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Learning Link Blog

ACTFL attendees focus on using authentic content

November 30, 2012 Learning Link Blog no comments

ACTFL ConferenceWow! Another ACTFL Conference has come and gone. SANS had the opportunity to be a sponsor for the NADSFL breakfast meeting with a great group of enthusiastic District Supervisors. In case you haven’t heard, Todd Bowen from New Trier HS in Illinois was the winner of the Kindle Fire! Congrats, Todd!

The SANS booth was buzzing with FL teachers participating in our in-booth technology sessions that focused on accessing and using authentic content in the classroom, language lab, and anywhere 24/7. Everyone received a wristband drive with the resources that were demonstrated so they could begin using them immediately with their students. It was great to see many of our customers and chat with other language educators who are reviewing technology to integrate into their language programs.

Planning for 2013 has already begun. The ACTFL Conference theme is “New Spaces, New Realities: Learning Any Time, Any Place,” which aligns so well with emerging SANS technologies like the SANSSpace™ Virtual Learning platform. Looking forward to seeing everyone next year!

How progressive technology in the language lab translates into more progress for language students

October 8, 2012 Learning Link Blog no comments
Jim Buoye

Jim Buoye,
District Supervisor of World Languages at Northern Valley Regional High School (NVRHS)

If a choice of six foreign language courses plus ESL defines “progressive,” then the world language program at Northern Valley Regional High School (NVRHS) in Bergen County, New Jersey, definitely fits the bill. And aptly so, since both of the school’s two campuses, in Demarest and Old Tappan, were ranked in the top 30 schools in New Jersey in the 2011 “Ranking America’s High Schools” special issue by The Washington Post. Their language program consists of 22 instructors teaching Spanish, French, Latin, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and English as a second language to about 900 students in each high school. Many students come through middle school having taken Spanish, but at the high school level, students are presented with a rich variety of language options.

According to Jim Buoye, District Supervisor of World Languages at NVRHS, the ultimate goal of their world language program is to have students come out of the program being able to communicate in their chosen language. “Ideally we want to give them the foundation so they can continue into college and hopefully also use that language in their professional careers,” said Buoye.
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NEA Grant Awarded to Southington School District

October 8, 2012 Learning Link Blog no comments
Dr. Adina Alexandru

Dr. Adina Alexandru,
Foreign Language Department Chair

Under the direction of Dr. Adina Alexandru, Foreign Language Department Chair, the Southington, Connecticut, school district has received a Learning and Leadership Grant from the NEA Foundation. The not-for-profit NEA Foundation partners with educators to advance student achievement by investing in public education that will prepare America’s children to learn and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

This grant will enable Southington foreign language teachers to develop critical reading assignments, authentic listening assignments and interpersonal speaking prompts that will become part of the FL curriculum. These assignments will be available to teaching staff throughout the district. The activity for this project began with a professional development training session conducted this past summer by SANS Inc. Teachers received basic training on the SANS Inc. SANSSpace™ virtual learning technology, which they will use to create digital assignments that students can access anytime/anywhere. Teachers will use the technology as they continue develop-ment throughout the school year and will share their work with peers through presentations at state FL organizations including COLT (CT Council of Language Teachers) and COFLIC (Coordinators of Foreign Languages in CT).Additional information on the NEA can be found at www.neafoundation.org.

This article has been taken from Fall 2012 Learning Link Newsletter.
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SMC President’s Circle Award Goes To Modern Languages and Cultures Department

October 8, 2012 Learning Link Blog no comments

Santa Monica College’s first-ever President’s Circle Award for Innovation and Progress has been awarded to its Modern Languages and Cultures Department.

The $25,000 award will be used to purchase a three-year license for SANSSpace, a web-based program that will provide students anytime/anywhere access to lab resources, track usage and assign lab credit, double lab seating virtually without increasing physical space, and provide additional resources to enhance both teaching and student learning.

“Our department is honored to be given this award,” said Toni Trives, chair of the Modern Language and Cultures Department. “The 24-hour student access to our lab resources is a boon to our program and will immeasurably help our students speak, write and think better in the many languages we offer.”
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Midwest Language Teachers Advancing Technology

October 2, 2012 Learning Link Blog no comments

Warren Advanced Virtuoso WorkshopToday, more than ever before, technology is ubiquitous to everyday life—and that extends to teaching and learning, too! That’s why it’s so important to have teachers who are focused on integrating technology into their curriculum.

This past week, an enthusiastic group of world language teachers met at the Warren Township High School in Gurnee, IL, for an advanced workshop on using Sony Virtuoso™ and Soloist® digital language lab technology to help students develop core language learning skills. Teachers from local Illinois school districts, including New Trier, Maine, Grayslake, Vernon Hills, and Evanston, participated in this professional development workshop, along with post-secondary language instructors from Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia. continue reading

How a technology driven school is moving forward with digital language lab technology

September 18, 2012 Learning Link Blog no comments

Warren Township High School is a comprehensive four-year high school in Illinois with enrollment of approximately 4,500 students. It is the very model of a modern, progressive, technology-driven school district, with facilities equipped with everything from smart classrooms with whiteboards to tablet computers for teachers, engineering programs with CAD software, and facility-wide wireless connectivity. In fact, until recently, Warren HS was equipped with just about every technological advance a school could hope for except for one thing: a digital language learning lab.

Enter the Sony Virtuoso™ and Soloist® digital language learning solution.
Warren’s sizable language program consists of 22 foreign language (FL) teachers offering Spanish, French and German to nearly 2,700 FL students in the freshman/sophomore and junior/senior buildings. After an unsuccessful experience with an analog lab, the school was highly motivated to make the move to digital technology. continue reading

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