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Connecting Communities with Place-Based Language Education


That is a really wonderful reason to teach a language; you are preserving heritage and a connection to the past; it connects our second, third, fourth generation descendants of French Canadians to their current families and their own heritage” (M. Baughman, 2014).

The human language is a complex system that heavily relies on social conventions and culture. Place-based education is increasingly important, as illustrated below through an example of how language is bringing together generations of families in a neighborhood community.

Leveraging Language to Implement Common Core Standards

My “field” of inquiry is Weybridge Elementary School, a small rural K-6 school in Vermont located near the town of Middlebury. Five years ago we began a K-6 Spanish program. Two years ago we selected Middlebury Interactive Language’s online world language programs to supplement classroom instruction. Our goal is for all of our students to have access to top world language education and learn world languages at a formative age.

Why the Vermont World Language Initiative Matters

In 2013, Middlebury Interactive Languages joined forces with Middlebury College to create the Vermont World Language Initiative, which provides 29 Vermont schools with access to MIL courses and free professional development, subsidized by Middlebury College, for teachers. Both Middlebury Interactive Languages and Middlebury College saw the Initiative as a great chance to expand world language education to more Vermont students.

New Approach Needed for English Language Learners

In March, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan published an op-ed on the need to support “the estimated 4.6 million students learning English” in American schools. The piece, co-written with Libia S.

Expanding World Language Opportunities for All

Last week, the faculty at Middlebury College voted to instruct the college to “sever its ties to K12, Inc.” Since K12, Inc. and Middlebury College are partners in the joint venture that oversees Middlebury Interactive Languages, some might wonder what this vote means for Middlebury Interactive and our future growth. Specifically, I wanted to discuss what it means for our most important constituents: the students and teachers using our world language courses.

A Day in the Life of an Online Teacher

I am old enough to remember when there were public meetings about whether or not to fund computers in brick-and-mortar schools. There is book that was originally published in 1939 called The Saber-Tooth Curriculum by Abner Peddiwell. It was required reading in my teacher training program.

8 Fun Ways to Keep Language Learning Going Over the Summer

Ahh, summer... Swimming, popsicles and sleepovers—at least that’s what I remember of my childhood summers. In addition to the fun summer brings, it’s also a great time to learn a new world language or continue on the path to language proficiency.

A Watershed Moment in Education History

A great article on the E-rate Modernization plan approval can be found at Bloomberg Tech News courtesy of Chris Strohm:
The Federal Communications Commission approved a plan to spend $2 billion to boost wireless Internet connectivity in U.S. schools and libraries during the next two years.

Home Education and Language Learning in the World of Digital Technology

Why do people home educate their children? It could be because of inflexibility in a family schedule. It might be for financial reasons. Maybe home education addresses an area of learning that is not available in the local public or private schools. It could also be to allow a student to progress at a pace that is in-line with his or her unique abilities. But one constant theme that runs through all the theories behind parents choosing home education is that ultimately parents want to make sure their children succeed.

The Importance of Introducing Technology to Children at an Early Age

Since I have been programming for over 30 years, it is not surprising that I would be the one to introduce my first child, Lena, to technology. After a couple of years, Lena was followed by her younger brother Oliver in learning about computers and programming. Having taught them both, I have seen the exciting opportunities and growth that results from exposure to technology at an early age.
When it comes to introducing young children to technology, there are three key aspects to keep in mind:

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