and how it actually changes your brain:

Being Bilingual Rewires Your Brain

This information could be incorporated into advocacy and recruitment efforts!

Let us know what you think!

Italian: Hand Gesture

Expand your Italian skills with this funny guide to Italian Hand Gestures with D&G models:

Let us know what you think!

German: Berries

Here is another picture to supplement students' food vocabulary. What other berries do you typically introduce?

Let us know what you think!

German: Ritter Sport

For those who love German chocolate, here is a picture of the many varieties produced by Ritter Sport. These are not too difficult to get in the U.S. and are worth bringing in for your class to try. This goes well with supplementing a unit or lesson on food.

Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Advocacy: Connecting FL and STEM

Here is a link to an older but still useful advocacy article from the TransparentLanguage blog on linking FL and STEM:

Let us know what you think!

German: Bienenstich

Here is a great recipe for the popular German Bienenstich (Bee Sting) cake from

Let us know what you think!

German: Top German Foods

Here is another useful video I shared with one of my German classes. This one features a top 5 list of German foods and provides a nice description. Do you agree or disagree with the list? What else should be on it? What would your a top 10 list feature?

Let us know what you think!

German: Grocery Shopping Video

Hello all, here is a video I recently used with my German class to give them an idea of what shopping at a German grocery store would be like. There are some worthwhile spots to pause and discuss in the video.

Let us know what you think!

German: EDEKA Weihnachten Commercial

Here is a great commercial from Edeka for the Christmas. This can be used to discuss not just differences in German and American stores and shopping but also commercial styles:

Let us know what you think!

Monday, February 27, 2017

German: German Instructor Summer Program at IUB

From Troy Byler:

Dear Indiana K-12 German Teachers,

For those of you looking for German graduate credit and/or professional development, registration to our inaugural summer program is now open.  There are ONLY 20 places open for this summer.

Here is the link:

Although the Department of Germanic Studies is covering most of the costs (less $100 enrollment fee) for this summer’s program, the longevity of the annual program will be predicated on participants enrolling in the parallel course.  We hope that you will take advantage of this unique opportunity and also choose to enroll in the optional course for this summer.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions. 

Wishing you well and hoping to see you in the summer,


Let us know what you think!

Monday, February 20, 2017

German: Question Words

Practice the various German question words with this great graphic from Learn German!

Let us know what you think!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Jobs: Visiting German Position (Oberlin)


Visiting Assistant Professor of German

Below you will find the details for the position including any supplementary documentation and questions you should review before applying for the opening. To apply for the position, please click the Apply for this Job link/button.

If you would like to bookmark this position for later review, click on the Bookmark link. If you would like to print a copy of this position for your records, click on the Print Preview link.
Bookmark this Posting | Print Preview | Apply for this Job

Please see Special Instructions for more details.To apply, candidates should visit the online application site found at A complete application will be comprised of 1) a Cover Letter that includes an articulation of the applicant’s approach to teaching; 2) a Curriculum Vitae; 3) Unofficial transcript; and, 4) Letters of Reference from three (3) recommenders* All application materials must be submitted electronically through Oberlin College's online application process at: *By providing three (3) Professional References (names and email addresses), you agree that we may contact them through our applicant web portal. Reference writers will be asked to submit an electronic Letter of Recommendation on behalf of the applicant. Please note: At this time we are unable to accept Letters of Recommendation from an Interfolio email address. Review of applications will begin on March 10, 2017, and will continue until the position is filled. Completed applications received by the March 10, 2017 deadline will be guaranteed full consideration. Questions about the position can be addressed to:, Chair of German, at 440-775-8639.

Posting Details

Announcement Information

Job Summary
The Department of German Language and Literatures at Oberlin College invites applications for a full-time non-continuing faculty position in the College of Arts and Sciences. Appointment to this position will be for a term of two semesters beginning fall semester 2017. The position will carry the rank of Visiting Assistant Professor or Visiting Instructor of German, depending on qualifications.
The incumbent will teach five courses per year in the general area of German language and literature. This will include two courses at the elementary level, one at the intermediate level, one literature course in German on literature in the candidate’s area of expertise, and one course in English translation on a literary or interdisciplinary topic of the candidate’s choice. Applicants are welcome to propose a First Year Seminar in place of one of the above.
Among the qualifications required for appointment is the Ph.D degree (in hand or expected by first semester of academic year 2017/18). Candidates must demonstrate interest and potential excellence in undergraduate teaching. Successful teaching experience at the college level is desirable.
Quick Link for Posting
Within the range established for this position, salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes an excellent benefits package.
Special Instructions to Applicants
To apply, candidates should visit the online application site found at A complete application will be comprised of 1) a Cover Letter that includes an articulation of the applicant’s approach to teaching; 2) a Curriculum Vitae; 3) Unofficial transcript; and, 4) Letters of Reference from three (3) recommenders* All application materials must be submitted electronically through Oberlin College’s online application process at:
*By providing three (3) Professional References (names and email addresses), you agree that we may contact them through our applicant web portal. Reference writers will be asked to submit an electronic Letter of Recommendation on behalf of the applicant. Please note: At this time we are unable to accept Letters of Recommendation from an Interfolio email address.
Review of applications will begin on March 10, 2017, and will continue until the position is filled. Completed applications received by the March 10, 2017 deadline will be guaranteed full consideration. 

