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Honoring Nebraska’s World Language Retirees

Linda Gjere
Millard North Middle School
Millard Public Schools
11 years teaching
8 years as a substitute

Sherry Runnels
St. Francis School
5 years of service at St. Francis
Over 30 years in education

Vicki Huskey
Conestoga Jr-Sr High School
Conestoga Public Schools
13 years in the Conestoga District
34 years in education

Shirley Rytych
Shickley Public Schools
46 years in education

Diana Harris
Lourdes Central Catholic Schools
Diocese of Lincoln
45 years at Lourdes Central
49 years in education

These names were submitted by administrators. If you would like to honor a 2018-2019 retiree, there will be one more opportunity in our June/July edition. Please send the teacher’s name, school, district, and years of service to

Announcements for May 2019

Call for Proposals: Nationals Association for Bilingual Education 49th Annual Conference

NABE invites all education experts, researchers, authors and successful practitioners with information of interest to submit a proposal. They also encourage multilingual proposals.
View the full call for proposals at
Submit proposals by June 30, 2019

49th Annual NABE Conference
Pre-Conference: February 25, 2020
Conference: February 26-28, 2020
Las Vegas, Nevada

NABE is seeking proposals that engage participants in topics related to quality education for DLLs such as:
• achieving educational equity for DLLs
• ensuring social justice for DLLs through strong linguistic and academic attainment
• providing equal educational opportunities for DLLs

CASLS’ Nationwide Faculty Learning Community for the Development of Reflective Practices

The Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS) sponsors a nation-wide faculty learning community focused both on supporting practitioners’ engagement in reflective professional practices and on providing resources for practitioners to engage their students in reflective learning. Nominate yourself and/or someone you know for participation in this community by filling out this form by June 1. Participants will engage in a series of five one-hour webinars from July 8-July 12 designed to promote introspection and to share information and resources related to national initiatives (like LinguaFolio) designed with reflection in mind.

Classroom Resources May 2019

Santillana Spanish Works! Sampler
In honor of World Language Week to make students realize language will help their career and civic life, Jimmy Moorhead, Santillana and Vista Publishing, would like to share this digital sample of the Spanish Works career readiness series (Levels 1-4 High School Spanish). This series strongly addresses the need to highlight language in its primary place in international commerce.

Open Language Resource Center at the University of Kansas
Online and printable activities in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, French, German, Haitian Creole, Persian, Portuguese, Quichua, Russian, Slovene, Somali, Spanish, and Uyghur.

French Embassy Launches Podcast “The Thing About France”
American cultural figures talk about the complex relatinship between France and the U.S. The first episodes are out and more are on the way. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or through the website:

Professional Development Opportunities May 2019

Francophone Film and Literature Course French 4950/8956 at University of Nebraska Omaha
In fall 2019, UNO will offer Francophone Film and Literature Tuesdays from 4:30-7:10 with Dr. Patrice Proulx. Some of the films to be discussed include Incendies, Persepolis, L’Ange du Goudron, and Black Girl. The course focuses on a selection of contemporary films and short readings dealing with the Caribbean, Africa, North Africa, and Quebec. One of the primary objectives is the development of critical viewing and reading skills that will allow students to reflect more productively on the social and aesthetic themes in these works. Critical issues to consider are immigration, the construction of identity, the effects of colonialism on different societies, and the geo-political and cultural contexts of the films and the literary works. For more information, contact Dr. Patrice Proulx at 402-554-4839 or

CARLA Summer Institute Spotlight: Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom
Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom
July 29–August 2, 2019
University of Minnesota (Minneapolis)
While cultivating deeper understanding on how language-culture-identity informs our teaching, participants will learn ways to integrate culture and language learning that include authentic materials and a new way of looking at culture. Through constructive conversation, hands-on practice, and reflection participants will learn how to:
• Bring everyday culture into language instruction and apply common frameworks of culture and culture learning;
• Create integrated language-and-culture learning objectives and lessons;
• Assess culture learning;
• Use authentic materials for teaching culture and textbooks for culture learning and unlearning.
Find out more about Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom:

Meet Your NILA Board: Communication Chair Will West

Will West NILA Communication ChairWill West, Communications and Program Chair
French Teacher
Lincoln Public Schools

What was your motivation to become a language teacher?
My high school French teacher, Toni Theisen, motivated me to become a French teacher. Her class was a place where everybody belonged…’honor yourself’ was a mantra that we heard over and over. I believed that being a teacher, like Toni, would be the best way to honor her.
In five words or less, describe your classroom approach.
Give learning power to students
What power do you find in speaking another language?
As a teacher of world language and culture, and a speaker of several world languages, I find power in the ability to communication with other people. I find power in seeing other cultures as part of who I am – not just being an American from a square state, but a citizen of the international community. When I think of the opportunities that I’ve had because I’m not mono-lingual, I cannot even imagine where I would be right now with them! But, my favorite part is the ability to relocate. I don’t say “travel” or “visit”, because when you speak another language, and you understand and participate in the culture, you don’t visit, you live!

