Report on the USDE’s Roundtable Visit

September 30th, 2013 | Posted by jtparry in cercll project | cercll staff | games to teach | professional development | title vi - (Comments Off on Report on the USDE’s Roundtable Visit)

From left to right: Dr. Jonathon Reinhardt, Dr. Béatrice Dupuy, Dr. Dann-Messier, Dr. Linda Waugh, and Dr. Kathy Short

We at CERCLL had something to celebrate this September 11: Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education and Acting Assistant Secretary of Education, and Dr. Sharon Lee Miller, Director of the Division of Academic and Technical Education, came to a roundtable held in their honor at The University of Arizona on the southwest leg of the U.S. Department of Education’s Back-to-School Bus Tour. The event began with Drs. Béatrice Dupuy and Linda Waugh providing an overview of CERCLL, explaining the purpose of the roundtable, and recognizing key guests including the University of Arizona’s Deans of Humanities and Education, leaders of the two National Resource Centers on campus, and other department and program Heads.

Dr. Dann-Messier served as the moderator of the roundtable and asked participants to introduce themselves and their work in the CERCLL projects. Then Dr. Kathy Short talked about how CERCLL’s Global Cultures project has been successfully implemented in many K-8 schools, expanded to produce additional materials for pre-school and elementary aged children, and also shared lessons learned. Next Dr. Jonathon Reinhardt explained about his two CERCLL projects: 1) Games To Teach: Developing Digital Game-Mediated Foreign Language Literacies and 2) a project sponsored by a National Science Foundation Cyberlearning Grant titled Partnerships in Indigenous Knowledge and Digital Literacies, which will include a symposium on game-based learning with invited participants from Native American communities that will be held this November in Tucson.

After these overviews, Dr. Dann-Messier asked the international consultants who work with Dr. Short’s project and take the culture kits into K-8 schools to share their experiences using these materials as they interact with students, teachers, and parents. It was exciting to hear about how kids eagerly ask the international consultants questions and enjoy learning about their cultures while also interacting with the cultural artefacts and colorful books in the toolkits. One of the consultants working with the Arabic materials noted that many of the students using the kits had gone on later to take language courses.

Dr. Dann-Messier concluded the ceremonies and thanked everybody for their hard work and dedication to these educational projects; she added that one of the reasons for this event was to help make connections between relevant parties, and she is helping to connect people with similar interests. Several members of CERCLL’s core team attended a conference in Washington D.C. last week and were approached by others within the U.S. Department of Education who had heard about our activities because of the roundtable. In short, it was a successful visit as those in attendance got to hear inside perspectives about the two exciting educational projects at CERCLL, ideas were shared, and connections were made.

USDE-moderated Roundtable Discussion on K-8 Foreign Language Teaching

September 10th, 2013 | Posted by jtparry in cercll project | cercll staff | culture | games to teach | professional development | title vi - (Comments Off on USDE-moderated Roundtable Discussion on K-8 Foreign Language Teaching)

The US Department of Education’s annual back-to-school bus tour is underway! This week-long bus tour has the theme of “Strong Start, Bright Future”, and takes place in the US Southwest states of New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and California. You can read more about this bus tour on this site.

As part of this tour Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, The Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education and Acting Assistant Secretary of Postsecondary Education of the US Department of Education, will moderate in a roundtable held at the University of Arizona. You can read Dr. Dann-Messier’s biography here.

CERCLL was contacted by the USDE because of interest in some of our projects related to this year’s themes, specifically the Global Cultures project and Games to Teach project, and they wanted to learn more about how we are assisting in bringing culture and language learning to various communities.

This discussion will focus upon the tour’s themes of Teachers as Leaders and Early Learning. CERCLL’s Global Cultures project brings International Consultants and resource kits in several languages and world regions to local schools where they encourage exploration of foreign languages and cultures. The Games to Teach project provides educators the resources (both material and pedagogical) needed to design, implement and assess digital game-mediated learning activities; it has recently branched out with the assistance of a National Science Foundation Cyberlearning grant to Native American communities on the Arizona-California border.

