The Language Program Coordinator at my unit and I are currently revamping the existing Heritage Language Track. By rethinking the actual design of the sequence, I have come across several interesting tools that could be used in introductory courses, and that would substitute some of the outdated materials that students feel so out of touch with in the language classroom.
One of them are memes. According to the Internetslang.com, a meme is: "an idea that spreads like a virus by word of mouth, e-mail, blogs, etc". Here's an example of one:
Memes can be used to raise awareness about certain aspects of the grammar in an approachable and entertaining way. In fact, there are many freeware tools on the web that allow us to create our own (click here to check one of them).
This week, I tried some of them in class with my students. We were going over some orthographical rules, and I found this mine of memes and infographs that effectively touched upon the crucial points of the lesson:
Lately, I have been reading more and more about the types of assessment used with early bilinguals who have just started preschool. Although there are many neat tests out there that take into consideration important issues such as language dominance, divergent outcomes and nature of input received, there are many more that ignore them and increase the number of bilingual children misdiagnosed with specific language impairment (SLI).
Since I have been working with young children growing up bilingual -who then populate our second language classrooms as adults-, I think learning about new assessment measures and helping in their implementation is crucial to ensure these children's academic success.
Here are a series of materials and articles I would like to share with all of you regarding this topic:
- BELA : Great initiative by Harvard Professors to expand the use of this free Bilingual Early Language Assessment. They provide the materials needed to implement it and training for preschool and middle school teachers.
- HABLA lab: The Human Abilities in Bilingual Language Acquisition (HABLA for short) is the amazing webpage of Professors Elizabeth Peña and Lisa Bedore's lab at the University of Texas. They are doing some really interesting work on test development (I have already used their Bilingual English-Spanish Assessment (BESA) for one of my projects, and found it very useful), and also implementing Dynamic Assessment when testing early bilingual's language ability.
- Barbara Zurer-Pearson's personal webpage includes PDFs of some of her presentations on bilingual development and language assessment.
- Rosselli, Matute & Ardila's paper on Assessing Developmental Learning and communication disorders in Hispanic children from a neuropsychological perspective.
I have always been fascinated by the power of corpora. From simple compilations of news, articles and interviews to more sophisticated and specific learner corpora, these (mostly open-access) tools are a source of endless research topics. In this post, I would like to share some links to the most interesting language corpora out there. Use them wisely, and remember, sharing is caring!
Two weeks ago, I decided to succumb to the temptation, and I created an account on Twitter.
And, oh boy, is it addictive! But in a good way.
Its intuitive and fresh interface allowed me to join some interesting discussion groups on bilingual and heritage education and language assessment. I am now connected to groups such as @Multi_Ling_Mat (Multilingual Matters), @actfl or @Lg_on_the_Move (Language on the Move), and I am constantly updated on new articles, promotions and language-related news.
As you may have imagined/read about, Twitter can also be used as an interactive tool in the foreign language classroom. By creating your own hashtag (#) or a username shared by all the members of the class, we can offer students a trendy way to be in touch with the most updated hispanic realities (news, music, culture, events...). The other day I stumbled upon this great page developed by a Spanish Instructor, in which he cited some of the ways in which we can implement Twitter in the classroom.This next site is less language-specific, but it includes a list of 50 creative ways to use Twitter in the classroom.
Below you will find a list of some of the users that I follow in connection with Spanish, language acquisition and pedagogy:
1. Educación INTEF @educaINTEF Instituto Nacional de Tecnologías Educativas y de Formación de Profesorado del Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte.
2. SpanglishBaby @spanglishbaby Online resource & community for parents Raising Bicultural and #BilingualKids
3. LARC SDSU @LARC_SDSUOpen Door to Language & Culture/ Mission: Develop & support the teaching & learning of foreign languages in the US through research, technology, & publications.
4. Multilingual Matters @Multi_Ling_Mat We publish titles on applied linguistics, multilingualism, second language acquisition, language education and translation.
