InterCom, a customizable weekly newsletter for language professionals, is provided by the Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS) at the University of Oregon. InterCom is sponsored through a Title VI Language Resource Center grant.

Topic of the Week: Eight Things You Should Know About Badges and Professional Development in Language Teaching

By Julie Sykes, CASLS Director

With the emergence of innovative technologies and changing online behaviors, a variety of opportunities for professional development and documentation of learning and skills is possible. The Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) at the University of Texas - Austin has partnered with a number of organizations to document professional development and language teaching skills using open badges. Here we summarize eight key elements from this project. For more details see:

  1. Open digital badges are "online representations of earned knowledge and skills." They can be collected and displayed to demonstrate skills and recognize achievements.
  2. Collections of badges can make learning visible, identify learning pathways, and create a framework for advancing professional development initiatives.
  3. Badges can be collected in a badge backpack. Mozilla backpack offers one place to begin your professional development collection.
  4. You can earn, create, and collect badges relevant to your own profile. This allows you to use badges with your own students as well as in your own professional development experience.
  5. Badges can be organized and linked to other social network and professional sites in which you participate.
  6. You can earn badges relevant to teaching and learning foreign languages. This includes badges from ACTFL, Connected Educators, and Language Acquisition Resource Center, among others. See InterCom Activity of the Week for guidelines on earning your own badge.
  7. The use of badges in education is an emerging topic of recent research. For more resources see:
  8. The use of digital badges for professional development is still new and presents a great deal of potential. Have fun exploring and expanding your collection!

In the end, it's not the badge itself that matters, but rather what it represents.

Activity of the Week

  • Earn an Online Badge

    Online badges are one way to demonstrate accomplishments and professional development work.

    Objective: To earn one badge related to foreign language educations



    1. Go to the Open Badges Project page.
    2. Follow the instructions under "Getting Started" to take the Badges 101 quiz.
    3. After beginning your Mozilla backpack, earn one additional badge from the list of possibilities on the open badges site.

CASLS Spotlight: Unprecedented Community College and University Partnership by Mandy Gettler, CASLS Associate Director

Recognizing that many students begin their college language careers at community colleges and culminate their studies at four-year institutions, the University of Oregon (UO) and Lane Community College (LCC) began collaborating in August 2013 to align language curriculum and prepare students for seamlessly continuing their journey toward advanced language proficiency.

"To achieve this goal, faculty at both community colleges and four-year institutions must work and collaborate together," says Dr. Susan Carkin, Dean of the Language, Literature, and Communication Division at LCC.

UO Professor of Spanish Dr. Robert Davis, and co-leader of the collaboration along with CASLS Director Dr. Julie Sykes, agrees. "Articulated language learning sequences for learners is crucial to ensuring that they continue their studies."

CASLS has submitted a request for external grant funding to expand the partnership between LCC and UO. The project will begin with a needs analysis addressing key points of congruence and differences in the curricula and a data analysis of transfer student outcomes investigating which language level LCC students transfer into at the UO and their rate of continuing language study.

Afterwards, LCC and the UO will use the results to guide a professional development learning community among faculty members from both institutions. Dr. Sykes and Dr. Davis will co-lead the community. The group will address core challenges, which may include developing aligned curriculum, improving language pedagogy in the classroom, integrating technology, and sharing materials. Sykes and Davis will also lead the development of four professional development modules, create content and user guides for implementing similar programs across the country, and conduct two online workshops focused on community college and university collaborations.

Language Corner

California Adopts First English Framework Based on Common Core

Source: Language Magazine
Language: ESL/Bilingual Back to Quick Links


“… [T]he California State Board of Education adopted the English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework for California Public Schools (Framework). This is the first time in the nation that a state has adopted dual guidelines in one publication for both English language arts and English language development.

“…The Framework provides teachers guidance to teach the standards, which describe the knowledge, concepts, and skills that students should acquire at each grade level. The Framework covers the implementation of the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, as well as the new California English Language Development Standards.”

