Lawrence
ETS - Aug 2011

Music to All Ears

Donna Stoering explains how cross-cultural music offers an excellent teaching tool
for K–12 students of languages, literacy, and diversity

It is intriguing to realize that at times there is little distinction between spoken languages and musical ones. Consider, for instance, the complex rhythms and slight tonal variations of some Aboriginal tribes who communicate through clicking sounds; non-native Mandarin and Cantonese speakers who have to tune their ears to differentiate between the all-important but subtle changes in pitch inflection that determine very different words and meanings; and travelers who often describe the Italian language as being “extremely musical” with its “melodic” cadences and vowel combinations.

To read the full story, click here.

December 22nd, 2014 | Leave your comments

A Pun-thology of Christmas Songs

Richard Lederer gives us a pun-per-minute twist on the holiday classics

A set-up pun is a conspiracy of narrative and word play. In set-up punnery, the punster contrives an imaginary situation that leads up to a climax punningly, cunningly, and stunningly based on a well-known expression or title. In a good set-up pun, we groan at the absurdity of the situation while admiring the ingenuity with which the tale reaches its foreordained conclusion.

Now it’s time to be a groan-up while admiring the following narratives as they lead up to the Christmas punch lines:

Rudolph, a dedicated Russian communist and important rocket scientist, was about to launch a large satellite. His wife, a fellow scientist at the base, urged Rudolph to postpone the launch because, she asserted, a hard rain was about to fall. Their collegial disagreement soon escalated into a furious argument that Rudolph closed by shouting, “Rudolph, the Red, knows rain, dear!”

To read the full story, click here.

December 17th, 2014 | Leave your comments

Making the Most of Playtime

Stuck for a last-minute gift? Consider these educational toys and games

ChineseCUBES: Where Characters Are Center Stage
Students and teachers will tell you that there’s a ceiling many learners face at some point while learning Chinese — learning the beautiful yet difficult and elusive written language, Chinese characters or hanzi. For many, learning to speak is good enough. Chinese characters are morphemes independent of phonetic change, and so learning the written characters is almost an entirely separate and tedious task that hasn’t gotten any easier over the past several centuries. ChineseCUBES is trying to change this…

To read the full story, click here.

December 15th, 2014 | Leave your comments

December 2014

December 2014 Cover

Preparing Children on the Range
Claudia Miner examines the challenges of getting early education to minority children in the most rural environments

Mutual Benefit
Heather Tyler explains how the service learning model works for all participants

Music to All Ears
Donna Stoering explains how cross-cultural music offers an excellent teaching tool for K-12 students of languages, literacy, diversity

2015 Year Planner Calendar of events for language-related workshops, conferences, special dates and grant deadlines worldwide

2015 Study Abroad Planner Calendar of events for language travel and immersion studies

Making the Most of Playtime
Stuck for a last-minute gift? Consider these educational toys and games

Last Writes Richard Lederer gives us a pun-per-minute twist on the holiday classics

Reviews Jobshop Source and more.

December 2nd, 2014 | Leave your comments

The Play’s the Thing

Lori Langer de Ramirez recommends using suspension of disbelief and simulations as means of connecting to global communities

The communities standard — Why it’s worth the bother
Nothing gets a student more excited (or engaged) than being able to express herself or read a sign in situ in the target language. We can all remember that moment when we first communicated something to a native speaker in French, or Mandarin, or Hindi — and we were understood! It is exhilarating, but it is the kind of interaction that can be hard to replicate in the language classroom.

To read the full story, click here.

November 22nd, 2014 | Leave your comments

When Language and Learning Get Tough

John Carr offers strategies for identifying and serving the growing population of English learners with learning difficulties

In the 2012-2013 school year, there were approximately 1,346,000 English learners (ELs) in California’s K–12 public education system (California Department of Education, 2013). It is estimated that, in general, 15% of students should qualify for special education services (Root, 2010), so it is likely that 202,000 students in California have or should have the dual status of ELs with a learning disability (EL-LD).

To read the full story, click here.

November 19th, 2014 | Leave your comments

Elementary Practicals

Lisa Lucas discovers what we can learn from the UK’s mandating of world language education in all elementary schools from second grade

The British government, in recognition of the value of language learning in early childhood, took a bold step this year and mandated compulsory teaching of a second language for children ages seven to eleven in English primary [elementary] schools. As of this September, all primary school students are required to study one of seven languages, and though the most popular choice is French, followed by Spanish, some schools offer Mandarin and Arabic. Many believe that this move is essential for the UK to remain competitive with its European counterparts. This is clearly a commendable move, but is it an incredible advance or a wildly optimistic plan? How will the schools actually implement this, and is there support in place to see this plan comes to successful fruition?

To read the full story, click here.

November 3rd, 2014 | Leave your comments

November 2014

November 2014 Cover

Elementary Practicals
Lisa Lucas discovers what we can learn from the UK’s mandating of world language education in all elementary schools from second grade

When Language and Learning Get Tough
John Carr offers strategies for identifying and serving the growing population of English learners with learning difficulties

The Play’s the Thing
Lori Langer de Ramirez recommends using suspension of disbelief and simulations as means of connecting to global communities

Italian Destinations A selection of schools representing the diversity of Italy

Italian Attraction
Dona De Sanctis explains why learning Italian is becoming more popular in the U.S.

