Volume XXI - December 1, 2005

Welcome to the E-Comp!, a complimentary monthly newsletter for language educators brought to you by Prolinguistica.com. Tell us what you think. Send feedback, comments, submissions and suggestions to Laura Zink de Diaz at : e-comp@prolinguistica.com


Grant Opportunities, Workshops, Conferences…

ACTFL 2006: 40th Annual Meeting and Exposition
Call for Proposals
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
Nashville, TN
November 16-19, 2006
Proposal deadline: December 16, 2005
ACTFL's 40th Annual Meeting and Exposition, "Discover the Future... Discover Languages!" is a collaborative effort featuring events sponsored by over 100 organizations and vendors in the foreign language profession. Events come from the ACTFL Call for Proposals, Co-Sponsoring Organizations, ACTFL Special Interest Groups, ACTFL Invited Organizations, and Exhibitors. Individuals wishing to submit a session, workshop, or poster presentation, must be submit materials online according to the Call for Proposals and Instructions for Submitters. Any submission not submitted correctly and completely will be rejected. The deadline for submitting a proposal to the ACTFL 2006 Call for Proposals is December 16, 2005. For more information about ACTFL's Call for Proposals, visit the ACTFL Web site:

Toyota International Teacher Program
Professional Development in Japan for High School Teachers
The Toyota International Teacher Program is a unique study abroad opportunity for US educators. It provides a first-hand professional development experience in an international setting, and its benefits extend to the classroom and community through specially devised impact plans proposed by each participating teacher. Applications are available to participate in a fully funded 10-day, study tour of Japan for Twenty (20) full-time secondary school; classroom teachers (grades 9-12) from Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Tennessee. The participants will travel to Japan to explore the country's education, culture, environment and technology, and how these affect industry and society in Japan today. Full-time classroom teachers in grades 9-12, in the ten program states are encouraged to submit applications for the Toyota International Teacher Program by January 9, 2006.
Apply online at http://www.iie.org/programs/toyota
Materials and informational poster may also be requested by visiting the Toyota International Teacher Program website or by calling the Institute of International Education at 1-877-TEACH-JP (877-832-2457).
Application deadline: January 09, 2006

NABE 2006 Conference
Connecting Worlds with Bilingual Education
NABE 2006, January 18-21, in Phoenix, AZ.

Whole Language Umbrella Literacies for All Summer Institute
Call for Proposals
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
Charlotte, NC
July 13-16, 2006
Proposal deadline: January 20, 2006
This year's NCTE's Whole Language Umbrella Literacies for All Summer Institute, with the theme "Redefining Literacies: Expanding Our Vision of What Is Possible," will focus on teaching for change. The program is designed to immerse participants in holistic learning through independent inquiry, collaboration, and active participation. NCTE encourages program proposals that exhibit a study and analysis of classroom practices and collaborative experiences that promote democracy and inclusion. Proposals should reflect research perspectives that support holistic practice, innovative instructional strategies, and/or avenues for advocacy and activism. Opportunities for interaction and engagement among participants should be provided. NCTE invites proposals that address, but are not limited to, the following topics or areas:
* Developing democratic, inclusive classrooms
* Struggling and/or disengaged readers in middle/high school
* Involving local communities in developing school curriculum
* Excellent teaching for English Language Learners
* Critical Literacy and Social Justice
* Literature for diversity
* Valuing family literacies
* Language and Literacy
* Teacher education for democratic futures
* Early Literacy
* Crossing Cultural, Linguistic and Socio-economic Borders
* Responding to Mandates and still teaching for change
Send a completed proposal form to:
WLU 2006 Literacies for All Summer Institute - Call for Proposals
1111 West Kenyon Road
Urbana, IL 61801-1096
Download proposal form at: http://www.ncte.org/profdev/conv/wlu

