To ensure receipt of this email, please add to your address book.

June 2014
Table of Contents  

NNELL Summer Institute

July 11-13, 2014
Glastonbury, CT
Save The Date Info Here!

Become a NNELL State Representative

As a national organization, NNELL operates through a network of state representatives. You could help NNELL to continue with its mission by becoming a representative of your state. As a State Representative, you will serve as an advocate for early language learning, heighten public awareness of foreign languages in elementary and middle school education, serve as state representative for NNELL to your state language association and ensure that foreign languages in grades K-8 are recognized as a priority matter in your state. If you are interested in being more involved with NNELL and its advocacy efforts, please read the description for this position or contact NNELL's National Networking Coordinator, Marcela Summerville (

Download PDF to view responsibilities



NNELL Summer Institute

The NNELL Summer Institute is a great way for educators to come together in a casual and relaxed atmosphere to debrief the school year prior as well as pick up new and exciting ideas for the school year to come.

Won't you consider joining us in Glastonbury, CT in July?

Registration is NOW open!

Download complete details here

Back to top

Reminder: Vote NOW on the proposed changes to the NNELL Bylaws

Don't forget to vote!

The bylaws have been approved by the NNELL Board of Directors and are ready to be voted on by the NNELL general membership.

Each member has been sent a unique voter ID and a link to the bylaws.
Please use this voter ID when voting. If you do not use your voter ID, your vote will not be counted. If your Voter ID is used more than once, only the first vote will be counted and the remaining will be thrown out.

You have until June 27th to cast your vote.
Votes will be tallied by an independent consultant who has been commissioned by the NNELL Board to do this work. Results will be presented to the NNELL Board for their approval after the close of the voting period.

If you have any questions about this process, please e-mail NNELL at

Thank you to all of you who have feedback and participated in the revising of the NNELL Bylaws.

Back to top

Languages For All

On September 30, 2013, the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) convened an international forum on language education and policy entitled Languages for All? The Anglophone Challenge. More than 150 government, education, and industry leaders examined the feasibility of breaking down language learning barriers at every level. The forum asked whether developments in language education have affected decisions to support increased language learning.

Languages for All was attended by 170 guests and speakers. The event was also streamed live to more than 1,400 viewers in the United States and around the world. In addition, a lively conversation continued on Twitter with more than 350 tweets using #languagesforall.

Before the event, the white paper executive summary was released and viewed by more than 600 language enthusiasts and a draft was distributed to more than 2,000 experts. Readers were encouraged to respond by sharing their thoughts and comments online and the final report is now available.

To download the Languages for All? Final Report: Can All U.S. Residents Have the Opportunity to Learn a Second Language?, click here.

Back to top

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade

The attached article by Dale Perry is reprinted with permission by JNCL-NCLIS as it appeared in the April 24, 2014 NewsBrief. This summary, written by NNELL member Dr. Sally Hood, University of Portland, gives you highlights of the article, which is printed in full using the link that follows the summary.

In this guest opinion piece, Dale Perry expresses his views on early foreign language instruction as the Bainbridge Island (located in Washington state) School Board decides whether to add music, PE, library and art to the elementary curriculum or foreign languages. The author believes that foreign language instruction should occur at the earliest age possible. He bases this belief on his own language learning experiences and his children’s, and current calls by organizations, such as the NEA, to prepare our youth for global issues and a widely diverse population. The author overviews current research on the benefits of learning languages: academic progress in other subjects, narrows achievement gaps, benefits basic skills development, benefits higher order, abstract and creative thinking, enriches and enhances cognitive development, enhances a student’s sense of achievement, helps students score higher on standardized tests, promotes cultural awareness and competency, improves chances of college acceptance, achievement and attainment, enhances career opportunities, and benefits understanding and security in community and society. The author concludes his opinion by claiming that the costs between the two options are similar and encourages parents to contact the school board to voice their own opinions.


Back to top

It's never too early for children to learn a second language, say experts

The attached article by Mabel Sieh is reprinted with permission by JNCL-NCLIS as printed in the May 1, 2014 NewsBrief in the link provided. This summary written by NNELL member Dr. Kennedy Schultz, founder and director of Explor-A-World LLC, gives you highlights of the article.

Husband and wife team Patricia Kuhl and Andrew Meltzoff, brain researchers from the University of Washington, have led a number of studies on the development of infant language and the learning experiences that lead to greatest cognitive benefits where language is concerned. One of the primary findings is that babies are able to distinguish between sounds in any language when they are born, but become more 'culture-bound listeners', tuning into the specific sounds of their parents' language ("parentese") as they grow. For bilingual babies, the ability to distinguish between different languages from birth leads to increased reading ability and linguistic development by the time they are five years old.

Just hearing different sounds is not enough, however. Further studies by Kuhl have shown that when infants are exposed to a new language through natural face-to-face interaction, they gain much more knowledge of the language sounds than when exposed to the same material via audio or television. The social, natural interaction of language learning is key to embedding new language knowledge in the brain. In an age when digital learning seems to threaten the livelihood of language teachers, Kuhl's research is a key point in advocating for face-to-face language education. 

Back to top

Website: Lightbulb Languages

Light Bulb Languages is a website packed with over 5,000 language resources for teachers of languages. The idea behind the title is to give teachers that light bulb moment of inspiration when you are planning and preparing. The site includes a Blog or all the latest news and links.

Back to top

Website: Online Free Spanish

Online Free Spanish is a website that presents several Spanish games at different levels of language learning.


Back to top

Website: Learn the Names of Body Parts in Mandarin Chinese

This website teaches the names of basic body parts including the Chinese words for head, mouth, hair, ear, face, eye, nose, teeth and eyebrows. Chinese characters for each word are presented along with clear pronunciation.  


Back to top

App Review: Devine Qui C'est

Devine qui c'est! is the French version of Guess Who!, a face-matching game for 1 or 2 players. Free games are La Classique, Monstres, ou Noël. Pay for Pirates, Vikings ou Héros. This game consists of a board of 24 characters. The game starts with receiving one of the characters; the goal of the game is to be the first to discover who your adversary's character is. Along the way, players alternately pose questions about the character's physical features (hair, eyes, nose, glasses, etc.) This app would assist students with questioning skills about physical traits and is best for upper elementary or immersion students. 

App Review: Cherche et trouve Astérix

A variant on Where is Waldo. It’s fun and it’s free! 

  Thank you to Janine Erickson, Kristel Saxton, Heather Hendry, Zhihong Li, Alice Charkes, Sally Hood and Kennedy Schultz for their contributions to this publication.

If you would like to share an interesting article, app, or teaching tool with the NNELL community in our next eNNELL News edition, please contact Dorie Perigini.

National Network for Early Language Learning | |