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July WAFLT eVoice: Brain Research, Embracing Bilingualism, and More!

Advocacy in Action

By Karen Fowdy



Happy Summer!  Whether you are teaching summer school, traveling with students, taking classes, or finding time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends, it is surely a little diversion from your busy routine during the academic year.  However, we know that your teacher brain is always thinking of plans and good intentions for the next school year.  We encourage you to include ADVOCACY for World Languages in that list of goals. Below are resources that address the two main tenets of advocacy, namely Be Informed and Take Action. Read more.

Elementary-schoolers hold bilingual TV broadcast

SOURCE: ACTFL SmartBrief

A group of third- and fourth-graders at a Texas elementary school conduct a live morning broadcast that is conducted in English and Spanish and is seen by the whole school. Students manage about 99% of the broadcast, including audio and visual equipment, and features reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the school's motto, and includes trivia and current events.​ Star Local Media (Plano, Texas)

When teaching kids languages, are two tongues better than one?

SOURCE: National Public Radio

As part of NPR’s ongoing exploration of how U.S. schools teach English to immigrants, we take a graphic-novel-style tour of a D.C. school with an unusual approach. At Bruce-Monroe Elementary School, every school day is split in two – half Spanish, half English, with nothing covered twice. The principal says research backs the method:  nprED

Students' brains sync during learning

SOURCE: ACTFL SmartBrief

When students are paying attention and engaged in learning a subject together, their brainwaves show similar patterns, according to a study published in the journal Current Biology. Researchers found students' brains synced more during videos and classroom discussions than during lectures. Science News

Just 20 percent of K-12 students are learning a foreign language

SOURCE: EdWeek Update

Arguing that the inability to communicate in any language but English constitutes a threat to the nation's economic and military security, two recent studies have painted a grim picture of foreign-language education in the nation's K-12 schools. The reports from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and American Councils for International Education found that public schools and state departments of education are struggling to find qualified world language instructors and unequipped to track local and national trends on language learning. Education Week

 

July 31-August 2, 2017
WAFLT Summer Institute
Taking the Lead: Proficiency-Oriented Programs in Practice
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August 3-4, 2017
Modified OPI (MOPI) Assessment Workshop
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September 25, 2017
WAFLT Scholarship for Tomorrow's Teachers Application Deadline
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November 2-4, 2017
Reach Beyond the Horizon: Maximizing Effective Language Teaching and Cultivating Enhanced Student Proficiency Fall Conference
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December 1, 2017
WAFLT Central States Extension Workshop Grant Application Deadline
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WAFLT Special Projects Grant Application Deadline
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WAFLT Student Travel Scholarship Application Deadline
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Embracing bilingualism in the classroom: What role will you play?

SOURCE: EdWeek Update

The nerves kicked in when Papá pulled into the parking lot. This school was enormous; would I be able to make any friends? I was ready with new clothes and supplies, but I wasn’t prepared for what followed. On my first day of 5th grade as a new student at a Florida public elementary school, I was pulled out of class to go to an English-as-a-second-language class. At that point, I was fluent in both English and Spanish, had tested into gifted classes, and was scoring in the 99th percentile on state assessments. Education Week Teacher
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