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come across several interesting tools that could be used in introductory courses, and that would substitute some of the outdated materials that students feel so out of touch with in the language classroom.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.
This is a blog where I will collect all types of resources for linguists and language teachers.