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February 2015
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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Registration Now OPEN for the
2015 NNELL Summer Institute

The 2015 NNELL Summer Institute will be held July 10-12 in Glastonbury, Connecticut. The cost for members is $200 and space is limited, so register today! For more information, including a tentative schedule and list of speakers, please visit our Summer Institute page.

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Regional Networking Opportunities Abound!

Network with NNELL's Newly Elected President-Elect, Nathan Lutz: February 27th-28th, New Brunswick, NJ

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Stop by the NNELL table at the annual Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey (FLENJ) Conference February 27th-28th. Nathan Lutz will be presenting a workshop on Feb. 27th titled, "Can Do Statements and Early Language Learners".

IN-NNELL Technology Conference: February 28th, Indianapolis, IN

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Indiana Network for Early Language Learning (IN-NELL) presents: “One-stop Strategies Shop: Tools for using technology and differentiation in your classroom”. Featured presenters include Rose Egan, Angelia Ridgeway and Deb Blaz.

SWCOLT with NNELL’s Advocacy Chair, Janine Erickson: February 26th-28th, Denver, CO

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Join our very own Janine Erickson in her hometown of Denver to visit two immersion k-8 schools on February 26th. Network with Janine or join her session on February 28th titled, "Early Language Learning: A Critical Need for Early Language Learning"!

SCOLT with NNELL’s President, Nadine Jacobsen-McLean: March 5th-7th, Atlanta, GA

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On March 7th, there will be a NNELL networking meeting and a session titled, “Early Language Learning PaNNELL” in which we will discuss resources, strategies and being an advocate for early language learning every day.

NNELL’s Regional Reps Kathy Olson-Studler and Julie Canady @ CSCTFL Conference: March 12-14th

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Join our Central States Regional Representatives along with a few sponsors as they host a phenomenal networking breakfast. So far the guest list is filling up with a-listers including past NNELL President (2010-12) and now ACTFL President, Jacque Van Houten, Paul Sandrock, Bill Rivers, Donna Clementi, and Helena Curtain (Founding Member of NNELL) just to name a few.

NYC FLES Fest Registration Deadline: March 15th, New York City, NY

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This celebration to be held on April 18th is in honor of the late Dr. Mari Haas, (Founding Member of NNELL) extraordinary FLES teacher, teacher trainer, workshop presenter, author, mother and friend. Through her materials, conference presentations, summer institutes, and by her example, Mari encouraged us to bring culture into the FLES classroom, to be playful in our teaching, and to be passionate about the important work we do in bringing the love of languages to young children.


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Babbling Helps Babies Learn Language Faster

A new study demonstrates that when parents babble with their babies, their infant children begin forming complex sounds faster, than infants whose parents make little significant effort to understand their babies’ babbling.

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Bilingual Brain Good
For More Than Multiple Languages

A new study, published in Brain & Language, used advanced neuroimaging techniques to discover that bilingual people are more skilled at regulating and controlling cognitive processes. The mental workout of learning another language appears to increase the performance of the brain’s executive functions. One conclusion from this study indicates that learning other languages is advantageous for adults.

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Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own

A new study shows that children whose parents read aloud to them--even after the child develops independent reading skills--maintain a stronger love of reading and read for pleasure more frequently as they get older. The study, released by Scholastic, examined the reading habits of children aged 6 to 17. Children who read for fun five times a week or more were likely to have parents who read to them throughout their youth. Literacy experts suggest ways that families and schools can help maintain the desire to read in children and teens.


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The Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

This resource discusses how knowing a foreign language helps develop cognitive and communicative skills, which help individuals become more productive in the work force and also earn higher wages. In addition, it states that students who take a foreign language receive higher ACT scores and SAT math and verbal skills. Employers in government, courts schools, Fortune 500 companies, and the State department are all searching for individuals who know another foreign language. The article references a British study that shows “a negative effects that their lack of a foreign language ability is having on their economy.”


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Mi Mundo en Palabras

This website from the Centro Virtual Cervantes, gives visitors to the website opportunities to practice family, house, park, school, and activities vocabulary. Each section includes an introduction to the vocabulary with texts that are shown and read in Spanish about the topic. There are also games, a workshop area with materials to print and a glossary.


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Xin Nian Hao Ya

This site teaches the Happy New Year song in mandarin Chinese. This year’s Chinese spring festival (Chinese New Year according to the Chinese lunar calendar) is on Feb 19, 2015 and celebrates the Year of the Sheep.


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App Review: Touch, Look, Listen – My First Words

This app works like a board book, so it is appropriate for very young learners. It covers 14 different pre-school subjects and uses rhymes, and pop-up 3D scenes. $1.99


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App Review: 4 Images, 1 Mot

The French version of 4 Pics 1 Word. Grade 6 and up. Free

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App Review: Learning Spanish with Marta

The free version of this app includes texts, vocabulary lists and games to practice physical descriptions, family, and pets in Spanish. Short texts written entirely in Spanish include visual supports to help users improve their reading comprehension without switching to English. The vocabulary lists include words, pictures and audio so users can hear the word pronounced correctly.

The $.99 version of the app includes interactive reading texts, more vocabulary support, and additional opportunities to practice the vocabulary through games.


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  Thank you to ACTFL SmartBrief, JNCL-NCLIS NewsBrief, and NNELL members Janine Erickson, Tammy Dann, Kristel Saxtonm Heather Hendry, PhD., Alice Charkes, Zhihong Li, Sally Hood, PhD., Kennedy Schultz, PhD., and Robert 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 Perugini

National Network for Early Language Learning |