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January 2014

Grants for Teachers Effecting Social Change
The Pollination Project awards $1,000 seed grants to individuals for projects that expand compassion in the world. Projects funded focus on issues such as environmental stewardship, animal protection, social justice, community health and wellness, and arts and culture. Among the most recent grant recipients were several language educators, including a high school Spanish teacher who emphasizes cultural awareness and service learning through a Guatemala Studies and Service Program class; a middle school French teacher who advises student groups and staff seminars on diversity and acceptance; and a Spanish teacher in an underserved community who teaches her students to love education, their cultures, and their community. There is more information about their projects and how to apply for a grant on the organization’s website.

MERLOT, the international community of educators, administrators, librarians, and others in education who are interested in using and sharing Open Educational Resources (OER), recently updated its website. It is still a free resource, supported by the California State University System in cooperation with other higher education institutions from around the world, and has more than 40,000 online learning materials. The completely redesigned website now has features that make it easier to use, such as unified search and content builder. MERLOT II is also more “mobile and tablet friendly,” and provides new contextsensitive help.

Himalayan Linguistics Journal
Published by the University of California, Santa Barbara, Himalayan Linguistics is an online peer-reviewed journal specializing in languages of the Himalayan region, including northwestern and northeastern India, Nepal, Bhutan, the Tibetan Plateau, northern Burma, Sichuan, Nuristan, Baltistan, and the Burushaski-speaking area. The journal’s website is free in order to make the information accessible to scholars, particularly those in the countries of the Himalayan region.

Spoken Stories in Chinese
Phonemica is a project to record spoken stories in every one of the thousands of varieties of Chinese in order to preserve the cultural heritage, as well as the languages that may disappear as Standard Mandarin becomes more widely spoken. Not only is the site beautiful to view, but you can also browse the stories on the site or read the editor’s selections. After the stories are recorded, they are transcribed into Chinese characters as well as a Romanized version, and the International Phonetic Alphabet, and are translated into English.

IntraText Digital Library
IntraText is a full-text digital library offering books and corpora as lexical hypertexts on Creative Commons License. Its reference and search tool can be used to read a work, to browse a text as hypertext, or to search for words and phrases. Catalogues can be searched chronologically or alphabetically. The alphabetical catalogue includes more than 900 authors and more than 9,000 works, and 39 languages are represented among those works.

French Language, Culture, and History
For travelers who would love to know about France when planning their visit, this site has basic French lessons and phrases for tourism and business, but perhaps of more interest to French teachers will be the articles on history and culture.

Angelika’s German Learning Blog
Angelika Davey is a native speaker of German, and she teaches German to children and adults as well as business clients. On her blog, she shares articles, videos, websites, lesson ideas, and information about technology. Blog post categories include language, culture, infographics, German translations, Business German, and German teaching.

Spanish Playground
The Spanish Playground website has printable curriculum resources for teaching Spanish to children, as well as videos, activities, games, songs, crafts, poems, and stories. There is also a series of posts from multicultural bloggers who are raising children who speak two or more languages.

Analysis of the French Language
ATILF (Analyse et Traitement Informatique de la Langue Française) was created by a merger of the Institut National de la Langue Française (INaLF–CNRS), and the Language, Discourse, Cognition (LANDISCO) Laboratory of the University of Lorraine. The ATILF website has information about the laboratory’s research on computer processing and analysis of the French language.

Latino Public Broadcasting
The mission of Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) is to support the development, production, acquisition, and distribution of noncommercial educational and cultural media that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. The programs are disseminated to public telecommunication entities such as public broadcasting stations. The LPB website has information about the programs, a program archive, and links to LPB on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace.

Language Learning Site for Preschool Children
The Literacy Center Education Network is an open and free network that was initially funded by a U.S. Department of Education Small Business Innovation Research contract and was designed to meet the needs of children at risk of not learning to read. The site now has information about meeting the Common Core State Standards and has educational material for teachers and parents. The Play and Learn section has games for learning in English, French, German, and Spanish.

Podcast for Learning Russian
The “Say it in Russian” podcast series is based on real-life situations and is intended to help language learners become able to acquire the skills for “chatting” in Russian. The episodes are arranged according to the ACTFL levels of proficiency and are meant for development of interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication. The series includes simple conversations, cartoons, songs, rhymes and verses, famous Russians, culture, history, folk beliefs, sports, social advertising, and recipes.