Tag: learning

EdTech for English Learners

U.S. Department of Education data show that English learners in grades K–12 in U.S. public schools in the 2015–16 school year numbered over five million students—about 10 percent of all enrolled students—and that roughly three-fourths of public school districts included students who are English learners. Many teachers, including those in small and rural districts, have one or more English...

Making S-PACE for Grammar

Manuela Gonzalez-Bueno introduces a new model to teach second-language grammarThe complexities of teaching and learning a foreign language have been greatly explored over the last decades. By acknowledging that, in addition to grammatical competence, pragmatic, sociolinguistic, and discourse competences play relevant roles in communication, we have made authentic, real-life communication our main goal for teaching and learning a foreign...

Unintended Consequences

Katie Nielson asks if online collaboration may sabotage language learningFacing decreased enrollment and increasing student demand for a return on investment, higher education is under more pressure than ever to improve educational outcomes. With the hope of expanding their reach to new student populations, institutions are investing heavily in online programs—and the technology that makes them possible—to promote flexibility,...

Fun Way for Adults to Learn Words

Vocabulary Systems, Inc. has launched Vocab Victor, a word learning app to help English language learners improve their vocabulary by playing games on their smartphones or tablets. Targeted at adult learners, such as college students, it builds on the students’ existing vocabulary, teaching new words as it strengthens knowledge of existing words. The games are designed to promote native-like...

Making Connections That Count

Roberto Rivera explores the vital connection between social and cultural competence—for both students and teachersMy father is from Nicaragua, and when I was growing up, he brought several of his siblings to the U.S. to live with us. We mostly spoke Spanish at home, and there was a disconnect at school, because my teachers believed my “learning acquisition” in...

Keeping Up with les Voisins

Michael Ballagh questions the rankings race in study abroad participation U.S. institutions of higher education have long sought validation in the rankings system dominated by entities such as U.S. News and Forbes. Less commonly known is the academic “arms race” around the number of students who study abroad; college websites tout these high rates as an indicator of institutional success,...

Duolingo Rolls Out New Language-Learning Podcast

The language-learning app, Duolingo has decided to add NPR style podcasts to their arsenal of tools to get people speaking. The company, which is typically known for gamifying language in their app, has launched Duolingo Spanish Podcast, aimed at English speakers who are seeking to learn Spanish. The first podcast is available here https://podcast.duolingo.com/ and is about reporter Rodrigo...

Music Educator Spreads Spanish Through Song

Sara Quintanar, an elementary school music educator, bilingual songwriter, and performance artist, has taken the international community by storm with her songs in Spanish for English-speakers to learn the language.Her work in bilingual music began when she volunteered for her daughter’s Spanish language immersion program at Franklin Magnet School in Los Angeles in 2010. With her background in Bilingual...

Drawing on Ideas for Language Learners

Mark Oronzio suggests concept-mapping strategies for language learners For more than 40 years, education researchers have advocated the use of concept mapping as an effective approach to fostering higher-order thinking skills, moving students from mere knowledge acquisition to knowledge utilization and creation (Novak and Cañas, 2008). By specifying and linking...

Age No Barrier to Bilingualism

A new study, titled “Late Bilinguals Are Sensitive to Unique Aspects of Second Language Processing: Evidence from Clitic Pronouns Word Order,” asks whether English speakers who become highly proficient at a late age in Spanish can understand grammatical constructions that are present in Spanish but not in English. The study hinges on the longstanding question of whether or...