American Councils 2006 Summer Russian Language Teachers Program
Applications are due by March 1, 2006
A six-week program in Russian language, culture, and foreign language
pedagogy for teachers or teachers-in-training. American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS is currently accepting applications for the 2006 Summer Russian Language Teacher Program at Moscow State University. Approximately 15 to 20 participants will be fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays. Fellowships typically provide:
·6 weeks of specially arranged seminars in Russian language, culture and pedagogy at the Philological Faculty of Moscow State University;
·Room and board with a Russian host family;
·Roundtrip airfare from Washington, D.C. to Moscow;
·Pre-departure orientation in Washington. D.C.;
·Living stipend; ·Medical insurance;
·Ten graduate hours of credit from Bryn Mawr College.
Applicants must be either graduate students preparing for a career in Russian language education or current teachers of Russian at the university, secondary school or elementary school level, and must be US citizens or permanent residents. Applications from K-12 teachers of Russian are especially encouraged.
Approximate program dates: June 13, 2006 to August 1, 2006. (Contact
American Councils for exact dates.)
For more information and an application contact:
Outbound Programs
American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS
1776 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 833-7522

Illinois TESOL/BE Annual Conference
Illinois Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and Bilingual Education (Illinois TESOL/BE)
Naperville, Illinois
March 3-4, 2006
The Illinois Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and Bilingual Education (Illinois TESOL/BE) will hold its 32nd Annual Convention on March 3-4, 2006, at the Holiday Inn Select in Naperville, Illinois.
For more information, visit http://www.itbe.org

U.S.-China Teachers Exchange
Program Seeking Applicants
Application deadline for the 2006-2007 school year is March 15, 2006.
The National Committee on United States-China Relations is now seeking
applications for an exchange program for teachers in American and Chinese
schools. This is a unique opportunity for schools and districts wishing to begin or to strengthen Chinese language and culture programs and for teachers wishing to live and teach in China. The American K-12 teachers in China teach English as a foreign language. The Chinese teachers, all of whom speak English, teach Chinese history, language, and culture, and/or English as a second language, in participating American schools. The National Committee pays the salary of the visiting Chinese teachers and the transportation of the American teachers. Participating American schools continue the salary and benefits of the American teachers during their exchange year in China. For more information about the Teachers Exchange Program, please write to the Teachers Exchange Program at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, 71 West 23rd Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10010-4102. Interested teachers may also learn more about the program at: www.ncuscr.org/TeachersExchange/
and should write or call Margot Landman (mlandman@ncuscr.org) or Anna Bautista (abautista@ncuscr.org) to request
application packets.

American Indian Language Development Institute
The University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ
June 5 - June 30, 2006
The University of Arizona's American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI) will be held June 5 - June 30, 2006 at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. AILDI is a four-week residential summer program, offering six credit hours at the graduate and undergraduate level that can be applicable toward ESL and other state endorsements or any other university program. Students in the program attend formal classes taught by the University of Arizona and visiting faculty. During AILDI, participants will acquire skills and learn methods for incorporating appropriate linguistic and cultural knowledge into their school's curriculum, learn general linguistic investigation skills applicable at the community level, and have the opportunity to learn new and innovative language teaching strategies through "micro-teaching" activities. This year's theme is, "Gathering Talk: Documenting, Describing and Revitalizing Our Languages."
To receive an application, contact:
American Indian Language Development Institute
The University of Arizona
Department of Language, Reading, and Culture
College of Education, Room 517
P.O. Box 210069
Tucson, AZ 85721-0069
Phone: (520) 621-1068
Fax: (520) 621-8174
Email: aildi@u.arizona.edu

Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN
June - August, 2006
The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota will host a summer institute program for second language teachers from June - August, 2006. The program focuses on the linking research and theory with practical applications for the classroom. Each institute is highly interactive and includes discussion, theory-building, hands-on activities, and networking opportunities. The cost of each of the CARLA summer institutes is $300 if registration is received by May 31, 2006 and $350 after that date.
For more information about the Summer Institites, visit the CARLA Web site: http://www.carla.umn.edu/institutes/
Applications are due by April 14, 2006.
For more information and application materials, visit the CARLA Web site or contact Klaas van der Sanden by E-mail at esc@umn.edu.

For Your Reading Pleasure

Language Boom sweeps colleges
By Robert Becker
In an increasingly global economy, and as terrorism and war bring world events home, American students have returned to the study of foreign languages in record numbers. According to a study released Thursday by the Modern Language Association, 1.4 million American college students are enrolled in foreign language study _ the most since the group conducted its first survey in 1958. Since 1998 _ the last time the survey was published _ the number of students enrolled in foreign language courses has jumped 17.9 percent. The percentage of college students taking such courses has risen to 8.7 percent, the highest it's been since 1972. Read more at:
(Long URL Alert! Copy and Paste... Also, free registration may be required.)

