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October 2014
Table of Contents  

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 (

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Give the Gift of NNELL!

Are you a colleague, parent or a friend of someone you know who would like to join NNELL? If so, please fill out our online Gift Registration Form and complete your payment of a gift membership with PayPal. NNELL will inform the recipient of their gift and give them immediate access to all that NNELL has to offer.

Identify yourself as the giver or remain anonymous – either way it is a great surprise for someone special! Give the gift of NNELL today!

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Coming Soon:
NNELL 2014 Elections Vote

NNELL is requesting a vote of the general membership for two leadership positions within NNELL: President-Elect and Treasurer. Voting is reserved for only those individuals who are members in good standing of NNELL for the 2014/2015 school year. To vote, you will receive an email soon from NNELL with a unique Voter ID number and instructions on how to vote.

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Please Join NNELL at the ACTFL Convention 2014 in San Antonio, TX

NNELL is excited to be part of ACTFL’s annual fall convention. We look forward to seeing you at one of our NNELL Events:

  • NNELL Sponsored Workshops
    • Multi-Dimensional Thematic Units with a Global Perspective # 162
    • Connecting with the Common Core in the Early Language Learning #2259
    • Common Core and FLES: Language Learning with Nonfiction Texts #1867
  • NNELL Networking Breakfast
    • The NNELL annual breakfast provides attendees an opportunity to network with other early language-learning professionals. Join us for conversation on the latest in early language learning from leading professionals in the field. Sponsored by ACTFL and Santillana USA. Admission is by ticket only. Location: Grand Ballroom C2 (Convention Center), Saturday, November 22, 7:30-9am.

      The keynote speaker for this event is Leslie Davison.

      Leslie Davison is a National Board Certified World Language teacher with over 15 years of experience at both the elementary and high school levels. She was instrumental in starting a successful K-5 dual immersion program. Passionate about culture and global education, Leslie has taught in both Singapore and Honduras. Leslie shares her love for language acquisition by presenting at national and international conferences as well as offering workshops on CI/TPRS methods and technology integration. Leslie was recently awarded Colorado's World Language Teacher of the Year. When not teaching and learning, Leslie can be found running or skiing in the mountains with her dog or kitesurfing around the world. Currently, Leslie is teaching Spanish and serves as a Dual Immersion K-12 Coordinator and Instructional Technology Coach in Colorado
  • NNELL Membership Meeting
    • 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM; at The Grand Hyatt Hotel
  • NNELL Networking Dinner

Sign up for the NNELL Networking breakfast and you could win one of these great prizes:

  • One NNELL membership ($30 value)
  • One free NNELL webinar ($35 value)
  • One Free Registration to the NNELL Summer Institute ($200 value)

For details about these great events, please download our NNELL at ACTFL flyer.

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Elementary Japanese Teacher, Mitsiko “Miko” Momozono, Chosen as 2014 KWLA Outstanding Teacher of the Year

September 20, 2014, Lexington, KY – At the annual conference of the Kentucky World Language Association (KWLA) held this year at the Hilton Lexington Downtown, Mrs. Mitsuko “Miko” Momozono, a Japanese teacher at Picadome Elementary in Lexington, Kentucky was awarded the 2014 KWLA “Outstanding Teacher Award”. As the 2014 winner of this prestigious award, Mrs. Momozono will go on to represent Kentucky world language teachers at the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) to be held in Atlanta, Georgia on March 5-7, 2014. If she is named the “SCOLT Teacher of the Year”, Mrs. Momozono will then proceed on to compete for the title of “National Language Teacher of the Year” awarded every year by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) at their annual conference in November!


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Speaking two languages leads to a healthier brain, new study says

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that individuals who speak two or more languages, even those who acquired the second language in adulthood, experience slower cognitive declines from aging. The study involved 835 native English speakers who were born and resided in Scotland. Of the 835 participants tested, 262 were able to speak two or more languages. Of these, 195 participants learned a second language before the age of 18, 19 before the age of 11, and 65 after the age of 18. This study builds on others with similar findings, including one that revealed that bilinguals suffer dementia onset an average of 4.5 years later than monolinguals.  

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Being Bilingual Keeps You Sharper As You Get Older

A unique study was recently published that helps indicate how second language learning benefits the brain as we age. While most research on the benefits of second language learning has focused on bilingual speakers who acquired language at a young age, a new study in the 'Annals of Neurology' indicates that even a basic level of communicative skills gained through language study at any stage in life can produce cognitive benefits. The study participants were born in 1936 and had received an intelligence test at age 11 in Scotland. Researchers studied their cognitive development between 2008-2010 and found that regardless of when a second language was acquired, those who spoke more than one language had an improved memory and higher intelligence markers over those who were monolingual throughout their lives. It's never too late to learn and benefit your brain with language study!

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Bilingualism Alters the Way the Mind Works

Findings from recent research, conducted by cognitive scientists Judith Kroll and Ellen Bialystok argue that bilingualism research has examined the influences of bilingualism on cognitive and neural behavior and development too narrowly. This has resulted in a simplistic understanding of the complex changes in brain structure and function that occur in the bilingual mind.

Bilingualism researchers have typically categorized people as either monolingual or bilingual. This is problematic as bilingualism varies among bilinguals as a function of social, cognitive, educational, and linguistic influences.

Kroll and Bialystok also demonstrate that information about both languages is activated whenever a bilingual person listens, reads, or plans to speak in one language. This is observable in novice as well as highly skilled bilinguals in their lexica, phonological awareness, and grammar. Put another way, constant management of two languages requires executive brain function more often and by extension appears over time to enhance functions of executive control.

In sum, the effects of bilingualism on the mind are not specific and isolated. Instead, they are wide ranging and result in neural, cognitive, and linguistic changes that demonstrate benefits throughout the lifespan.


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Kahoot! is a free game-based classroom response system. Teachers design their own questions, quizzes, discussions or surveys. Students take control of their own learning. Kahoot! works with a web browser on a laptop, ipad, iphone, ipod, Android, Windows Phone or PC and more.  


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Website: Speak and Read Chinese – "Animals" (Simplified)

This program helps children to acquire the names of ten animals, along with the children’s song The Ugly Duckling. Animals include: Cat, dog, chicken, duck, bird, cow, sheep, horse, pig, and rabbit.  


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Website: El Juego de Construir una Comida de Kevin

With this interactive game players build one full day of meals and 2 snacks within a time limit using food groups and calorie amounts. Players move with Kevin from the kitchen, to the school cafeteria and grocery store to build the perfect meal.  


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App Review: J'apprends les formes et les couleurs Lite

Learn to recognize the shapes and colors with simple games. Free.

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App Review: ¿RU Inteligente?

This brainteaser app helps users practice colors, numbers and other things in Spanish. Each game is timed and surprises are included in the directions to keeps users on their toes.

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App Review: My quince dress

Search for the perfect quinceañera dress in this app. View the collection of quinceañera gowns, dama dresses, flower girl dresses, and hairstyles.

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  Thank you to NNELL members Janine Erickson, Tammy Dann, Kristel Saxton, Heather Hendry, PhD., Alice Charkes, Zhihong Li, Sally Hood, PhD., Kennedy Schultz, PhD., and Robert B.L. Raymond, PhD. 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 | |