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Making the case for climate change reform in a common language | Many think tanks and non-governmental organizations in the United States and Europe wield multi million-dollar budgets with the aim of reducing environmental degradation and climate change on a global scale. Yet very few of these institutions offer materials in the foreign languages spoken by corporate leaders, civil servants, and citizens' groups in countries the expected to make changes in environmental policy.
Should Teachers be Involved in the Testing and Rating Process? | As proficiency testing becomes more widespread in standards-based communicative language programs, the question arises, should a school district or institute of higher learning outsource the rating of student speech and writing samples?
What's in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for Education Technology | A cursory level examination of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 relative to education technology. This article doesn't constitute legal advice and is intended solely for general information purposes.
Read about the state of computer-rated speaking assessments | Even among the most knowledgeable language instruction professionals, the misconception lingers that computers can evaluate and rate communicative speech and writing samples. While a great deal of technology can be applied to speaking assessments, human speech is very complex and computers are not yet capable of understanding it.
The University of Utah Assesses Student Oral Proficiency at Home and Abroad | Read how the University of Utah used OWL Testing Software to gain the valuable oral proficiency assessment data they needed to measure the communicative abilities of their students who spent their summer abroad. These students, who spent five weeks in the summer in one of eight foreign countries, were able to eliminate two semesters of study in the target language. Using their testing data, the university was able to justify the value of this program.
Help motivate language students by getting them to speak the language sooner. | Students tell us what they want to learn—we just have to listen to them! Most don’t say, “I want to learn to do grammar drills” — or read or write a new language. They say they want to learn to SPEAK the language! This doesn’t mean that reading, writing, and grammar shouldn’t be taught—but it does mean that teachers and programs should emphasize SPEAKING if they want to motivate their students!