Questions about the position can be addressed to:, Chair of German, at 440-775-8639.

Let us know what you think!

Monday, February 13, 2017

German: Great Places to Visit in Germany

For those interested in exploring Germany a bit more than the usual tourist spots, check out this list of epic places from

Let us know what you think!

German: Immanuel Kant

For German learners and fans of philosophy, check out this useful article on Kant from German Culture:

Let us know what you think!

German: Bundesländer Map

Here is a handy picture for the different German states from German Culture.

Let us know what you think!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Italian: Language Facts

For those interested in Italian, check out this great list of features about the language that you might not know from TheLocal:

Let us know what you think!

Italian: Body Vocabulary

Brush up on your Italian vocabulary with this guide to body parts from LearnItalianWithMe:

Let us know what you think!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

German: Subordinating Conjunctions

Here is a useful graphic from Learn German for German learners featuring all of the subordinating conjunctions which can be tricky to remember:

Let us know what you think!

German: Funny Grammar and Vocabulary Pictures

For fellow German learners/teachers, here are some funny German pictures from around the net that still show some useful features/aspects of the language:

Let us know what you think!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Japanese Music: AKB48 - Sakura No Hanabiratachi

Expand your Japanese listening skill with this music video from AKB48 for the song Sakura No Hanabiratachi:

Let us know what you think!

German Music: Time Bendzko - Keine Maschine

Expand your German listening skills with this music video for Time Bendzko and the song 'Keine Maschine':

Let us know what you think!

German Music: Max Giesinger - 80 Millionen

Expand your German listening skills with this music video from Max Giesinger and the song 80 Millionen:

Let us know what you think!

German Music: Andreas Bourani - Auf Uns

Practice you German listening skills with this music video from Andreas Bourani and the song 'Auf uns'.

 Let us know what you think!

Japan: Deer of Miyajima

Expand you knowledge of Japanese culture with this great site on the deer in Miyajima near Itsukushima Japan:

Let us know what you think!

German: Interesting Umlaut Facts

From MentalFloss, here is a list of 11 facts about Umlauts for German learners:

Let us know what you think!

French: TV Series Online

Here is a useful link for French learners featuring a list of French TV series that are available online:

Let us know what you think!

German: Market Vocabulary

Expand your German vocabulary with this picture on market and food vocabulary from Learn German.

Let us know what you think!

German: False Cognates

For fellow German learners, here is a list of false cognates to be aware of from

Let us know what you think!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Japanese: Shiritori Vocabulary Learning Game

Japan Times recently had a great article on a game that will surely help boost your vocabulary learning called Shiritori! This has a number of basic rules covered in the article but perhaps most useful for learners, the game can go on indefinitely so you can always get a large amount of practice in.

Let us know what you think!

German: Krankenhaus Vocabulary

Brush up on your German medical and hospital vocabulary with this great picture from Learn German!

Let us know what you think!

Japanese; Miyajima

For those wanting to explore Japan and Japanese culture a bit more with this article from Voyapon on Miyajima:

Let us know what you think!

Friday, January 13, 2017

German: German Theater Project (IU)

From Indiana University:

Dear Indiana K-12 German Teachers, 

"My name is Michael Bryant, and I'm your point of contact for all questions regarding the upcoming German Theater Project for High Schools.  I'm a Ph.D. candidate in the IU Department of Germanic Studies, and this is my fourth year of involvement with the Theater Project.  I cordially invite you to join in the festivities, and whether it's your first year or your fourth, I think you'll find that participation in this event can make a real difference in how your students approach learning German.

Our fourth annual German Theater Project for High Schools festival will take place on the IU campus in Bloomington on Saturday, 8 April.  We are now accepting your students’ submissions for the competition.  All digitally recorded submissions received by 8 March will be eligible.  Schools are allowed to submit multiple entries, and you are not required to be present at the festival in order to be eligible for prizes.  So, please don't hesitate to send your students' performances, even if their spring break is during the festival date.  Visit our website for more complete information:

We will invite groups of up to ten students from at least ten different Indiana high school German programs to present video recorded versions of their brief (no more than 10 minutes and 2GB) theatrical productions in German.  Students can be in any level of German, but performances need to be in German with memorized roles.  Individual students may also submit performed monologues. There's a new, streamlined submission process this year, making it easier than ever before to help your students to showcase their talents.

•           Awards will be given to the best performances in two categories, original and adaptive scripts.  Remember, the quality of video production is not the winning criterion; rather it is the theatrical performance of the students that merits the awards. The committee will also select "Best Acting" and "Best Use of German" from all of the submissions.  
•           At the festival students will also participate in interactive workshops to hone their acting skills, German pronunciation, and dialect appreciation.
•           Additionally, German teachers accompanying the students will participate in a new professional development workshop on theater and foreign language teaching.
•           All participants at the festival will receive a free t-shirt, lunch, and refreshments.
•           Travel reimbursement for up to $150 per attending school will be available.

