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December 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


NNELL @ ACTFL in San Diego

Congratulations to NNELL's Past President, Rita Oleksak, for being awarded the ACTFL Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in Foreign Language Education, K-12. "Honored and humbled", Rita remarked how fortunate she felt to be surrounded by her teacher leaders as she received the award. We could not agree more on her well deserved recognition and her ability to empower those around her!

Our award winning board members do not stop there! We are excited to share the news that our Treasurer, Diane DeNoon was recognized as the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages (NADSFL) Supervisor of the Year "It's such a wonderful group of colleagues who have great programs all across the country," DeNoon said. "I've learned so much from them. It's very much an honor to be recognized by your colleagues."
The 2015 NNELL Award for Outstanding Support for Early Language Learning was announced by New Jersey State Representative, Amanda Seewald, and President Elect, Nathan Lutz (left). This year's award recipient is NYC Public Schools Chancellor, Carmen Fariña. Her acceptance of the award was inspirational and motivating. For instance, she insisted that, "we need K-16 articulation to meet the teacher need of increasing dual language and immersion programs!!"

Watch Carmen Fariña's message on Youtube.

Click here to see NNELL's Awards Page for additional details
The annual NNELL Networking Breakfast was well attended and thanks to Laura Terrill, as one attendee stated, "the message that I received from the session was unforgettable!" We extend a special thanks to our sponsor, Santillana, who at the platinum level, sponsored graduate student, Hilal Peker, to join us at the breakfast. We also recognized Sans, Inc. for their support and generous gift in kind for the raffle. We also thank our gold level sponsor, Highlights and to NYSAFLT. Our gifts in kind donors rewarded raffle winners with amazing gifts this year! Don't miss out next year! Make sure you register for the breakfast. It is a ticketed event.

We look forward to seeing more NNELL members in person and as presenters next year in Boston for the 2016 Convention & World Languages Expo! Make sure you submit your proposal by Wednesday, January 13th. Once your proposal is accepted, let us know so we can share your session for more networking opportunities!

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This fall, we launched our Webinar Series with NNELL's Learning Languages editor, Dr. Kelly Davidson Devall. In our first session, Kelly was joined by Nathan Lutz and Catherine Ousselin, who authored a recent Learning Languages article, "Engaging Assessments for Speaking and Listening."

Our second webinar in this series was led by Ann Ferriter, who authored "Building Community in a Highly Successful Inner-City STARTALK Program." As members, you can now watch these webinars on demand in the "Members Only" area! We will continue our webinars next month. Keep an eye out for our next webinar in the series and send questions, comments and feedback to:

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Summer Institute: Save the Date!

Please join us July 14-17, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky, for the 2016 NNELL Summer Institute. This year's theme is "Whole Child, Whole World" and will focus on educating the whole child including core content, global competency, creativity and self-expression. Save the date! More details will be shared soon. Come visit Louisville, home of Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) and World Language Specialist Jacque Bott Van Houten. The diversity of this school system will amaze you. Bring the family for a tour of the Louisville Slugger Bat Museum and Factory and The Muhammad Ali Center!

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Learning Languages Journal

The Spring/Summer theme will coincide with the Summer Institute's theme, "Whole Child, Whole World." Our editorial board looks forward to receiving your submission. Click here for Author Guidelines and please send inquiries to

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NNELL launched #earlylang last year and is continuing the conversation through social media. Follow us, like us, retweet, and/or hashtag your favorite #earlylang moments!

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Baby Talk Patterns Give Clue Into Early Language Acquisition: Children Use Previous Vocabulary To Help Learn New Words

This article reports on a recent study published in the journal, Developmental Science. Researchers studied language development of 32 2-year-old children and found that the children used words they already knew to help them make associations in acquiring new words. Results confirmed that mental categorization played an important role in early word acquisition. Read the article to learn how parents and teachers can help expand children’s vocabulary.

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Play-based apps aim to switch on preschoolers interest in languages

As part of a multi-million dollar federal arrangement to improve Australian second language acceptance, the government set up a trial to seed children’s language studies at an early age, investing them to have a basis for building upon later in their secondary schooling by learning one of five languages using tablet apps and interactive games. 

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Español para niños con Benny

Two sets of vocabulary are available in the lite version of this app. Benny helps users learn greetings through modeling a conversation with his friend, Gabi. The names of toys are introduced using a picture and audio representation of the word. Users can then play three different games to practice that vocabulary. Twelve additional vocabulary packages are available for a fee.

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Flash Cards Spanish Free

Free flashcards with audio about basic vocabulary: foods, animals, body, clothing, furniture, transportation, colors.

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Français pour les enfants par INKids Education LLC

This app has 400 flashcards in 14 categories for children ages 6-8 to learn basic vocabulary. Includes a pronunciation soundtrack.

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TOmaTO Free par iBuRGeR Apps

This app is for children up to age 15 to discover vocabulary for fruits and vegetables with a beautiful photo image and sound - in French, English and Spanish.


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Hola Llamigo (Video)

This wordless video is about a little boy who works on a piñata farm and his adventures with one of the piñatas that befriends him.


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Simon’s Cat (Video)

On this YouTube channel, visitors will find a variety of wordless videos featuring a Simon’s cat and his friends. Some videos included are: TV Dinner, Let Me In!, Fly Guy, Snow Business, and many more.


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  Thank you to JNCL, and NNELL members Janine Erickson, Tammy Dann, Lori Langer de Ramirez, Kristel Saxton, Andrea Suarez Boyd, Heather Hendry, PhD., Alice Charkes, and Sally Hood, 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 |