World Language Societies and Clubs
Alliance Française d’Omaha:
Articles, events, classes, and community activities for French and Francophones.
German-American Society of Nebraska
Activities, clubs, community events, language classes, and student exchange.
Japan America Society of Iowa
Community events, presentations, language school
Asian Community and Cultural Center
Community events, English language support, presentations
Where to Start: Resources for 2018-2019
Target Field Trip Grants
Target Foundation offers field trip grants of up to $700 for K-12 schools nationwide. Consider a trip to Joslyn, the Lied, or another performance venue for an artistic exposition of the target culture. https://corporate.target.com/corporate-responsibility/community/philanthropy/field-trip-grants
Shopko Foundation Community Grants
Shopko Foundation offers grants of up to $2,500 for K-12 private and public schools within 25 miles of a Shopko location. https://www.shopko.com/content.jsp?pageName=Education
Monsanto Fund Education Grants
Monsanto benefits programs in K-12 education. Although the program is primarily for STEM focused programs, Monsanto will consider other content areas. Consider using world language as it applies to agricultural vocabulary, technical training, or biological research. https://www.monsantofund.org/grant/2016/7/1/education
Teacher Created Materials Classroom Supplies
Win up to $250 in teaching supplies for your classroom from Teacher Created Materials. https://www.weareteachers.com/contest/back-to-school-shopping-spree/
Dremel DigiLab 3D Printer Giveaway
WeAreTeachers and Dremel are giving away a 3D printer. Imagine creating your own “authentic resources”. https://www.weareteachers.com/contest/win-a-3d-printer/
Vista Higher Learning
Celebrate world language learning with Spanish, French, German, and Italian posters to download. https://www.weareteachers.com/free-posters-quotes-about-language-learning/
Language Learning By The Numbers
Middlebury Interactive Languages offers three posters detailing world language studies in the U.S. and abroad. https://www.weareteachers.com/posters-language-learning-by-the-numbers/
Binational Brings Migrant Educators to Nebraska
This summer, thirteen Mexican teachers traveled to Nebraska to teach in migrant education programs at ESU 1, ESU 7, ESU 9 Head Start, ESU 13, OPS, and Madison Public Schools. Students engaged in reading, writing, and artistic expression focused on Mexican culture and history as well as the Spanish language. Educators shared their experiences at a Binational Reception at the State Capitol on June 18. Mexican Consul Guadalupe Sanchez Salazar and Dr. Lazaro Spindola, Executive Director of the Latino American Commission of Nebraska, acknowledged the teachers for their dedication and professionalism.
The Nebraska Department of Education works with the Secretary of Public Education in Mexico to sponsor teachers from Mexico to work with migrant education in Nebraska. The exchange is part of a larger federal program, the Binational Migrant Education Initiative organized under authority of the US Department of Education. The purpose of the program is to support the education of children who qualify as migrants in the U.S. This year, Nebraska ranked first for the number of qualifying moves of migrant children. Texas and California ranked second and third.
Chinese is Lingua Franca at UNL STARTALK
UNL was the site of the STARTALK Chinese Language, Culture, and Technology Summer Academy again this year. Twenty Nebraska high school students with little to no prior Chinese experience lived in an immersion experience for fourteen days. The Academy also offers a professional development side for teachers who attend from China and throughout the U.S. Fifteen teachers arrived for the ten-day institute to focus on second language acquisition pedagogy. Students and teachers alike cite the experience as a special experience that allows them to make tremendous gains in a short period of time. Dr. Sherri Hurlbut and Dr. Ali Moeller, President of the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages, organize this annual event.
Hispanic Heritage Month Speakers Available
Humanities Nebraska is offering several speaker events in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month September 15-October 15. Speakers will travel to the site. Each educational institution or youth organization must provide adult supervision before, during, and after the program, incorporate the program as part of teaching or a development mission, prepare participants before and follow up after the program. The educational institution may not charge for the program. If interested in hosting a speaker, the institution will pay a $50 processing fee. There is a $100 processing fee for a second program. Schools with a free/reduced lunch population greater than 50% do have discounted processing fees.