Here are participants in the roundtable, that are taking part in the discussion in some form:

  1. Brenda Dann-Messier (USDE, Assistant Secretary of Vocational and Adult Education, Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education)
  2. Beatrice Dupuy (CERCLL Co-Director; Professor of French and Foreign Language Education in the UA’s Department of French & Italian; French Basic Language Program Director)
  3. Linda Waugh (CERCLL Co-Director; Professor in the UA departments of French and Italian, and English)
  4. Kathy Short (CERCLL Project Director; Professor in UA’s Language, Reading and Culture program; Worlds of Words Director)
  5. Jonathon Reinhardt (CERCLL Project Co-Director; Assistant Professor in UA’s Department of English; Director of the UA’s English Language/Linguistics program)
  6. Nayalin Feller (International Consultant 1: Global Cultures, Portuguese; Language Reading and Culture PhD student)
  7. MiKyoung Chang (International Consultant 2: Global Cultures, Korean; Postdoctoral Research Associate, College of Education)
  8. Ke Huang (International Consultant 3: Global Cultures, Chinese; Language Reading and Culture PhD student)
  9. Veronika Williams (International Consultant 4: Global Cultures, Russian; Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) PhD student)
  10. Fatima Abdulkazem (Teacher in Global Cultures; was International Consultant, Arabic; Safford Elementary now)
  11. Desiree Cueto (K-12 School official involved in Global Cultures: Multicultural Curriculum Coordinator, TUSD)
  12. Ofelia Zepeda (UA’s American Indian Language Development Institute Director; Games project collaborator;  Professor and acting Head of UA’s Department of Linguistics, and a MacArthur award winner for her poetry and work with the Tohono O’Odham community)
  13. Alyce Sadongei (UA’s American Indian Language Development Institute Program Coordinator; Games project collaborator)

In addition, the UA Deans of Humanities and Education will be in attendance, along with UA’s Acting Vice President for Research, and some other department and program heads involved in foreign language education related to these projects. Finally, there are educators and students interested in these themes attending as well.

Twitter: #EDTour13

Hypermedia Annotations in Second Language Learning

January 21st, 2013 | Posted by jtparry in cercll project | cercll staff | culture | resources - (Comments Off on Hypermedia Annotations in Second Language Learning)

Within the sphere of second language teaching, technology has been rapidly growing and being implemented as a tool for motivation and efficiency in the hands of capable teachers. Among the countless online tools available, hypermedia annotations have been shown to be helpful for improving vocabulary learning and reading comprehension. Annotations, or glosses, are usually short definitions or explanations that accompany a text. These usually have appeared in the margins of books, within text, or at the bottom of the page. Hypermedia comes from the combination of hypertext (information given through links, as you would find on the internet) and multimedia. Thus hypermedia annotations are a computer form of traditional glosses, with clickable links.

There are several advantages to hypermedia glosses. They are quick and efficient, and allow readers to focus on comprehending a text or learning words more deeply. In a number of studies, students have commented on the enjoyability and usability of glosses—so they are also a good way to enhance motivation. Several students have also shown their affinity for L1 glosses over L2 glosses, particularly at lower proficiency levels. Possible disadvantages to glosses include that they may make students expend too little effort, not engage in deep learning, or simplify the meaning of words and passages. Although it would intuitively seem clear that glosses are effective, this issue is actually controversial within SLA studies. There are too many results to present generalizations, and an astounding amount of variables in past studies on hypermedia glosses.

CERCLL is currently developing texts with hypermedia annotations for Arabic, German, Turkish, and Portuguese using TIARA (The Interactive Annotated Reading Application) software, which was developed by the ARCLITE (Advanced Research in Curriculum for Language Instruction and Technology in Education) lab at BYU. This project is directed by Dr. Chantelle Warner, and more details about the project can be found here. This tool allows users to access a text and display all glosses or choose between text, image, audio, and video glosses on an interactive page. In addition, the glosses promote intercultural competence since they serve to explain words and phrases that are important to cultural understanding. Here is a screenshot of the application:

An example of an image annotation on TIARA

The current project with hypermedia annotations is an extension of a past CERCLL project, directed by Robert Ariew, which used different software to create materials for Arabic and Italian (click each language to view the resources).

This tool offers many possibilities, for either the classroom or individual language study. There are a number of other tools for hypermedia glosses, which present their own strengths and weaknesses. One free tool for hypermedia creation online is This site allows you to download free software to create your own hypermedia glosses, and it is definitely worth checking out!