Spanish Flavor
The distinct regions of Spain offer an array of choices for the language learner

Last Writes Richard Lederer demonstrates how animals are known by their deeds

Reviews Jobshop Source and more.

October 31st, 2014 | 1 Comment

Lessons from the Ukrainian Conflict

Angelika Putintseva’s firsthand experience leads her to believe that language intolerance is the root cause of conflict on the shores of the Black Sea

Crimea is my motherland; I was born there. My roots and extended family are deeply connected to Crimea, the Ukrainian territory that recently voted to join Russia. Moscow is my second home, and I spent nearly a decade living, studying, and working in the Russian capital before immigrating to the U.S. This August, I spent a week in Moscow and a week in Crimea to see and decide for myself what has been happening there this year. What follow are my personal notes and conclusions as a Crimean-born, Russian-raised language teacher.

To read the full story, click here.

October 20th, 2014 | 1 Comment

Cutting to the Common Core: Sticking to the Script

Timothy Shanahan reassesses the role of handwriting in literacy development

My father, who had no more than an eighth-grade education, wrote in a beautiful Palmer hand. His one-room schoolhouse education did not promise to take him far, but it did allow him to place words on paper in an elegant and readable manner. And this skill had practical utility beyond its aesthetic beauty, since he worked for many years as a bookkeeper.

But the public value of handwriting has diminished during the ensuing century. In fact, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) don’t even mention handwriting, cursive, or manuscript printing.

To read the full story, click here.

October 9th, 2014 | Leave your comments

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The World As We Speak

Texas Introduces House Bill to adopt Seal of Bilingualism and Biliteracy
If approved, seal could appear on diplomas as early as the 2013-2014 school year

Brazilian Literature Goes Global
Reading Brazil Digitally and in Translation.

NY Becomes 2nd State to Recognize Biliterate Grads

Feds Face Foreign Language Crisis
Senate hearing discussed how the lack of adequately trained language specialists compromises national security.

State Dept Chooses Kindle for Worldwide English
In an effort to promote English literacy around the world, the U.S. Department of State is planning to purchase up to 35,000 Kindle e-readers as well as selected content. The Kindles would be distributed to U.S.-friendly educational centers around the world so as to be available to those looking to study English and learn about America.

Need for Bilingual Preschools
A new report from the Center for American Progress that urges policymakers to maximize on the investments being made in public preschool programs to serve disadvantaged children. Specifically, the report calls for "more federal, state, and local capacity to meet the increasing demand for culturally and linguistically appropriate services for children who are dual-language learners."

Tensions in Kyrgyzstan over Exams in Uzbek
Nationalists protest the availability of university entrance exams in the Uzbek language.

Linguistic Diversity Linked to Biodiversity
Linguistic and cultural preservation may be the key to protecting biodiversity.

English Proficiency Biggest Hurdle for Brazilian Scholars
At a time when Brazilians have more resources and opportunities to study abroad than ever, lacking language skills a hinderance.

Cajoling All Teachers to Consider ELLs
New report examines how to prepare teachers for the fastest growing student population in the U.S.

Language Education Cuts Compromise National Security
New Council on Foreign Relations report calls education a national security issue

Canada Instates Language Tests for Some Immigrants
Exams on proficiency in either English or French will be stated for certain immigrants in June

San Jose School Hosts Spanish Spelling Bee
First Spanish spelling bee in northern California held at a dual language academy

English is Number One Language Test in Georgia
Students in final year of school aim to take English instead of Russian in foreign language exam

Promotion of French Language is Hot Topic
The separatist opposition party in Quebec rallys for French

U.S. Demand for Portuguese Increasing
Universities scramble to keep up with influx of learners

Urdu Gets Official Status Around India
Urdu to become a language of instruction in Muslim communities

Norwegian Language Camp to be Launched
Camp will focus on Norwegian language and cultural immersion activities

National Center for Family Literacy Ruminates on Education Policy at Conference
Conference of educators, advocates, and policy makers highlights family literacy

New Arabic Center Symbolizes Chinese-Emirati Exchange
Beijing's University of Foreign Studies unveils remodeled center for Arabic language and Islamic studies.

Promoting French in Pakistan
After an exodus of native French teachers, France pushes its language and culture in Pakistan.

Columbia’s Teacher College Addresses International Education with TEDx
Inaugural TEDx conference on international education takes places

Irish Language on the Rise, but not in Ireland
Could heritage learners abroad save Irish?

Santorum: Puerto Ricans Should Learn English
While visiting Puerto Rico, Santorum turns off Boricua voters.

International Summit on Teaching Profession Takes Place in New York
Delegations from 23 countries and regions discuss education issues at the second annual summit

Journey to Find Indigenous Languages in Trip of the Tongue
New book by Elizabeth Little covers indigenous languages throughout the United States


International Portuguese educators come together to teach Timorese teachers

Read Across America Kicks Off March 2
Students all over the U.S. will celebrate literacy on Dr. Seuss's birthday

Equatorial Guinea Strengthens Connection to Portuguese
Portuguese linguists to document archaic dialect from the Annobón province.

To read from The World As We Speak Archive, click here.

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May 2008 Possible One-State Language for Ukraine

July 2009 Ukraine House Speaker Calls for Acceptance

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