Global Understanding in Practice: University of Nebraska Study Abroad

Daniel Kritenbrink is a Nebraska native and a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Kearney. While a student at UNK, he participated in a short study tour to the Soviet Union. He spent the following full academic year at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan. Study abroad is the capstone opportunity for demonstrating global understanding. Today, he is The United States Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Vietnam.

Krittenbrink credits his travel abroad experience for developing more than his language skills. He cites the development of insights into Asian cultures, networking, collaboration, and problem-solving. UNK Professor of History Dr. Doug Biggs agrees, “International travel is the best education possible. For the first time in students’ lives, they are the minority. International travel teaches our students to become much more self-reliant and self-confident. These experiences greatly expand their world view and greatly change who they are as people.” Dr. Biggs led the Nebraska Semester Abroad program to the Czech Republic in spring 2018 and will take another group in fall 2019.

All University of Nebraska campuses offer opportunities to travel and study abroad. Information about programming is found at the Education Abroad Office at each campus. Travel programs may be as short as ten days or as long as an academic year. Proficiency in another language may or may not be a requirement. Study programs include a wide array of topic areas, from the sciences to the humanities.

Regardless of the topic of study, the length of program, or the location abroad, students report similar successes. Calvin Vong, a student at UNO, says, “Studying abroad offered me the opportunity to grow as a person and to see the world in a different perspective. I learned to embrace change, learn more about myself and recognize that there is more to life than I previously thought. Being exposed to so many cultures abroad helped me gain a better understanding of how people in other countries think and act. After studying abroad, I feel refreshed and more determined than ever to achieve my goals.”


(credit: “Engaging the World: 2019 Global Engagement report” from the University of Nebraska Office of Global Engagement.  View the full report here. )

Creating Global Connections for PK-12 Students

1. Local Travelers
When preparing for a trip to the Dominican Republic, I required all of my Level I students to write introductory postcards on large index cards. I took their pictures and pasted them on the postcards. When I arrived in the Dominican for a mission trip, I worked with the local organization to plan a “Postcard Day” for the neighborhood organization. Neighborhood kids each took a card and wrote a response. Upon my return, I had the responses and a description of the community. Our school then sent back a gift of school supplies for the neighborhood organization.

2. Connection Services
Organizations like Reach the World and Skype in the Classroom pair you up with travelers or classrooms in other countries allowing you to question and discuss cultural understanding.

3. Book Clubs
Help your local and school library to provide literature that has a global connection. Plan activities that engage learners such as sampling food described in the text or using Google Earth to see the locations in the text.

4. Listen Up
Listen to music and news from other countries. One of my favorite global connections is Playing for Change. PFC unites musicians from around the world in phenomenal performances in multiple languages. PFC also provides documentary videos about the creation of the music. The documentary collections directly addresses global impact and understanding.

5. Take a Trip
Travel with students can be an intimidating proposition. Plan well. When possible, work with other schools from your region. Consider using a service like EF Tours or Explorica if you have never led a trip before. Remember that even with tours, you can actively seek opportunities to use the language. Make your expectations clear to both parents and students. Most importantly, have the students keep logs and report back in real time through social media or a website. When they return, encourage the students to be your ‘experts’ and to speak about the experience.

Connections for Global Engagement in Nebraska

Lincoln Council for International Visitors
Promotes global understanding through citizen diplomacy in Lincoln.

Nebraska Fulbright Alumni Association
Advocates fro the Fulbright Program and promotes international education.

Nebraska Youth Institute at University of Nebraska
Engages high school students with local leaders and experts on critical global challenges.

Global Understanding Through World Language Learning

George Mason University defines global understanding as the ability to see the world from multiple perspectives, reflect upon our positions in a global society, and to be prepared for future engagement as global citizens. Kent University adds that global understanding includes intergroup relations, intercultural communications, conflict mitigation, and global development and sustainability. Both the U.S. Department of Defense and the PeaceCorps promote the importance of intercultural communication as a way of building relationships. In this issue, we’ll explore why global understanding is both an integral element and a goal of world language education.

World Language Events May/June 2019

Los Desconocidos
Migrant Quilt Project
International Quilt Study Center and Museum
March 15-June 27

Crafting Culture: Women and the Business of Textiles in Nebraska
Nebraska History Museum
April 12-July 13

Lincoln Unites! 2019
Citizenship ceremony and festival to celebrate diversity
May 10

Art and Culture of Japan Artist Reception
Prairie Arts Center
North Platte
May 18

Miss Saigon
Orpheum Theater
May 28-June 2

Picasso at the Lapin Agile (A Steve Martin Play)
June 6

Omaha Summer Arts Festival
June 7-9

Swedish Festival
June 14-16

Please email event information to