Read the full article at

Article: Accurate Identification of ELLs With Disabilities Challenges Schools

Source: Education Week
Language: ESL/Bilingual Back to Quick Links


Accurate Identification of ELLs With Disabilities Challenges Schools
By Lesli A. Maxwell
July 21, 2014

Pinpointing whether an English-language learner's academic struggles stem just from a lack of proficiency in the language or if there is another issue unrelated to language acquisition is a complex task.

And it's something that continually vexes educators in school districts.

Read the full article at

Resources for French Teachers on Les Zexperts Website

Source: Les Zexperts
Language: French Back to Quick Links


French teachers post activities and ideas on the Les Zexperts website to share with other French teachers. Here is the site’s own description:

“Créé en mars 2013, ce site est avant tout un blog pédagogique qui s’adresse à tous les formateurs FLE. Chaque semaine, nous publions un article présentant une activité pédagogique à mettre en œuvre en classe de FLE.”

Browse the resources on Les Zexperts at

7 Speaking Activities for Any Video Clip

Source: Spanish Playground
Language: Spanish Back to Quick Links

Turn off the sound on a video that you show your students, and try these seven activities:

Summer Clothes and Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish

Source: Online Spanish – Sonora ELE
Language: Spanish Back to Quick Links


Here is a lesson on summer clothes and direct object pronouns, with supporting materials:

Beginning of the Year Spanish Activities

Language: Spanish Back to Quick Links

Recently an FLTEACH listserv subscriber asked for ideas for the beginning of the year in a Spanish 3 class, especially those that will give the teacher an idea of what students already can do. Here is the first of several responses with ideas:

To read more responses, click on Next in Topic.

Icebreaker Activity – Circle of Life

Source: mELTing activities
Language: ANY Back to Quick Links


Here is a good getting-to-know-you activity based around numbers that are significant in your and your students’ lives:

Station Ideas for the First Day (Or Any Day)

Source: Sra. Spanglish
Language: ANY Back to Quick Links


Here is a collection of ideas for fun stations that students can work through on the first day back to class – or any day:

Activity Idea: Guided Collaborative Story Writing

Source: A Journey in TEFL
Language: ANY Back to Quick Links

Here is an activity idea in which students use picture prompts to write a story collaboratively:

And here is a great source of series of photos that tell a story: (from a past InterCom article)

Incorporating Culture in Lessons

Language: ANY Back to Quick Links

An FLTEACH listserv subscriber recently asked the following:

“I would like to incorporate more culture into my classes, but it seems time is always the enemy. How do you incorporate culture? Do you do it on a daily, weekly, monthly basis? Do you teach culture lessons while incorporating chapter vocabulary and/or grammar lessons or are the culture lessons separate projects/lessons?”

Other listserv members responded with many suggestions and resources. See the original query and their responses by going to and then clicking on Next in Topic.

Professional Development

Call for Proposals: MidWest Association for Language Learning & Technology 2014 Conference

Source: MWALLT
Content Area: Assessment, Curriculum Design, Learning Materials & Resources, Learning Science, Methods, Online Learning, Policy/Issues/Advocacy, Technology Back to Quick Links


MWALLT 2014 Conference
Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL
November 15th, 2014 8am-5pm

Theme: Traditional, Hybrid, and Online Teaching in Modern and Classical Languages: Exploring Differences, Creating Communities.

MWALLT invites you to attend our fall conference. The organizers are accepting presentation proposals and encourage current members, professionals, and students to participate. They invite you to submit abstracts for presentations or workshops on topics related to language learning and technology. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or have newly acquired ideas to impart, please consider submitting a presentation or workshop proposal so that all can learn from your experience. Some topic ideas include:

 Effective technology use with limited time and on a limited budget
 Impact of online learning beyond the language requirement
 The place of languages in the Digital Humanities
 Mobile learning
 Play and game-based learning
 Technology and service learning
 Content-based learning with new technologies
 Building community online
 Online tools for the traditional classroom
 Managing your online/hybrid identity as a language instructor or learner

The proposal deadline is September 1, 2014.

