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Calendar of Events

¡Visítanos! Tour en Español
Zipline Brewing Co.
July 6

GermanFest 2019
July 13

L’Alliance Francaise Bastille Day Celebration
July 14

Second Nebraska Asian Festival
July 27

Nineteenth Century French Art
Joslyn Art Museum
July 27

Tanabata Summer Party
University of Nebraska Lincoln
July 31

Wilber Czech Festival
August 2

Lincoln Crossroads Music Festival
August 5-11

Omaha’s Original Greek Festival
August 16

Nebraska Hispanic Festival
September 14

Please email event information to

Have Passport, Will Travel

When Mrs. Moser showed our Spanish Two class photos of Mayan pyramids, I could not imagine myself in such a place. Since then, I’ve been to Mexico, Uruguay, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Canada, and Brazil. Truly, travel is more than the destination. It is the experience, the unexpected, the growth in discovering what you didn’t know you didn’t know. If you’ve been there, you know that sentence isn’t a grammatical error. Traveling with students makes for even more poignant memories. Place names take on extraordinary value. La Fortuna waterfall is where we splashed as the fish darted around us. Teotihuacan is where we conquered the Sun and the Moon in an afternoon. Monteverde is where one conquered his fear of Spanish and chatted with area school children. This summer, remember that travel isn’t impossible. It’s invaluable.

Teach in Nebraska: World Language Openings

The following positions were posted in June 2019 on the Teach in Nebraska website

Spanish 9-12, Full-Time, Cedar Catholic Jr.-Sr. High School, Hartington
Spanish 9-12, Full-Time, St. Thomas More School, Omaha
Spanish 9-12, Full-Time, Elgin Public Schools, Elgin
Spanish 9-12, Full-Time, Kearney High School, Kearney
World Language, 9-12, Full Time, Lourdes Central Catholic School, Nebraska City:

Nebraska International Language Association Conference

NILA’s Annual Conference is October 11-12 at the University of Nebraska Kearney. This year’s event will feature support for the new world language standards as well as professional development offerings on timely topics. NILA has arranged for an evening social at Cunningham’s On the Lake and for a discount at a local hotel. Visit the NILA conference website.

The Traveler’s Tales: Experiences from Abroad

From Lincoln to Le Tour Eiffel: High School Students Abroad

Lincoln Public Schools French teachers Will West, Sasha Van Zandt, and Kristen Tangen organized a trip to France for 22 students in March 2019. LPS has offered travel abroad for 50 years. The commitment to this experience remains strong as plans for a trip to France in 2020 continue.

LPS Teachers leaders Sasha Van Zandt, Kristen Tangen, Will West

LPS Teachers leaders Sasha Van Zandt, Kristen Tangen, Will West.

What was your itinerary? We spent 5 days in Evreux, France for a family stay, and 3 days in Paris, visiting many sites and monuments.
Describe how this affected your understanding of the language. The LPS-sponsored trips have always included a family stay, because the main purpose has been for students to have that immersion experience where they are living with a family, practicing their language, making connections, experiencing what it’s like to go to school, hanging with their host sibling and his/her friends, etc. I feel their understanding of the language grows immensely…they find it frustrating, joyful, funny, embarrassing, thought-provoking, and educational! Students are often very nervous about the family stay, and yet many tell us afterwards that it was their favorite part and that they learned the most during that time.
What was your most unexpected surprise? I think the most unexpected or surprising benefit to students is how much they grow in their independence, self-knowledge, and desire to travel again in the future
What travel service did you use? LPS has traveled with ISE/Xperitas for many years (I think 40+ years), in part because this company offers a family stay experience.

From Crete to Costa Rica: High School Students Abroad

Spanish teacher Angela Wagoner organized and led a trip to Costa Rica in early June 2019 with her students at Crete High School.