Trust power of bilingualism
By Johanna Rubba - The Tribune (San Luis Obispo)
"Once again, Victor Davis Hanson (Commentary, Nov. 20) pontificates beyond his area of expertise, declaring English "our common bond" and claiming bilingual education "eroded first-generation immigrants' facility in English." ... Speaking English did not help Irish immigrants in the 19th century, who suffered serious discrimination, in large measure because they were Catholic. Oh, and the sovereign against whom American colonists revolted in the 1770s spoke ... English. Language certainly can be a common bond, but that bond is easily overridden by divisive forces such as racism, sexism and religious intolerance."
Johanna Rubba, associate professor of linguistics at Cal Poly, makes a lot of good points in this letter to the editor. Read it at:

O.C. Plan Tries to Bring English Home
Santa Ana's Chamber of Commerce aims to raise language skills of 50,000 adults with local classes.
By Jennifer Delson LATimes
In Santa Ana, which has one of the highest concentration of Spanish-speakers in the nation, the Chamber of Commerce is embarking on an ambitious effort to improve the English skills of city residents. "If you don't have English competency, your chances to be self sufficient and live [well] in our society are very difficult," said Michael Metzler, president of the business group. By July, the chamber expects to begin bringing more than 500 instructors into neighborhoods to teach English to at least 50,000 adults over the next five years. Dubbing the program a "Marshall plan for English," the chamber likens English Works to the massive U.S. effort to help rebuild Europe after World War II.
Read more about this at:
(My Yahoo mail program treats this relatively short URL as if it were long - so you may have to copy and paste.)

But who will teach them?
State may require foreign language at middle schools, but teachers scarce
By Staci Hupp - indystar.com
Every Indiana middle school would be required to provide foreign-language classes under a state proposal that comes as school leaders already struggle to find enough Spanish teachers or the money to pay them. The plan would mean offering the classes in sixth, seventh and eighth grades, but students wouldn't be required to take them. Education officials worry that Hoosier students will fall behind in an increasingly global economy if they can't speak Spanish, Chinese or other languages.
Read more about this at:
(Long URL Alert! You know what to do...)

ROARing loud
Program aims to help elementary school children become more proficient with languages
By Dennis Hines - The MidWeek
Several Northern Illinois University students are helping area children improve their reading and English skills. About 30 NIU elementary education majors are currently involved with the Reaching Out through Art and Reading (ROAR) program. As part of the program, the students visit local elementary schools for about two hours a week and read books to bilingual students who are in kindergarten through third grade. ... “It’s a nice program. It’s good for the kids to have story books read to them. All of the research shows that having somebody to read aloud to you is good for language development and is good for reading,” Chris Carger, director of the ROAR program, said. “What we felt is that parents have to work. They are just too busy to do reading, consistently with their children, or, for some bilingual children, the parents read in Spanish, and it’s very hard to find many quality books that are written in Spanish. So, I think we do a service in that we provide a nice story book every week.” The tutors also work on a craft or an art project with the children, which is usually related to the book that they read to the students.
Read more about this at:

Navajos turn sights on schools
Navajo Nation steps forward and creates its own department of education
By Deborah Bulkeley - Deseret Morning News
For many American Indian youths, the educational outlook is bleak. In some cases, youths are more likely to drop out of high school than to graduate. The Navajo Nation has taken a step towards putting education into its own hands by creating a department of education. Leland Leonard, Navajo tribal education director, said there hasn't been much improvement for Navajo youths since No Child Left Behind became law in 2001. In 2004, the State Office of Education reported that just under 71 percent of American Indian youths in Utah graduated from high school. "The states and the (Bureau of Indian Affairs) are not doing it," Leonard said. "This is an initiative of exercising our sovereignty, our inherited right to reform the educational system on the Navajo Nation."
Read more about this effort at: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,635161241,00.html

When It Comes to Babies Learning Language, the Eyes Have It
Newswise — Infants begin pulling off an amazing feat sometime in the final three months of their first year of life. They learn an important social interaction by following the gaze of an adult, a step that scientists believe gives babies a leg up on understanding language. University of Washington psychologists Rechele Brooks and Andrew Meltzoff have pinpointed this developmental step as beginning somewhere in the 10th or 11th month of life, and have found that infants who are advanced in gaze-following behavior before their first birthday understand nearly twice as many words when they are 18 months old.
Read more at:

