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September 2015
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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


Welcome to our new NNELL Journal Editor!

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Kelly F. Davidson Devall as the new Journal Editor for Learning Languages. Dr. Davidson Devall is an Assistant Professor of French and the Assistant Advisor for Foreign Language Education at Valdosta State University. She is active in the professional community as a peer reviewer, state team leader, and Chair of the Teaching and Learning of Culture SIG with ACTFL. We look forward to hearing more from her and her research on early language learning! Welcome aboard Dr. Davidson Devall!

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While We're Talking About Our Awesome New Editor ... Submit An Article!

Interested in writing an article for Learning Languages? We are currently accepting submissions for Volume 21, Issue 1 of the Learning Languages Journal: Exploring Creativity and Innovation Through Language Learning. As we transition to the new journal editor, the deadline has been extended to Oct. 15th! See author guidelines.

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Renew and Stay Connected!

Don’t forget to renew your membership!

Thank you for your membership during the 2014-2015 year. Because you help us put the "network" in the National Network for Early Language Learning, we want to say thank you by entering everyone that renews their membership by the end of September in a drawing for either a free NNELL membership for 2016-2017 or a free ticket to the 2015 NNELL Breakfast at ACTFL in San Diego.

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Lead Early with Languages

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together" - African Proverb

Lead EARLY with Languages! With the recent introduction of the ACTFL campaign, "Lead with Languages", we invite you to start early! NNELL is looking for a few volunteers to join committees dedicated to advocate for early language learning and provide resources. Leadership opportunities like this will give you the opportunity to broaden your horizons, expand your expertise, meet new people and strengthen your skills. Committees include working directly with the Learning Languages Journal, developing resources for families and strengthening advocacy efforts. If interested in joining a committee, please contact Nadine Jacobsen-McLean at We share your passion!

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  • September 24-26th: Kentucky World Language Association (KWLA) Conference in
    Louisville, KY
    Nadine Jacobsen-McLean, NNELL President, will be presenting, LinguaCafé and Positive Assessment: You CAN do it!

  • October 3rd: Indiana Network for Early Language Learning (IN-NELL) Fall Conference, Indianapolis, IN

  • October 16-17th: Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association (PSMLA)
    Conference in King of Prussia, PA

  • October 29-31st: Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA) Fall
    Conference in Sturbridge, MA
    Rita Oleksak, NNELL Past President will be presenting workshops on, Achieving Proficiency Goals for Global Competence and Connecting Practice to Assessment in the Foreign Language Classroom

  • October 30-31st: New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers,
    Inc.(NYSAFLT) Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY

NNELL, in the spirit of networking and collaboration, would like to assist other organizations in their promotion of activities of interest to early language educators.

NNELL Representatives, if there is a professional development opportunity in your area, please submit the name of event, date(s), very brief summary and/or link to the event. We will get it on our calendar as soon as we can. The appearance of an event on this page does not imply an endorsement of the event.

Bipartisan Language Education Bill Introduced

Reps. David Price (D-NC), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Joe Crowley (D-NY), and Don Young (R-AK) have introduced the World Language Advancement Act (H.R. 3096), which would help state and local school districts implement innovative K-12 language programs.

"In today's global economy, K-12 foreign language and cultural knowledge have become necessary skills for government, private-sector, and non-profit employers," said Congressman Price. "Federal incentives will help to ensure we are providing these competencies and equipping the next generation of leaders with the skills to communicate and collaborate across borders." Read the full story here:

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Helping Toddlers Expand Their Language Skills

This article offers several strategies and techniques for effective ways to respond to babies' pre-speech communication. The author, a speech-language pathologist, claims that adults can increase babies' language development through intentional, yet simple, everyday interactions. Not only are the suggestions effective and fun, they can be applied in a first and second language acquisition context.

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Why It Makes More Sense

This short article summarizes 5 reasons to learn a second language that are supported by various research studies. These reasons are: to improve communication skills, to become a better listener, to boost creativity, to sharpen your mind, and to make smarter decisions.

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Music Class May Help Students Language Skills, Study Finds

When we sing songs to teach new vocabulary, we're accomplishing two goals at once! Music education has been shown to develop the part of the brain responsible for language development. A recent study of high school students demonstrated that music education improved students' ability to distinguish speech in noise perception and verbal memory, two qualities that also benefit language learning.

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Teacher Recommended: 50 Favorite Classroom Apps

This article reports on 50 digital applications students and teachers agree are useful for organization, study, and application of skills and content they’re learning in school.

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Chinese Lesson on Counting and Friends

This website uses a counting song while looking for friends in Mandarin Chinese (from 1-7) 我的朋友在哪里The song says: one two three four five six seven, where is my friend? Here here! My friend is here!

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Free Spanish Lessons

Practice Spanish with free and cultural media on the web. Various websites are included such as Coffee Break Spanish by Radio Lingua Network who offers audio podcasts with a subscription.

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Fetch It! Spanish

Maneuver the little dog so he runs into the item that has been said in this free App.


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Abitalk Spanish Sentence Builder Free

The free version of this app includes two levels to practice putting sentences in the correct order. In level one, users are shown a picture and a mixed up sentence. Audio of the correct sentence order can be played repeatedly to help with creating the correct word order. In level two, the same sentences appear and extra words are added to the word choices to increase the difficulty.


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