Go to to submit a proposal.

Call for Submissions: Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective Digital Archive Project

Content Area: ANY Back to Quick Links

The Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective is currently building a comprehensive website offering pedagogical, scholarly, and community resources to all those invested in a critical Filipina/o studies framework. The collective invites submission of any material that resonates with the mission of the collective to organize educators and scholars to interrogate and challenge histories of Western imperialisms (both Spanish and U.S.), ongoing neocolonial relations in the Philippines, and their relationship to past and present Filipina/o migrations through our research and teaching both within the university and beyond it.

This project is an endeavor to make accessible research and other forms of scholarly work outside of the spaces of the university and academic publishing. It is our hope to create a public commons of knowledge grounded by an anti-imperial praxis. These submissions can range from papers, panels, syllabi, lesson plans, assignments, workshops, etc. to be published on the CFFSC website at For specific requirements, please see each category below. The collective asks that material be submitted to the designated person and email address or consideration by August 15, 2014.

Papers & Publications
CFFSC offers a space to circulate written work that resonates with its mission. Article-length work is preferred but not required; all lengths and formats will be considered. If previously unpublished, please submit file as a Word Document. If already published, please provide web address to the appropriate database or to author’s institutional page, and we will publish link. Please also provide a 150-word abstract, list of keywords, and a brief author’s bio if not already included. All submissions and questions can be directed to Dr. Valerie Francisco at

Pedagogical Resources
The collective welcomes any form of teaching material dealing with Filipino American Studies. This may range from university and college syllabi, assignments, and project prompts to K-12 lesson plans to material by community-based educational initiatives. We ask all submissions to be in the form of a Word Document and to be accompanied by a 150-word description of the context of the material, i.e. whether for an Asian American Studies course, high school conference, community workshop, etc. Please also include a brief author’s bio or organizational description if needed. All submissions and questions can be directed to Dr. Amanda Solomon Amorao at

Scholarly Bios
CFFSC seeks brief biographies of all scholars and educators who have been or are currently members of the collective. If you have participated in a CFFSC Symposium, National Assembly, co-authored publication, or public project, please send your brief bio to be published on the site or any questions you may have to Dr. Michael Viola at

[CSEAS-SOCAL] Southeast Asia Announcements 7/25/14.

UIC BilForum

Source: University of Illinois at Chicago
Content Area: ANY Back to Quick Links


The 2014 UIC BilForum will be held on October 2 and 3, 2014 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The UIC BilForum is dedicated to research in any area related to bilingualism, including theoretical linguistics, code-switching, second language acquisition, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, neurolinguistics, cognitive sciences, heritage languages and bilingual acquisition.

Visit the conference website at

Workshop: Delving Deeper into Highly Effective LOTE Instruction

Content Area: ANY Back to Quick Links


The New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers presents
Delving Deeper into Highly Effective LOTE Instruction
August 5-8, 2014
Oneonta, NY

For more details and to register go to

Massachusetts Foreign Language Association Summer Institute/Immersion Workshops

Source: MaFLA
Content Area: ANY Back to Quick Links


The dates for the MaFLA Summer Institute are August 8-10, 2014
The location for the 2014 Summer Institute is Lasell College, Newton, MA.

During the summer months, MaFLA members can participate in the annual Summer Institute/Immersion Workshops. These workshops provide participants an opportunity to spend up to three days in an immersion setting to enhance their language and cultural skills as well as learn of new pedagogies and connect with colleagues.

See the institute program and register at

Midwest Association of Language Testers Conference 2014

Source: MwALT
Content Area: Curriculum Design, Differentiated Instruction, Learning Materials & Resources, Methods, Online Learning, Policy/Issues/Advocacy, Technology Back to Quick Links


The sixteenth annual MwALT conference will be held Friday, October 3, and Saturday, October 4, 2014, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. CaMLA will host the preconference workshop and opening reception on Friday. Palmer Commons will be the venue for the Saturday sessions. The conference theme this year is Under Construction: Building Arguments, Assessments, and Expertise.