Sign Language Improves Mental Abilities
By Sara Goudarzi - Special to LiveScience
Knowing Japanese may help you trade Yen on the Japanese stock market. Leading a safari tour in Kenya is much easier if you're well versed in Swahili. And knowledge of American Sign Language comes in handy when studying structural geology. Come again? Structural geologists have to visualize the bending, breaking and folding of rock formations that are usually motionless and firm. This often requires the processing of complex spatial information—something that individuals experienced in American Sign Language, or ASL, already do well, explained Michele Cooke, a geologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Cooke's college students often struggle with structural geology, but when Cooke saw that those who are well versed in ASL grasp the spatial topics better, she thought there might be a connection.

Koreans find English haven in Phillipines
By Michelle Bayaua - Inquirer News Service
... As the world gets smaller and smaller and as globalization continues to spread, English has fast become the language of trade, education, politics. And yes, even entertainment. ... International companies who have established offices and factories in Korea now demand a proficiency in English from their Korean employees, best tested through the Test of English in International Communication (TOEIC) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as well as job interviews. ... Students who have traveled abroad specifically to learn English, especially to a native English-speaking country, increase their chances of getting hired. ... The country of choice is the United States, Canada and Australia. But a lot of students find the cost of living and education there very high, forcing them to work while studying and impeding their chances of concentrating in learning the language. ... Hence, Korean students choose the Philippines as an alternative.
Read more about this at:

Spanish: One language, many variations
By Suzan Clarke - The Journal News
As an interpreter in Rockland's courts, Jean Simon knows he must be meticulous to avoid misunderstanding. But one day he — and the plaintiff with whom he was working — both were caught by surprise. It was a civil accident case, and Simon was interpreting for native Spanish speakers from several different countries. Simon was directed to ask the plaintiff, a Chilean native, how often he took the bus. But what Simon said and what the plaintiff heard were two different things. "Well, I used the term 'guagua' " — which is a word used chiefly in Latin America for 'bus' — "and he said 'Oh,' " said Simon of Spring Valley. "When I said 'guagua,' he thought I was talking about his young boy. And guagua for him means 'boy,' but for the other party, it was a bus." Simon's unintended gaffe is not uncommon among Spanish speakers from different countries and regions, where the nuances, colloquialisms and variations in word use can cause confusion, anger or social embarrassment.
For more examples, go to:
(Long URL Alert!)

From the "Where have you been the last 150 years?" department...
But who will teach them?

By Mitchell Landsberg - Times Staff Writer
A study released [in November] confirms what many teachers have long suspected: The performance of immigrant children in U.S. schools may reflect the education they received — or didn't — in their home countries. Foreign-born children, especially those from Mexico, are far more likely to drop out of high school if they had a spotty educational record before coming to the United States, according to the study by the Pew Hispanic Center. But those who start U.S. schools by the second grade are scarcely more likely than native-born American children to drop out, the findings show. Adding to the debate, data also show that immigrantstudents from Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean are far less likely than their American-born peers to leave school. The report helps illuminate the challenges facing U.S. educators, particularly in states such as California, as they struggle to cope with the largest wave of immigration in the nation's history.
Read more about it at:
(Another long URL! Copy and Paste - quel drag...)

Resources you might be interested in...


Each ESL Podcast lasts 10-20 minutes, and has three parts: 1) A dialog or story read a bit slower than normal speech. 2) An explanation of some of the expressions and phrases used in Part 1. And 3) A repetition of the dialog or story at a native rate of speech. This is a free service, though they're looking for donations. Students can listen on line to the dialogs and stories. The scripts are also available on line and teachers can copy them for student use , getting away from "textbook" English. For advanced speakers of English looking for an interesting, entertaining way to improve their English, there is also an English Through Stories Podcast. Each week, students can hear a new episode of a drama or “soap opera” in English. Also, there's a TOEFL Podcast for those studying for TOEFL®, the TOEIC®, or the IELTS.

Native American Heritage Teaching Resources
IU.S. Department of Education
To honor National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, Native American heritage teaching resources are featured on the U.S. Department of Education's Web site: http://www.ed.gov/free/past/2005/111.html


That's it for this month. I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving break. Get ready for the run up to the winter holidays! Next issue, early January.
Best Wishes,

Prolinguistica - Teaching for Comprehension

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