What was the purpose of your travel? Student experience – they did some tourist travel and also did a short homestay with a family and took classes at a language academy.
Describe how this affected your students’ language growth. This is my third personal experience with Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA) and their homestay and language program. It is rejuvenating to be immersed in Spanish each day. I feel my proficiency increasing as I am there and remembering things about the language and culture I feel I have forgotten or that do not stick when I am in the States.
What was your most unexpected surprise? How much the students immersed themselves in the culture. On the very first day in San José, multiple students went with their host families and did cultural experiences such as church, playing soccer/basketball with groups of people, and really just immersing themselves in the experience.
What travel service did you use? We used a mix of Explorica and the Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA) services. For our next trip we will just be using CRLA – it is much cheaper and much more personalized experience.

From Kearney to A Coruña: Summer Study for College Students

Associate Professor of Spanish and Graduate Program Chair Dr. Michelle Warren organized and accompanied ten University of Nebraska Kearney students to La Universidad da Coruña, A Coruña, Spain during the month of June 2019.

A Coruna with UNK Students

UNK students with Dr. Michelle Warren at the Tower of Hercules in A Coruna.

What was the purpose of your travel? Students worked on their linguistic and cultural fluency.
Describe how students interacted with the community. Students lived with local families and attended classes at the University of A Coruña. They also participated in city and area excursions, ate tons of delicious local food (including octopus!), and enjoyed time on the coast.
What was the most unexpected surprise? While almost all of our students came to the program fluent in Spanish, none of them had ever spent time in Spain. Their biggest surprise was learning about regional differences between Latin America and Spain and cultural differences between Galicia and Spain. A Coruña is located in the autonomous province of Galicia.
What travel service did you use? Dr. Michelle Warren organized the trip in cooperation with the Universidad da Coruña and a local agency, Ad Astra, which provided housing. For more information or to reserve your spot on next year’s trip, email Dr. Warren at

From Lincoln to La-Point-Du-Bout: Professional Development in Martinique

Lincoln Public Schools French teachers Lisa Maupin and Sasha Van Zandt traveled to the International Conference in La-Pointe-du-Bout, Martinique, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) in July 2018. Maupin and Van Zandt presented a session entitled “Reaching Each Student Through Learning Stations, Technology and Authentic Resources”. They had the opportunity to learn about Martinique’s history, French colonization, the long-lasting effects of the slave trade in the French West Indies, the Creole language, culture and cuisine.

Lisa Maupin and Sasha Van Zandt with Catherine Daniélou, President of AATF (American Association of Teachers of French)

Lisa Maupin and Sasha Van Zandt with Catherine Daniélou, President of AATF (American Association of Teachers of French)

How did this experience impact you and your teaching?
“We have learned a wealth of information from our trip, not only within the sessions themselves and on the excursions, but through the everyday exposure to the people and culture of Martinique. Partaking of the food, hearing the language, seeing and smelling the flowers, walking the streets, shopping the markets – all of this is a treasure trove for a language teacher. The aggregate of these experiences is now brought back to the classroom and transformed how we teach, exposing in turn our own students to a rich and vital part of the francophone world” – Lisa Maupin

“It’s these kinds of experiences that continue to keep our flames and passion for teaching lit and allow us to keep our classrooms alive and connected. Learning that Martinique is a part of France, drawing connections between slavery in the US and slavery in Martinique, checking that Napoleon was really that short, finding out how much older Josephine was than Napoleon before they changed their birth dates, learning that 1 in 5 people are unemployed, or traveling virtually by mapping out flights and a hotel stay–these are small steps to becoming stronger global citizens, one of the main skillsets that a language teacher wants to develop in their students.” – Sasha Van Zandt

World Language Standards Update

The revision of the Nebraska world language standards continues. A public input survey was released in May to all world language endorsed teachers in the state, the Nebraska Department of Education website, and the Educational Service Units. Feedback has been processed and is under review. Once the review process and editing is complete, the updated draft will be presented to the Nebraska State Board of Education in August for a first review. It is hoped that the State Board of Education will approve the world language standards in September. To see the draft standards, visit

A Better You: Facts to Know About Travel Abroad

The Institute for the International Education of Students, IES Abroad, is a non-profit study abroad provider that surveyed program participants who studied abroad from 1950-1999. Over 3,400 respondents shared how studying abroad impacted their lives during and since their experiences.