For more information go to

Teacher Training Modules for Finding Internet Resources

Source: Language Materials Project, UCLA
Content Area: Curriculum Design, Learning Materials & Resources, Technology Back to Quick Links

Improve your efficiency in finding quality language teaching resources on the Internet with these new teacher training modules from the Language Materials Project at UCLA:

Annual Conference Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching

Source: University of California Santa Barbara
Content Area: Curriculum Design, Learning Science, Methods, Specific Purpose Back to Quick Links


The Annual Conference Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching, organized by the the Linguist List will take place from 5th September to the 6th September 2014 at the University of California Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, USA.

Register at


Call for Papers: International Journal of Language Studies

Source: LINGUIST List Back to Quick Links


International Journal of Language Studies (IJLS) invites professional (applied) linguists and language researchers to submit their scholarly papers to IJLS. Authors can submit (a) research papers, (b) research notes or reports, (c) 'state of the art' articles, or (d) critical book reviews. Acceptable themes include, but are not limited to, the following:

•- First and additional language learning, teaching, and use
•- Language assessment
•- Language for special purposes
•- Bilingualism and multilingualism
•- Language planning and policies
•- Conversation analysis
•- Corpus linguistics
•- Critical discourse analysis
•- Deaf linguistics
•- Discourse analysis and pragmatics
•- Computer-mediated communication
•- Forensic linguistics
•- Multimodal communication
•- Lexicography
•- Literacies
•- Rhetoric and stylistics
•- Translation

There is also room for a forum section in each issue which aims at enhancing debate between authors and the wider community of applied linguists; the forum section is dedicated to short pieces of writing which are typically 'responses' to a published article, a short research note or report, or a commentary on research issues or professional practices. The Journal also contains a review section which is dedicated to "State of the Art" papers or 'Critical Book Reviews.'

For more details please see:

For author Guidelines please see:

Book: Manual of Language Acquisition

Source: de Gruyter Back to Quick Links


Manual of Language Acquisition
Edited by Christiane Fäcke
Published by de Gruyter

This manual contains overviews on language acquisition and distinguishes between first- and second-language acquisition. It also deals with Romance languages as foreign languages in the world and with language acquisition in some countries of the Romance-speaking world. This reference work will be helpful for researchers, students, and teachers interested in language acquisition in general and in Romance languages in particular.

Visit the publisher’s website at

Call for Chapter Proposals: Global Contexts of English Language Teaching and Learning

Source: LINGUIST List Back to Quick Links


Seeking proposals for chapters to be included in an edited volume on global contexts of English language teaching and learning. In particular, the editors are seeking proposals for potential chapters that are based on qualitative research conducted in particular local and/or regional contexts of English language teaching and learning. Contexts may include settings where English is the dominant language or where it is a minority language, and settings where few languages are present or many.

Abstracts of 500 words or less can be submitted by August 31, 2014.

View the full call for proposals at

Book: Categorization and L2 Vocabulary Learning

Source: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers Back to Quick Links


Categorization and L2 Vocabulary Learning: A Cognitive Linguistic Perspective
By Xiaoyan Xia
Published by Peter Lang International Academic Publishers

The book addresses the role of the L1 (first language)-based concept categorization in L2 (second language) vocabulary learning from a cognitive linguistic perspective. The author hypothesizes that the patterns of one’s L1-based concept categorization will be present in his or her L2 vocabulary learning as well. The two characteristics pertaining to concept categorization under investigation are the prototypicality and the basic-level effects. The results show that the psychological salience of the basic-level and the prototypical concepts in one’s L1-based conceptual system is related to better retention and faster retrieval of the corresponding L2 words. The author argues that these two effects are dynamic in L2 contexts, being influenced by factors such as concept familiarity, formal instruction and exposure to the specific culture.

Visit the publisher’s website at

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