Archive for February, 2014

News: Google debuts online education tool Oppia, UNI-Collaboraion, TandemPlus CLA Language Center

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Google debuts online education tool Oppia to let anyone create interactive activities for teaching others

Google today launched a new online education tool called Oppia, currently an open source project with the goal of making it easy for anyone to create online interactive activities that others can learn from. Called explorations, these activities can be built and contributed to by multiple people from around the world through a Web interface, without any programming required….[!xKqbJ]

UNI-Collaboration: This platform is aimed at supporting university educators and mobility coordinators to organise and run online intercultural exchanges for their students….

TandemPlus, CLA Language Center, Univ of Minnesota: he TandemPlus program organizes opportunities for language students to practice and improve their abilities in the foreign language they are studying. To meet the needs of as many students as possible, we make these practice opportunities available in a variety of formats…. []

CASLS – InterCom news: Sources for Authentic Audio on Spanish, French, and German

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Sources for Authentic Audio on Spanish, French, and German
Source: Language Teachers Collaborate
Language: French, German, Spanish

From languageteacherscollaborate

Here is a collection of links to online sources of authentic audio for Spanish, French, and German:

[CASLS InterCom Article]

Interactive Whiteboard and Interactive Projectors

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

The smart classroom in Language Lab is equipped with SmartBoard Interactive Whiteboard.  We also have the Interactive Projector in Multimedia Studio area.  Both of them can be used for variety of activities such as annotation and collaboration incorporating the special interactive features of the products.

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I have explored both SmartBoard interactive whiteboard and Epson interactive projector (Epson BrightLink series).  Software needs to be installed for both products to use the handwriting feature.

Both products have the feature of hand-writing, which provides us the great deal of annotation.  The handwriting is possible within the application such as Microsoft word or on the browser windows.

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They can be saved as an image (Smartboard) or PDF (BrightLink projector).  They also have the ability to take the photo of the build-in camera to be incorporated into the notebook application.

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The difference between the two products, in terms of software functions and so forth, is pretty subtle in current setting in my opinion.  The hardware setting is a little bit different between the two.  The Smartboard has bigger size and probably more expensive and it is mounted on the wall as you can see.  The interactive projector is mounted on the table and the projection size is a little bit smaller, compared to the Smartboard, although the screen resolution can be modified by the set-up.  Considering the set-up, the Smartboard is used for classroom setting and the interactive projector can be used for small group collaboration or one-on-one tutoring.



Blog Post: Five Solutions for Online Translators in the World Language Classroom

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

I have posted a blog on the online translation and voice recognition before.  I have come across the blog post talking about the activities on the online translation “Five Solutions for Online Translators in the World Language Classroom” [].  It is very interesting blog post to provides the instructional scaffolding technique and activity ideas of how to ‘avoid the online translator’.  It also provides the assignment on the online translator itself.  This assignment seems to be related to the concept of ‘error analysis’ of foreign language learning as well as the meta-linguistic knowledge students may have.  So it is quite interesting to find out when (which year) and how much we can introduce the assignment as well as how detail instructors would like to analyze on the translator and the result of the translation.


InterCom News & Articles: French, Spanish, Arabic, and Bloom’s Taxonomy

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

CASLS InterCom


–New Learning Resource: French Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum

Source: French Embassy
Language: French


L’Art français au Musée d’art de Saint-Louis / French Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum is a new learning resource for teachers and students developed by the University of Missouri-St. Louis with the support of the Cultural Service at the Consulate General of France in Chicago.

It provides images and descriptive texts for nearly 100 works of art by French artists. The works are among the highlights of the collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum. This resource has been designed to facilitate teaching and learning about these works, for students of French language and culture as well as students of art. It includes information about the work, the historical moment, the artistic genre, and the artist.

All texts are provided in English and French, with audio recordings in French.

