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November 2015
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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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Webinars are back!

Webinars are back this fall! On November 5th, we launched our Fall Webinar Series with Catherine Ousselin, Kelly Davidson Devall, and Nathan Lutz entitled, "Engaging Assessments for Speaking and Listening". The webinar was an extension Ousselin's article in the current issue of the NNELL Journal, Learning Languages. As a member, you can watch the recording in the "Members Only" area of the website.

December 3rd, 2015 at 4:00 pm (ET) - NNELL will be hosting another author from our 2015 Spring/Summer edition of Learning Languages: Developing 21st century leaders through language instruction. In her article, "Building Community in a Highly Successful Inner-City STARTALK Program", Ann Ferriter states, "We listened intently to programmatic suggestions from key stakeholders resulting in one very successful project last summer." Join Dr. Kelly Davidson Devall as she asks Ferriter to elaborate on the success of the program and what she has in planned for future programs!

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NNELL Sessions at ACTFL

This year the ACTFL Convention will be held in sunny San Diego! Join us and other NNELL Members for professional development at its best! In addition to the following NNELL featured and sponsored sessions, check out the list of NNELL Members presenting at the convention.

The fun doesn’t stop there! Thanks to our dedicated National Networking Coordinator, Marcela Summerville,, we have an additional opportunity to network:

  • Thursday, November 18th, from 5:00 - 6:00 pm, Rancho Santa Fe 3 Room (Lobby Level, North Tower) Membership Meeting open all members.

  • Saturday, November 21st, from 7:30 - 9:30 am San Diego Convention Center Room: Ballroom 6C for the Annual NNELL Breakfast featuring Laura Terrill, "Seeing the World with New Eyes"

  • Saturday evening at 7:00 pm join us at the Marina Kitchen Restaurant and Bar at the ACTFL Headquarters Hotel, the Marriott Marquis San Diego. Please RSVP with Marcela,

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Can Preschool Children Be Taught a Second Language?

This article addresses the question, “Can preschool children be taught a second language?” In answering this question, the author discusses the reasons why the first three years of life are an ideal time to teach FL. In addition, the author suggests some research-based techniques for teaching a FL to young children.

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Treating Language as a Strength: The Benefits of Bilingualism

This article from Education Northwest summarizes the cognitive, academic, cultural, and economic advantages of bilingualism. The author contends that we should strive to maintain and expand English learners’ first languages as they learn English so that they are able to reap these benefits. Read why the state of Washington has enacted a Seal of Biliteracy law, officially recognizing and honoring the bilingual proficiency of their high school graduates:

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Study Abroad for Younger Students: Benefits, Challenges, and Solutions

Do students have to wait until college to study abroad? Can younger students in middle or high school be prepared for the immersion experience that study abroad offers? In this concise editorial, two teachers involved in study abroad tackle both the benefits and challenges of preparing young students for such a life-changing experience.

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How Your Brain Understands Visual Language

Graphicacy, or the ability humans demonstrate to communicate through signs and symbols, isn’t a familiar concept. Still, the ability to think and communicate in visual terms is prevalent. In his report, How Your Brain Understands Visual Language, Josiah Kahane muses about why, when we rely as much on visual means to communicate concepts and ideas, graphicacy remains less important than literacy or numeracy.

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Beginner Conversational Chinese – Asking a Yes/No Question

This website uses simple structure questions such as "Can you speak Chinese?" The explanations are clear and helpful for learning how to ask yes/no questions.


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Mi mundo en palabras

This is an interactive website to learn vocabulary in Spanish for beginners ages 7-9.

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Mi Vida Loca

This interactive video drama Spanish course takes place in Madrid, Spain.

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Team Shake

This app allows the teacher to create teams. The teacher enters the students' names shakes the device and different teams are created. Cost $0.99.


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Lola's Math Train Free

Fun with Numbers and learn key math skills…Go into the parent section and change the language to Spanish. Free.


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Ortografía Lite

This app helps users learn the basic rules for accentuation in Spanish. The lite version of the app includes one interactive game to practice and learn about acento ortográfico and agudas.


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  Thank you to ACTFL, JNCL-NCLIS, NNELL members Janine Erickson, Tammy Dann, Kristel Saxton, Andrea Suarez Boyd, 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 |