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In Search of Duende

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Daniel Ward believes that flamenco is key to understanding the passion of Spanish Merriam-Webster defines duende as “the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm,” but to flamenco aficionados it means so much more. Duende or tener duende (“having duende”) can be loosely translated as having soul, a heightened state of emotion, expression, and heart. The artistic and...

Some Words for Bullying

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California’s Poet Laureate is reminded of his own sorrow as an English learner by a recent tragedy and confronts bullying with verse Poet Juan Felipe Herrera watched the news broadcast in dismay. Another child lost, this time in an after-school fight that turned deadly. As the story unfolded, memories of the bullying he experienced as the Spanish-speaking child of immigrants...

Dot Ur Ize

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Margarita Melendez suggests resources for teaching writing in the Digital Age “Writing today,” say the authors of the book Because Digital Writing Matters (National Writing Project, with Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, and Troy Hicks, Jossey-Bass, 2010), “is pervasively and generally digital; composed with digital tools; created out of word, image, sound, and motion; circulated in digital environments; and...

Sharing the Story

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Ayanna Cooper encourages enhancing, embedding and embracing Black History Month What started out as “Negro History Week” during the second week of February in 1926 grew into “Black History Month” by 1970. Negro History Week founder Carter G. Woodson, a historian, wanted the contributions of Black Americans to be recognized and acknowledged as fundamental to American history. Today Black History...

U.S. 4th Grade Reading Among Best in World

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U.S. 4th Grade Reading Among Best in World Maybe our schools are better than we are being led to believe! Results of the 2011 PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) show that the only countries with better 4th Grade reading levels are Russia, Finland, and Singapore. This is a remarkable success for U.S. public education, especially when you take...

Stirring Up Passion

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Alexandra Méndez advocates falling in love with language as the route to mastery We do so many things halfway these days — or as one would say in Spanish, a medias. We half pay attention to the road because we’re talking on the phone. We half listen to our phone call because we’re surfing the web. We half pick up...

Bienvenido a Mexico

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Despite the hype, Daniel Ward recommends two of the safest cities in North America for Spanish immersion Having traveled to Mexico twice in the last six months with my wife and three young children, and felt completely safe and comfortable, even while driving through border towns, it’s disheartening to hear how difficult it is for Mexican educators to convince...

Making Dreams Come True

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Tim Conrad on counseling DREAM Act students Do you remember your school days reciting poetry, your ABCs, or The Pledge of Allegiance? I’ll never forget my Box Elder High School teacher requiring us to choose and recite a poem in front of our 9th grade English class. One of my classmates picked a Langston Hughes poem, whose quirky, shocking word...

How Humans Write

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Language Magazine offers a roundup of some of the most interesting products that can aid teachers in the instruction of writing Teaching students how to write may well be the most valuable lesson that educators can offer. Writing can be an arduous task for students, and grading papers can be equally exhausting for tired eyes after a long day in...

The Secret of Mayan Success

Kristal Bivona catches a glimpse of Mayan language preservation in Quintana Roo, Mexico Around the world, people are looking to the Mayan calendar for keys to the future of the planet and the mysterious changes prophesized for December of this year. According to numerous cable TV shows, the Mayan civilization and its extant structures, such as the famous Chichén Itzá...
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