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Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services

Apr 14, 2010 Round-Up: Language Instruction

posted: Wed, Apr 14, 2010

This week's round-up for language instruction includes articles on foreign language education -- including English -- and technologies that may or may not prove useful for classroom instruction.

  • Language Learning & Technology Journal
    "Language Learning & Technology is a refereed journal which began publication in July 1997. The journal seeks to disseminate research to foreign and second language educators in the US and around the world on issues related to technology and second language education." Articles in the most recent volume are available online. 
  • Should "Willingness to Communicate" be the primary goal of language instruction? (Personal blog)
    "I was reviewing some literature for a paper on self-confidence of Japanese language learners and read this article again. Noting that there are language learners who are quite competent, but avoid communication, what this paper proposes is that "willingness to communicate" (frightfully abbreviated as WTC-like the World Trade Center) ought to be the primary goal of language instruction rather than "competence"."
  • The Importance of Foreign Language Education (Language Study, Suite101.com)
    "In times of economic pressures, schools must evaluate course offerings to decide which classes are most important. Unfortunately, in the United States, foreign language programs are often deemed less important than others and are subsequently reduced or eliminated. Cutting back on foreign language education, however, means depriving students of a very valuable opportunity."
  • Nintendo hardware in the classroom? Why not? (ZDNet Education)
    "A look at the Japanese pilots of the DS in schools shows that language instruction might be an easy target, using the built-in microphone and sound processing capabilities."
  • Real-Time Technology in Middle School Language Instruction (THE Journal)
    "The challenge of teaching language well is one that is central to the K-12 experience. Web 2.0 provides some tools to help meet that challenge."
  • Predicting what they say (Science Codex)
    "An Australian-American team of investigators has made novel discoveries about the human ability to predict what other people are about to say. Their findings could have significant applications for educators, speech therapists, entrepreneurs, and many others interested in communication and comprehension."
  • The Use of Motivational Strategies in Language Instruction: The Case of EFL Teaching in Taiwan (InformaWorld)
    Article citation: "With motivation being one of the key factors determining success in foreign/second language (L2) learning, strategies in motivating learners should be seen as an important aspect of the study of L2 motivation. However, empirical investigations focusing on motivational strategies are scarce in L2 research..."
  • Debunking myths on immigrant education (The Washington Post)
    "Skirmishes over immigration often take place in the schoolyard. Those opposed to immigration claim that bilingual school programs impair a child’s academic success and that school children who retain their foreign language are threatening the future of English in America. Rosemary Salomone [guest author of article, Kenneth Wang Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law] begs to differ."
  • States' Ability to Evaluate ELL Programs Questioned (Education Week)
    "In its blueprint for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Obama administration proposes requiring states to implement an evaluation system on the effectiveness of programs for English-language learners. But educators, advocates, and researchers who work with those students have differing views about whether states are well set up to meet such a requirement." Full article by subscription only.
  • Bilingual Ed., Immersion Found to Work Equally Well (Education Week)
    "In the first randomized-assignment study in which English-language learners were followed for as long as five years, researchers have found that Spanish-speaking children learn to read English equally well regardless of whether they are taught primarily in English or in both English and their native language."

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