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: InterCom: January 18, 2021

As we mentioned last week, we are dedicating the first part of 2021 to the basics of language learning. This week, we are exploring the ACTFL modes of communication.

There are a few ways to get connected with us this week:

  • Join our InterCom Live! session. We connect on Facebook every Monday at 11:00 am Pacific. To join us, open CASLS's Facebook page at the designated time. Can't make it? The InterCom Live! events are always recorded, and you can find them on our Facebook page.
  • Check out the Activity of the Week. This week, learners will brainstorm ways in which they engage in each mode of communication as well as the related, relevant skills.
  • To help reinvigorate students' passion for language learning, consider this ACTFL resource related research on language learning.

Happy exploring! We are excited to continue engaging with you this week.

Activity of the Week

  • ACTFL Modes of Communication

    by Carla Consolini, UO Graduate Student

    This activity was created for learners of all proficiency levels, and we recommend that it be conducted in the L1. The activity provides learners with the opportunity to explore and understand the ACTFL modes of communication.

    Learning Outcomes:
    Learners will be able to:

    • Identify the ACTFL modes of communication across different examples  
    • Identify some skills that are related to each mode of communication
    • Brainstorms examples from their own lives of engagement in each of the modes

    Mode(s): Interpretive, Presentational

    Materials: ACTFL modes of communication video, examples handout, and brainstorm handout


    1.  In pairs or groups of three, learners will consider examples of different instances of communication from the examples handout and decide how communication is achieved in each example (e.g., which of the ACTFL modes are at play) and think of related skills.
    2. Learners will watch the ACTFL modes of communication video.
    3. In their groups, learners will consider whether they need to revise their answers from Step 1 based on the video.
    4. Next, learners will brainstorm 1-2 examples of each mode of communication from their daily lives using the brainstorm handout.
    5. To close, debrief as a class about learners' favorite examples. 


    • It is important to mention to students that the images in Step 1 are imperfect representations of communication since they are static images.

Language Corner

Using Videos for Instructions

Source: Katie Bordner Back to Quick Links


Katie Bodner provides a collection of posts she has recently written on using videos for instruction. These posts are informed by personal experience and guide readers in exploring video creation tools and the extent to which they can enhance learner engagement.


Professional Development

Envisioning PBLL Workshop

Source: The National Foreign Language Resource Center Back to Quick Links


The National Foreign Language Resource Center is offering a five-week free Project-based Langauge Learning Workshop from February 1 to March 8, 2021. A detailed workshop description and registration can be found using the link. The deadline for registration is Janurary 18, 2021. 


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