Language and Culture Kits from CERCLL and World of Words

May 16th, 2012 | Posted by Sasha Kuchuk in cercll project | culture | resources - (Comments Off on Language and Culture Kits from CERCLL and World of Words)

CERCLL’s project “Bringing Global Cultures and World Languages into K-8 Classrooms“, directed by Dr. Kathy Short and developed in collaboration with Worlds of Words – the International Collection of Children’s and Adolescent Literature at the University of Arizona, keeps growing and welcomes its newest addition – a Language and Culture Kit for the Russian language and culture.

This project was originally designed to introduce K-8 students to less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and cultures to create an interest in foreign language study and to make students more comfortable with exploring a range of world languages and global cultures.

Because children’s and adolescents’ literature is a resource that is particularly effective in engaging students in exploring diverse global perspectives and languages, this project develops book kits which include fiction and nonfiction literature about a particular country or region written in English and in the relevant LCTL along with tape recordings and some other language and cultural resources. These book kits are more commonly known as “Language and Culture Kits”. Each Kit comes with a manual along with lists of language resources and literature. An example of such manual, which includes the resources for Korean/South Korea and Arabic/Middle East, can be found on the project’s website, and some sections of the manual are also available for download on WoW website.

Currently, the list of Kits includes:

Arabic-Speaking Countries and Cultures Kit
Chinese Language and Culture Kit
Japanese Language and Culture Kit
Korean Language and Culture Kit
Portuguese/Brazil Language and Culture Kit
Spanish/Mexico Language and Culture Kit
American Indians of the Southwest Language and Culture Kit
Russian Language and Culture Kit

All Language and Culture Kits are stored and can be checked out at the World of Words:

World of Words
University of Arizona College of Education
Language, Reading and Culture
1430 East Second Street
Tucson, AZ 85721
Phone/Fax – 520.621.9340


Videos from Intercultural Competence Conference 2012

May 16th, 2012 | Posted by Sasha Kuchuk in cercll project | icc2012 | professional development | resources | video - (Comments Off on Videos from Intercultural Competence Conference 2012)

Did you miss your chance to attend The Third International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence this January? Or would like to revisit some of the presentations?

CERCLL has made available the videos of the keynote address, plenary addresses, and some paper presentations. You can either see them on CERCLL’s YouTube Channel or CERCLL’s website, where you can also find and download presentation slides and some other materials.

Now you can watch the complete videos of the keynote presentation “Reconsidering Crosscultural Abilities: The Link to Language Learning and Assessment” by Dr. Heidi Byrnes from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and all five plenary presenatations:

“Exploring the Intercultural Dimensions of Cross-Border Language Learning” by Dr. Celeste Kinginger, Pennsylvania State University

“Intercultural Competence of Heritage Language Learners: Motivation, Identity, Language Attitudes and the Curriculum” by Dr. Olga Kagan, University of California, Los Angeles

“Targeting the Target Language: Strategies in a Multilingual Environment” by Dr. David Fenner, World Learning

“Intercultural In/competence: The Top Challenge for Guest Chinese Teachers in US Schools” by Dr. Jun Liu, Georgia State University

“Pulsating Galactic Classrooms, Immersion Environments, Individual vs. Group Language Learning at Home and Abroad” by Dr. Judith M. Maxwell, Tulane University

Here is what conference attendees say about some of these presentations:

“[T]he keynote session by Dr. Byrnes called on the making of connections between linguistic ability and cultural ability, an aspect that tends to be overlooked or simplified by researchers in the area of ICC. The call made by Dr. Byrnes has had a strong impact on my own research … [The] type of argument put forth by Dr. Byrnes made the attendance at the conference an extremely valuable learning experience.”
Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Ph.D. student in Applied Linguistics and Technology, University of Iowa

“I thoroughly enjoyed the plenary session by Olga Kagan. The information was solid, informative and interesting … I found this session particularly interesting because we deal with so many students who have a heritage language, who have cultural affinity, but who are functionally illiterate in that language.  I think this is an important issue for students from Mexico.”
Patricia Hutchinson, Cottonwood Middle School, Cottonwood, AZ

“The plenary that stole the show was “Targeting the Target Language” by David Fenner – he has the experience as a well traveled educator/scholar and the skills to perform and make the audience participate.”
Julio Fajardo, US Middle School Teacher