This year’s speaker topics are Nebraska’s Mexican-American Legacy, Storytelling and the Hispanic Oral Tradition, Andean Folk Music and Cultures of South America, and Latinos: Searching for the Good Life in Nebraska. More information about the topics can be found here: http://humanitiesnebraska.org/speakers/topic-tracts/topics-for-hispanic-american-history-month.html
Cultural Encounter Kits
Humanities Nebraska offers encounter kits that include videos, CDs, books, clothing, cultural items, and curriculum materials to public or private schools in Nebraska. Reserve kits for up to three weeks. Humanities Nebraska pays for UPS ground shipping to and from your school. Cultural Encounter Kits are targeted to youth grades 4-8. Topics include “A Treasured Heritage: Mexican Americans in Nebraska” and “Home in the Heartland: Nebraska Sudanese Cultures” among others. For more information, go to: http://humanitiesnebraska.org/programs/resources.html
World Language Standards Revision: Charting a Course for Standards Revision
Eighteen participants from around the state met as the World Language Standards Advisory Council June 4-5 in Lincoln to determine the priorities of world language learning and the course of standards revision.
Participants were asked to define their “essential ingredients” for the world language standards. Groups responded that standards should address effective and culturally appropriate communication, global competency, a growth mindset, and a focus on the application of skills to a variety of settings. The gathering reviewed policies from other states and agencies not specific to language study. Using this information, each small group refined their contributing essential ingredients until a standard became evident. These ideas will go forward to the standards writing team to be used as the guideline for the world language standards.
- AATG-N: Nebraska Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German
- AATSP: Nebraska Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
- ACTFL: American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
- CSCTFL: “Central States” or Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
- NATF: Nebraska Association of Teachers of French
Facebook groups: NATF
News From Nebraska
Updates from Around the State and Our Collaborative Partner Organizations
Alliance Française Announces Summer Courses
The Alliance Française d’Omaha has announced Summer French courses open to beginner through advanced. Contact email@example.com directly for information. Summer courses include Visitons Le Louvre, Chateaux, Eglises, Et Cathedrals, Conversation, and Pronunciation Courses.
Mexican Consulate of Omaha Celebrates Binational Week
The Mexican Consulate is celebrating Binational Education Week May 9-11. Consul Guadalupe Sanchez Salazar invited representatives from educational institutions around Nebraska to celebrate and commemorate the week. Honorable Mention was given to a 12-year-old Omaha student who entered the art contest sponsored by Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Relations. Two scholarship funds were granted in partnership with Nebraska Universities.
Nebraska International Language Association (NILA)
If you are interested in attending NILA’s fall conference or presenting a breakout session, visit the NILA website at: http://www.nebraskalanguages.com/. NILA continues to accept proposals for 50-minute sessions on topics related to “Coming Together: Collaborating to Improve Outcomes” and other areas related to language learning. Proposals will be accepted until June 1st. Notifications will be made by June 15. All presenters must sill register for the NILA conference.
Learn a Language: Beat the Machine
Second Language Learning v. Google
Google reported that their most sought characteristics in employees are soft skills such as communicating and listening well, having empathy, and being a critical thinker. Although most of the world has come to rely on instant, online translation for easy answers, there are some important ways in which the human brain continues to beat the machine.
Translation programs will never be able to negotiate for meaning. Think of how often we negotiate in conversation. “Do you mean to say, ‘Give the book to Paul?’ or ‘Give the pen to Paul?’?”. Perhaps we mean to give the pen to Pauline. Translation programs can’t distinguish the nuances that we mean but don’t say and lack the ability to ask for clarification.
When you consider further that elements of humor, feeling, intuition and non-verbal response are not mechanical concepts, you can clearly see that the value of language to be immersed in meaning.