5. COERLL @COERLLThe Center for Open Educational Resources & Language Learning (COERLL) produces and disseminates OER to support language teaching and learning.
6. ACTFL @actfl The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages provides vision, leadership & support for world language teaching & learning at all instruction levels
7. CASLS @CASLS_NFLRCCASLS integrates technology and research with curriculum, assessment, professional development, and program development.
8. Language on the Move @Lg_on_the_Move Language learning, bilingualism, multilingualism, cross-cultural communication, social inclusion, justice, human rights, tourism, migration, transnationalism
9.CALPER @CALPERPANational LRC at the Pennsylvania State University. Developing materials, conducting educational sessions. Your source for info on language learning & teaching.
10. INFOLING.org @infoling Infoling distribuye informaciones sobre eventos científicos, novedades bibliográficas y ofertas de trabajo.
11. Bilingualism Matters @BilingualismMat Advice and info on bilingualism from researchers at Edinburgh Uni
12. RAE @RAEinforma La Real Academia Española (RAE), fundada en 1713, vela por el buen uso y la unidad de la lengua española, patrimonio común de 500 millones de hispanohablantes.
13. Ele que Ele @ElequeEle_es Este es el Twitter de http://www.elequeele.es , blog informativo del mundo ELE, aquí podréis encontrar todas las novedades publicadas en el blog y más sorpresas.
14. CVC. Inst. Cervantes @cvc_cervantesInstituto Cervantes: Canal de novedades del Centro Virtual Cervantes y sus portales de contenidos.15. Todoele @todoele Sitio web para profesores de español como lengua extranjera.
16. LSA @LingSocAm The Linguistic Society of America
Oh, the hours we spend designing amazing activities for our language classes! And the countless times we wished we had bookmarked that site that had those podcasts that we needed for our lesson on POR and PARA...
Over the years I have been accumulating the links of those magic websites that save us a few hours every week. These are some of the most treasured amongst my dear dear collection. Enjoy!
1. Todoele.net - As its name indicates, everything ELE (Español Lengua Extranjera). With tons of activities classified by grammatical item, topic and difficulty.
2. TICELE - where the podcast dreams are made of... amazing site with links to the most amazing videos and podcasts out there!
3. marcoELE - created in 2005, marcoELE is both a journal on teaching Spanish as a foreign language and a repository with gazillions of activities ready to use in the classroom.
4. Edinumen - This Spanish editorial added some freebies to their webpage a few year ago.
5. Instituto Cervantes - news, journals, images, activities and so much more. This is the official webpage of one of the most important institutions that regulates the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language.
6. Bablingua - free resources for teachers.
7. Dialectoteca del español - Do you want to expose your students to different varieties of Spanish? Well, this is the place for you!
8. RedELE - official journal of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education dedicated to the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language. Nice place to find articles on applied linguistics and some really cool ideas too!
9. JRamonELE - great great blog by a Spanish teacher!
We are always talking about standardizing our research tools by creating a community where experimental tasks and proficiency measures can be shared by all. Unfortunately, it is rarely the case that these great ideas become a reality.
The IRIS repository (sponsored by the University of York and Georgetown University) is one of those cases. Although it has not been updated in a while, one can obtain the stimuli used in different research projects developed by researchers working at those institutions.
Great project that will hopefully spread to other research institutions!
Whether you're interested in assessment, different uses of technology in the classroom or the implementation of different types of instructional techniques, this website will provide a wide array of information and resources that will keep you entertained for hours.
Located under the University of Minnesota's domain, The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) is one of the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI National Language Resource Centers, whose role is to improve the nation's capacity to teach and learn foreign languages effectively.
Theoretical and Applied Linguistics heaven.
This webpage will allow you to download the most recent dissertations on second/first language acquisition, language impairment, foreign language teaching and pedagogy, and much much more, that have been defended at different Dutch universities.
A big hooray for free access!
This is a blog where I will collect all types of resources for linguists and language teachers.