This resource is available at

–Phone Conversations

Source: Spanish Phone Conversations
Language: Arabic, Spanish

The Spanish Phone Conversations website contains over 300 casual phone searchable by level, country/dialect, and topic. It is available at Read a review of this resource at

There is a companion website, Arabic Phone Conversations, available at It was featured in a past InterCom article:


–Blog Post: Bloom’s Taxonomy and Language Proficiency

Image from

Source: Amy Lenord’s Blog
Language: ANY

Spanish teacher Amy Lenord writes:

“Since my teaching assignment this year is only level 1, I have had a unique opportunity to really think about what it is we are teaching in that first level and the language tasks we ask our students to perform. One thing I have noticed is that most level one curricula focus heavily on getting students to describe people, places and things, and while I do believe this is extremely valuable, I think in level one we are missing some important every day communicative tasks in our lessons. …

“The other day I was cleaning out my portable hard drive when I ran across some jpegs of Bloom’s taxonomy I had tucked away and had an epiphany. When I read the verbage that was categorized by the taxonomy skills I realized that right before my eyes were great beginnings of real life language tasks waiting to be employed in my lessons. So, being the tinkerer that I am, I took the verbs and came up with a few ideas of my own…”

Read on for some ideas to get even beginning students using higher level thinking skills in their second language:

News: French Revolution Digital Archive – web site launched

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

FR_webFrench Revolution Digital Archive – web site launched

We’re excited to announce Stanford University Libraries’ release of the French Revolution Digital Archive web site (FRDA):

FRDA is the result of a multi-year collaboration of the Stanford University Libraries and the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) to produce a digital version of the key research sources of the French Revolution and make them available to the international scholarly community….


See more at:

[Stanford Library SUL news]

Webinar Announcement: CALPER/LARC webinar – Assessing Vocabulary with Dr John Read

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Webinar with Dr. John Read

Assessing Vocabularywebinar_0211

Date: Wednesday February 19, 2014
Time: 12:30-1:40 pm Pacific Time / 2:30-3:40 pm Central Time / 3:30-4:40 pm Eastern Time

Presentation Description:

Learners of second languages are very conscious that one of the key problems they face in becoming proficient users of the language is how to acquire an adequate knowledge of vocabulary. Thus, teachers need to be able to monitor their students’ vocabulary development and set realistic targets for learning the words that they need to know. At one level, this may simply mean giving regular progress tests on the vocabulary presented in the textbook or specified by the curriculum. But vocabulary tests can serve a variety of purposes in a language teaching program, such as placing students in the appropriate class, diagnosing difficulties with reading and other skills, and assessing the adequacy of the learners’ vocabulary knowledge for particular functional uses, especially when they need the second language for employment or higher education.

To see the detail and registration, please go to the webinar homepage.

[CALPER Facebook post]

Explore iPad series #2 accessing the content in foreign countries – Getting Started

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

As far as accessing the reading materials such as books, comics, magazines and so forth, the apps native to iPad mini are, App Store, iTune Store, iBooks, and NewsStand.  We can purchase the apps through App Store in the tablet or iTune Store  in the computer.  We can also purchase books or rent movies through iTune.  Books will be stored in the bookshelves of iBooks.  The movie is in Movie app and the magazines are in NewsStand.  You can purchase the books from multieple iTune Stores and they will be stored at the same location.

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Photo Feb 05, 12 28 36 PM



NewsStand has the list of magazine which we are able to subscribe 3/6/1 yr subscription as app-in purchsae.

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To rent a movie through iTune Store, it was not ‘to copy the movie file’ from iTune to the tablet device, but it was to ‘move the movie file’.

 itunestore_movie1     Photo Feb 05, 12 29 13 PM     Photo Feb 05, 12 29 09 PM

Switching the multiple accounts are tedious and annoying but it was feasible to purchase or rent the reading materials or movies.  The payment will come from the iTune Store account.  Billing address needs to be in the countries with which iTune store is associated.  Otherwise it is necessary to have iTune Gift card credit in the account.

Moreover, dealing with multiple Apple IDs to have multiple accounts is sometimes troublesome.  Depending on the apps, iTune specify in which store the app is available and it may necessary switching the accounts for update.  If you are in ‘wrong’ store (meaning different store from the one in which you download/purchase the material/app), it will display the message.

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There seem to be many apps for reading e-books.  I will be exploring such apps as well as video-related apps and websites.

Conference Announcement: CLTA (California Language Teachers’ Association)

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

CLTA (California Language Teachers’ Association) in San Diego! March 13 – 16, 2014

California Language Teachers Association Conference: This year’s focus is Common Core and Technology. There will be a workshop on implementing Common Core including emphases on ELL students. There will be a wide array of presentations that deal with not only Common Core but also new technologies, flipped classroom, QR Codes, iPads and Apps as well as many other topics that will help language teachers improve their craft….



To see the conference detail, please visit


[From: LARC_SDSU Twitter @LARC_SDSU]