Our updated website contains previous years’ winners, and feel free to share the site with your students, administrators, and German instructor colleagues.  We are currently having new t-shirts made, and the graduate students are enthusiastically designing several different interactive student workshops for the festival. 

Please contact me, (, with all of your questions.  When you're ready to submit your students' performance(s), let me know - I'll send you instructions for uploading the video(s).

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,


Let us know what you think!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

German: Goethe-Institut Online Class

From the Goethe-Institut:

"Liebe Kolleginnen, liebe Kollegen,
ich wollte Sie an eines von unseren Angeboten erinnern, und zwar auf einen Online-Sprachkurs für Deutschlehrer, entweder auf dem B1 oder B2 Niveau. Sie bearbeiten online Aufgaben zu aktuellen Themen und treffen sich insgesamt viermal in einem virtuellen Klassenzimmer, um zu debattieren, zu diskutieren und sich über Unterrichtsentwürfe auszutauschen. Der Kurs dauert acht Wochen und der geschätzte Arbeitsaufwand beträgt drei Stunden pro Woche. Hier sind die Termine für den nächsten Kurs:
06. Februar – 02. April: B1, B2     (Bewerbungsfrist – 16. Januar!)

Anmeldegebühren betragen 100 USD; Sie haben die Gelegenheit, sich auf ein Stipendium zu bewerben.
Weitere Informationen und Anmeldung:

Mit besten Grüssen aus New York,

Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

German: Besucher(in) aus Deutschland Role-Play

Here is another role-play to help your German learners practice their speaking skills.

Ein(e) Besucher(in) aus Deutschland

Your family is accepting a German exchange student for a semester. The student has never been tot he U.S. before and calls you from Germany to get some preliminary information. He/She speaks little English, so the entire conversation will be in English. One student will play the role of the American student and one will play the part of the German student.

You should aim to cover the following:

- When is the student arriving?
- What will they be studying?
- Will they need any special accommodations?
- How many people are in your family?
- What do they look like?
- What do they like to do?
- What can one do in your city?
- What does your family look like?
- What kind of people are they?
- What types of food does your family eat?

Let us know what you think!

German: Im Cafe Role-Play

Here is another great role-play to give your students speaking practice for German:

Im Cafe

You are an American student studying in [Insert German City] for one year. While in a cafe you recognize one of the people at a nearby table. He/she is in one of your classes. Being friendly, you strike up a conversation with the German student. He/She asks you about your first few weeks at the university. You answer his/her questions, and use this opportunity to learn more about the city.

One student plays the role of the American student while the other plays the role of the German student. You should try to cover the following during the conversation:

- What you are studying
- What your professors are like
- What your schedule is like
- How the German university/city compare to your American university/city
- What there is to do and see in the German city
- The best places to shop for food and other necessities

Let us know what you think!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Italian: Short Words and Accents

Here is a useful picture from Italian Cultural Experience with several short two vowel words requiring accents. These can be difficult to remember so keep practicing!

Let us know what you think!

Italian: Articles

For Italian learners, review your articles with this great picture from Italian Cultural Experience!

Let us know what you think!

German: Conversation With German Exchange Student Role-Play

An American Student Meets a German Exchange Student

As you walk out of your History class, you meet a German exchange student from [Insert German City] who is in the class with you. Start a conversation with him/her.

Here are some useful suggestions for your conversation:
- The class, the professor, and the college/university [Insert your institution here]
- Where you live
- Differences in dorm rooms/campus life between the US and Germany
- What you like to do in your free time
- Your families and friends
- What you like to eat/drink
- Favorite music, TV shows, films, etc.
- Invite the German exchange student to have lunch/dinner or to hang out at a later time

Let us know what you think!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

German: Roommate Role-Play 2

Here is another German role-play for beginner levels although it could be modified to suit more advanced levels as well. It could also be easily adapted for any other language.

A New Roommate

It's a new semester and you are moving into your dorm room. However, your roommate is already there. He/She is from Germany and is a little bit lost. Start a conversation and try to help your roommate with any questions/concerns he/she might have.

You should try to cover the following:
- Introduce yourselves (Age, Where you're from, majors, etc.)
- Ask when the German student arrived
- Talk about [insert your city/campus] and what one can do here
- Talk about the college/university life
- Discuss the rules in the dorm/campus - what is/isn't permitted
- Ask how you can help him/her and invite them to go with you for dinner
- What will classes and schedules be like
- Differences between American and German college/university studies
- Schedules
- Roommate Agreements + misc.

Let us know what you think!

French: Films on Netflix

From, here is a list of 10 French films on Netflix for French teachers and learners to catch up with this winter:

10 French Films

Are there any other French films on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime etc. that one should add to this list?

Let us know what you think!


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