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March 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 (

Download PDF to view responsibilities



News from SCOLT

The 2015 Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) in Atlanta presented award winning author and storyteller, Carmen Agra Deedy. If you are a Spanish teacher, her book, Martina the Beautiful Cockroach (2007) may be on your shelf. The inspirational story of of her family leaving behind Cuba and arriving to the Georgia town of Decatur in the 1960’s, had the crowd on an emotional rollercoaster. Bringing us nearly to tears then bursting with laughter, Deedy reminded us that everyone has a story and what we teach today can have generational effects.


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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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Upcoming Events!

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

Click here for more information!

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.

Delaware Institute for New Immersion Principals, June 24-26
Wilmington, DE

Click here for more information!

This institute will unite up to 30 principals from Delaware and other states in an intensive learning experience focused on the foundations of immersion education. Principals of immersion programs play a critical role in the success of those programs. In order to ensure academic success for students, principals benefit from targeted professional learning opportunities around implementing, expanding, and sustaining immersion programs. This experience will help immersion principals connect the immersion program with other schools and district initiatives and develop effective immersion leadership strategies to support students, teachers, and parents.

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Write to the US Senate to Protect
World Language Education

The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee of the United States Senate has released a draft of the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which drops the Foreign Language Assistance Act entirely and does not contain any provisions for world languages. The Senate Committee is currently accepting public comment at the email address For more information and a comprehensive email template, click the link below.

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Thinking in a foreign language: how to do it and why

Rather than wait to 'think like a native speaker' after years of study, the author of this article suggests making conscious everyday decisions to escape your native language bubble and accelerate your foreign language learning. Simple but deliberate choices such as switching the language on your Facebook feed or watching YouTube videos in the target language can force you to activate new vocabulary and language structures in a meaningful context associated with your everyday life. Check out this article for more tips!

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We Don’t All Cry in the Same Language

The crying sounds of babies differ according to the language their parents speak according to a recent study by the University of Würzburg in Germany. Participants in the study included babies born to French-speaking parents and babies born to German-speaking parents; babies were between 3 and 5 days old. Results from the study showed that the babies’ cries resembled the language they heard while in the womb.


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How Bilingual Kids See the World

Most children believe that people’s traits are innate. Results of a recent study challenge that notion. Findings of the research, that included monolingual, bilingual and sequential bilingual children, indicate that children taught a second language at a young age are more open to the possibility that traits in people are learned, rather than innate. The implications? Bilingual individuals are likely to be open to diversity and difference in ways monolinguals aren’t.


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Mind-Body Connection Applies to Language Learning

The way we perceive a word affects the articulatory system: i.e., the mouth, tongue, and vocal chords according to the results of a recent study by Iris Berent, Northeastern University researcher and professor of psychology. In other words, it’s the brain not the body that determines if we find a word difficult to pronounce. Of particular interest to researchers are the implications of these findings for working with dyslexics.


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Chinese Nursery Rhyme Song

This website shares a Chinese nursery rhyme. “One big, one small, one tiger, one cat, one side many, other side fewer, a bird and a flock of geese. How many? count it, look at them, big, small, a lot, a few, remember them.


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Chillola is a free website for learning foreign languages through games and activities. This site is designed for children and their parents to encourage language learning while having fun in the process.


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App Review: Spanish School Bus for Kids

This free app includes games to practice numbers 1-20 and colors. Users can practice the vocabulary first with flashcards that include a picture, the word in English, the world in Spanish and an audio pronunciation of the word or listen to all of the vocabulary by tapping the small TV screen to watch a short video. There are 3 timed games for each set of vocabulary. The game is finished once three incorrect answers have been given or all vocabulary is identified correctly. Users can choose to replay levels or advance to the next level when enough points are earned.

The $4.99 version of the app gives access to games about shapes, animals, clothing, family, body, food, days of the week, months, weather, opposites, transportation, school, jobs, kitchen, rooms in a house, and verbs.


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App Review: Safesharetv

This free service allows users to crop videos and remove distractions from around videos seen on YouTube. The links created through SafeShare never expire and can be easily added to wikis, websites and YouTube channels.

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App Review: Feed Me! - PencilBot Preschool Learning Center

Feed the monster the correct “food’ he is thinking of and unlock trophies for your achievements! $1.99 for several language choices


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  Thank you to ACTFL SmartBrief, JNCL-NCLIS NewsBrief, and NNELL members Janine Erickson, Tammy Dann, Kristel Saxton, 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 |