Studying Abroad Made Me A Better PersonStudying abroad is usually a defining moment in a young persons life
• 97% said studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity.
• 96% said studying abroad increased self-confidence.
• 95% said studying abroad has had a lasting impact on their worldview.
• 89% said studying abroad enabled them to tolerate ambiguity.
• 73% said studying abroad continues to influence decisions about family life.

Studying Abroad Made Me A Better Leader

• 98% said studying abroad helped them to better understand their own cultural biases and values.
• 94% said studying abroad continues to influence interactions with people from different cultures.Nebraska is ranked 26th for number of postsecondary students studying abroad
• 64% said studying abroad has influenced them to explore other cultures.

Studying Abroad Made Me A Better Student
• 87% said studying abroad influenced subsequent educational experiences.
• 64% said studying abroad influenced a decision to attend graduate school.
• 63% said studying abroad influenced a decision to expand or change academic majors.

Studying Abroad Made Me A Better Communicator
• 42% now use a language other than English on a regular basis.

Top Ten States Sending Post K12 Students Abroad
Sources: “The Benefits of Study Abroad” by Dr. Mary M. Dyer and Courtney K. Peters on and “Study Abroad Participation by State” by NAFSA: Association of International Educators at

Meet Your NILA Board: Treasurer Terri Wright

NILA Treasurer Terri WrightTerri Wright, Treasurer
French Teacher
Millard South High School, Metropolitan Community College

How would you describe your classroom?
I am eclectic in the classroom. I believe that a variety of methods help me to connect with all of my students and ultimately create a more well-rounded student. The three guiding principles of relationships, relevance, and rigor are the foundation on which I build each class.
How do you feel that NILA has helped you develop as an educator?
NILA and NAATF (Nebraska Association of Teachers of French) have provided important opportunities to network and grow. With a lot of help from area French teachers, family, and my students, I planned and hosted the biannual State French Convention in 2016 and 2018. I was honored to be chosen as the NILA World Language Educator of the Year in 2017. This allowed me to represent Nebraska at the Central States Conference for World Language Teachers in 2017. I love to share ideas with colleagues at the local, regional and national levels.
What about you would probably surprise others?
I have recently taken up acting at murder mystery dinners on the weekends.

Bon Voyage: Trends in Student Travel Abroad

US Student Travel Abroad by Host RegionNAFSA Association of International Educators has released its “Trends in U.S. Study Abroad” with statistics of U.S. students enrolled at institutions of higher education in the U.S. and about 10 percent of U.S. graduates. Nationally, the number of U.S. students studying abroad has increased 2.3 percent. The report was partially inspired by the “2014 U.S. Business Needs for Employees with International Expertise” that revealed 40% of companies surveyed mised international business opportunities because of a lack of internationally competent personnel.

Teach in Nebraska World Language Postings May 2019

The following positions were posted in April 2019 on the Teach in Nebraska website at

French 9-12, Papillion La Vista South High School, Papillion
Spanish 9-12, Part Time, Lincoln Lutheran High School, Lincoln
Spanish 9-12, Lourdes Central Catholic School, Nebraska City
Spanish 9-12, Schuyler Community Schools, Schuyler
French 9-12, Mt. Michael Benedictine School, Elkhorn
French 9-12 Part Time, Lincoln Pius X Catholic High School, Lincoln
Spanish 7-12, Gothenburg Public Schools, Gothenburg
Spanish 7-12, Morrill Public Schools, Morrill
Spanish 7-12, Maxwell Public Schools, Maxwell
Spanish 6-12, Long Term Substitute, Grand Island Central Catholic, Grand Island
Spanish 1-12, Lindsay Holy Family, Lindsay
Spanish K-12, St. Francis of Assisi School, Humphrey