World Languages

World Language Review August 2019

Raising the Standard: The Cognitive Benefits of World Language Learning

Cognitive Benefits of Language Learning

As language educators, we can enumerate the cognitive benefits of language learning without thinking twice. However, this list of benefits does not often have its desired impact in advocacy. Our messaging regarding the cognitive benefits of world language learning can change. In debate terminology, we need the “link, brink, and impact”. The link is how we benefit from language learning. The brink is how these benefits could be generally beneficial. The impact is the ultimate consequence and must be tied to what matters to us most: basic, psychological, and self-fulfillment needs. Consider relating that list of benefits in terms of how each one has a personal impact on the daily life and expectations of your students. This compilation shows the link, brink, and impact of how language has cognitive benefits that affect us personally.

Charlamos: Cognitive Benefits of Language Learning

This summer, I traveled to Spain on a scholarship to the University of Valladolid’s professional development seminar for teachers of Spanish. There I met educators from around the world. I was struck by the tendency of world language teachers to be bold, adventurous, adept at wordplay, precise in expression, and creative in problem solving. In fact, I’m convinced that the cognitive structuring from our language studies actually made us better travelers. Every attention was paid to details, comparing, contrasting, problem-solving, and negotiating. Our language learning not presented the ability to communicate in Spain, it awarded us a greater level of understanding and learning from the experience. Stephanie Call, World Languages Specialist ♦ 402-471-4331 ♦

Stephanie Call, World Language Specialist ♦ 402-471-4331 ♦

Meet Your NILA Board: Secretary Dr. Jonathan Dettman

Dr Jonathan Dettman, Secretary Associate Professor of Spanish, University of Nebraska Kearney What was your motivation to become a language teacher? My experience as a college student was very positive and personally transformative. A big part of that was learning languages. I had a great deal of admiration for the teachers who had been my intellectual guides, and when I finished college, I contemplated becoming a Spanish teacher. I ended up taking the long route to teaching (through graduate school), but I think post-secondary education is a very good fit for me. Describe your classroom approach in five words...Read More ›

World Language Standards Update: August 2019

Editors met in July to review the results from the Public Input Survey that was available from May to June. In response to the results of the survey, the language of the indicators was clarified to provide more clear and specific learning targets. Specific examples were also provided to support focus groups of language for heritage speakers and for classical languages. The final draft of the standards was presented at the August meeting of the Nebraska State School Board for a first review. Two individuals spoke during the State Board’s public commentary period. Mary Lea Free, Spanish teacher at Norris...Read More ›

Standards Workshops Coming Soon to Your ESU

The Revised Nebraska World Language Standards offer a greater emphasis on language production, global perspectives, and ownership in language learning. The NDE World Language Education Specialist offers an opportunity to talk about the revised world language standards and their potential impact to districts, to develop standards-based activities, and to collaborate with peers. Expect a fast-paced day with practical ideas, rich discussions, and a wealth of resources. Please enroll through the Educational Service Unit. ESU 1 21 Apr 20 ESU 8 24 Apr 20 ESU 2 22 Apr 20 ESU 9 and 10 at ESU 9 16 Oct 19 ESU 3...Read More ›

Chansons Françaises en Nebraska

If you are interested in hosting a French singer in your school, this coming Fall, Eric Vincent will perform in your area during mid-November. Eric Vincent’s songs are included in several major textbooks such as “Discovering French Today”: Blanc (Level 2) by Valette and Valette (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), "SAM Contacts: Langue et Culture Françaises, 9th edition" by Valette and Valette (Heinle Cengage). If interested, contact Marie Claude Barbin at There are still availabilities and we propose a sharing receipts formula allowing the organizer to host a concert without financial risk. Please visit the Eric Vincent website.

Nebraska Welcomes New German Language Advisor

Recently, Nebraska welcomed a new German Language Advisor of the Central Agency for Schools Abroad in Nebraska, Leeni Martinkari will be taking over the role of Irene Mrázek, who has returned to Germany. Could you please describe your background? After graduating from Freie Universität Berlin and obtaining my teaching degree in German and English, I later added Theatre Studies and received my teaching certificate for School Theatre as well. My latest teaching post was at an Upper Secondary School in Berlin-Weissensee, where I taught German, English and Performing Arts for eleven years, often adding some spark to my language classes...Read More ›

2019 NILA Conference Update: Free Workshop and Conference Events

2019 NILA Conference Raising the Bar: Nebraska’s New World Language Standards October 11-12, 2019 University of Nebraska Kearney Free Half-Day Workshop 25 Professional Sessions Lunch and Keynote Awards Ceremony Vendor Exhibits Association Meetings Opportunities to Network Door Prizes Stuff Swap (Bring items to exchange) Friday Workshop with Keynote Presenter Stephanie Call World Language Specialist Stephanie Call will introduce the new standards with activities, resources, and methods that are meant to provide practical and effective strategies to meet the bar. Come prepared to participate, to share, and to learn. Expect to have fun. Standards implementation packets will be provided to those...Read More ›


Omaha’s Original Greek Festival
August 16

St. Stanislaus Polish Festival
August 18

Intercultural Senior Center World Bash
August 22

México en el Corazón
Grand Island
August 23

La Festa Italiana
August 30

Fiestas Patrias 2019
September 13-15

Nebraska Hispanic Festival
September 14

Thriving Children, Families, and Communities Conference
September 16

Tango with Tusks Argentine Tango Workshop
September 20

135th German Day-Oktoberfest
September 20-21

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Updated August 19, 2019 9:19am