Language Learning blog
The Flashcard

A Blog for Language Educators

Thoughts and practical ideas for ELL and World Language Educators
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World Languages for Special Needs Students


Can special education students benefit from learning a new language? What about students from other alternative placement settings?

I believe many special needs student can. It really depends on the individual child, and if needed, tailoring classroom accommodations for that student to succeed.

There are fourteen categories of disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, yet the individual abilities and needs for students under the same disability category can vary dramatically.


Think like a Native Speaker

What is the best method for learning a new language? Is it immersion? Grammar translation? Some other method?

A 2012 Georgetown University Medical School study used electroencephalography to examine the brain processes of language learners. The results found that immersion language learners’ brains processed the new language in a similar way to a person speaking their native language. The grammar-translation language learners’ brains processed the new language similarly, but to a lesser degree, not the “full native-like processing” the immersion learners showed, according to Georgetown neuroscience professor and senior investigator for the study, Michael Ullman, in an interview earlier this year.


The Tossed Language Instruction Salad of Flipped Learning: Part 2

If all you ate was plain lettuce every day, wouldn’t you get bored? I know I wouldn’t feel too excited knowing that I would have to eat plain lettuce every day.

Yet, why is video viewed as the only form of instruction for the flipped language classroom when there are so many other quality instructional resources available for self-exploration? Can we make the lettuce more appealing by creating a tossed salad? Then you can have greens as your base (video lectures) and on different days toss in different toppings and dressings for variety!

With the availability of free instructional videos created by so many teachers on the Internet, you don’t need to produce every video lecture either so your salad base doesn’t have to always be iceberg lettuce. Why not use hearts of romaine one day, mixed greens the next, and some spinach another day? There are plenty of free podcasts and instructional videos from different creative and engaging people at your disposal.


The Tossed Language Instruction Salad of Flipped Learning: Part 1

What are your thoughts on using a Flipped Instruction Model for English Learner and Foreign Language classrooms?

Do you see a flipped classroom as more, less or equally beneficial compared to traditional second language classroom instruction?  (If you haven't already, please answer the poll question in the right column of The Flashcard).

We’ve all heard the buzz about flipping the classroom. It’s been the hot topic at education conferences for the last couple of years. National news outlets have featured the Khan Academy and other schools that use this method of teaching as great innovators in education.


Foreign Language Software Doesn’t Work! Part 6


Part Six: Bringing It All Together


So you want to speak another language. Do you think language-learning software is the only key to faster language acquisition?

If you still believe the bombardment of radio, TV and print advertisements about language-learning software being the one and only fastest way to become fluent in a new language, either you haven’t been reading this series or you believe everything you hear on TV.

Here’s a summary of the previous five posts in this series on what it takes to learn a new language:


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