Language Education

Why We Should Pay More Attention to Foreign Language Education


In our increasingly interconnected and globalized world, knowledge and skills in foreign languages have become vital. As the world evolves, we must adapt to a broader variety of cultures and perspectives. One way to do this is by paying more attention to foreign language education. This article will discuss the benefits of deepening our focus on foreign language studies and why it is crucial for modern society.

1. Enhancing cognitive abilities

Research has shown that learning a second language improves cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. By exposing learners to different linguistic structures, they are able to refine their mental flexibility, develop greater memory retention, and adapt more readily to new situations. Furthermore, bilingualism has been linked to delaying the onset of age-related cognitive decline and even dementia.

2. Strengthening communication skills

Mastering another language allows individuals to effectively communicate with people from diverse backgrounds. This can lead to improved diplomacy and international relations as well as increased opportunities for collaboration and trade. Strong communication skills in multiple languages allow people to engage in cultural exchanges that foster greater understanding and mutual respect.

3. Boosting career prospects

In today’s job market, being fluent in multiple languages provides a distinct advantage over monolingual candidates. Employers value candidates who can communicate with clients or colleagues across borders, navigate complex business environments internationally, or participate in research that transcends linguistic barriers.

4. Fostering cultural awareness

Studying a foreign language exposes learners not only to new grammar and vocabulary but also to the customs, values, beliefs, and perspectives of other cultures. This helps develop cultural sensitivity and promotes open-mindedness—essential qualities for thriving in our diverse global society.

5. Enhancing travel experiences

As the global community becomes more connected through travel and tourism, knowing another language breaks down barriers and allows for deeper exploration of unfamiliar places. Travelers can engage with local communities, navigate their destinations more easily, and fully appreciate the nuances of different cultures.


Paying more attention to foreign language education has numerous benefits for individuals and society as a whole. By promoting linguistic diversity, we are fostering cognitive development, honing communication skills, boosting career prospects, and enriching cultural understanding. It is time for education systems across the world to recognize the importance of foreign languages and invest in developing linguistic talent that will shape our global community and economy for decades to come.

23 Ways Your Elementary Students Can Show Random Acts of Kindness

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s essential to teach our children the importance of kindness and empathy. By instilling these values in elementary students, we help them grow into compassionate adults who can make a positive impact on their communities. Here are 23 ways your elementary students can show random acts of kindness to those around them.

  1. Write a thank-you note for their teacher, highlighting specific things they appreciate about them.
  2. Hold the door open for others when entering or exiting the school building.
  3. Offer to help a classmate struggling with homework or schoolwork.
  4. Smile and say “good morning” to everyone they see on their way to school.
  5. Share their lunch or snacks with someone who forgot theirs.
  6. Clean up the playground area as an act of kindness towards their school community.
  7. Invite someone new to play with them during recess, fostering inclusiveness among peers.
  8. Compliment classmates on their achievements or creative projects.
  9. Set up a Kindness Jar where students can share kind messages for one another anonymously.
  10. Create uplifting artwork to decorate the classroom walls, promoting positivity and inspiration.
  11. Plant flowers or trees around the school grounds as an act of environmental kindness.
  12. Donate unwanted toys or books to a local charity or children’s hospital.
  13. Make friendship bracelets and give them out to classmates as tokens of kindness.
  14. Offer to read aloud during story time for younger students in neighboring classrooms.
  15. Volunteer to help around the classroom, such as cleaning up art supplies or organizing books.
  16. Organize a sock drive, collecting new socks for children in need within the community.
  17. Start a pen pal program with students from another school across town or even from another part of the world, bridging cultural gaps and building friendships.
  18. Write positive affirmations on sticky notes and place them randomly around the school.
  19. Donate gently used clothing to classmates or local families in need.
  20. Start a chain reaction of kindness by encouraging classmates to do something kind for someone, then asking that person to pass it on to another individual.
  21.  Choreograph a surprise “Random Acts of Kindness” dance and perform it at a school assembly.
  1. Show appreciation for the school staff, like janitors and cafeteria workers, with thank-you cards or small treats.
  2. Collect non-perishable food items for local food banks and shelters as a class project.

By encouraging these simple acts of kindness, you can help create a nurturing environment where compassion, empathy, and understanding are at the core of your elementary students’ experiences. Let’s foster a generation that values kindness just as much as success in our society.

21 Foundational Activity Ideas For Teaching Complex Sentences

Teaching complex sentences can be both an engaging and educational experience for students. Here are 21 foundational activity ideas that will help your students grasp the concept of complex sentences with ease:

1.Sentence Combining: Provide students with simple sentences and encourage them to combine them into complex sentences using appropriate conjunctions.

2.Conjunction Hunt: Have students search for common conjunctions in a given text and analyze how they’re used in complex sentences.

3.Fun with Subordinating Conjunctions: Teach students various subordinating conjunctions, such as “although,” “since,” and “while,” and challenge them to create complex sentences using each one.

4.Sentence Scramble: Give students a list of mixed-up sentence fragments and challenge them to organize them into complete complex sentences.

5.Complex Sentence Poster: Assign students to create posters illustrating an example of a complex sentence, along with a depiction of its meaning.

6.Charades: Have students act out key components in a complex sentence for their classmates to guess what they represent.

7.Rearrange and Rephrase: Provide students with a simple sentence, then ask them to change the order of the words or phrases to create a new complex sentence.

8.Build a Story: Encourage students to write a story using only complex sentences, while focusing on maintaining clarity and coherence.

9.Sentence Transformation: Provide several simple sentences for students to transform into more complex ones by adding clauses or varying their structure.

10.Match the Clauses: Create a matching game where students must pair clauses with their respective subordinate conjunctions to form complete complex sentences.

11.Complex Sentences Relay Race: Divide your class into teams, and have each member contribute one part of a complex sentence before passing it on to the next teammate until it’s completed correctly.

12.Dependent vs Independent Clause Sort: Ask your students to sort a list of clauses into two categories – dependent and independent clauses.

13.Interactive Practice: Use an online quiz or learning platform that challenges students to create complex sentences using provided words and phrases.

14.Analyze and Improve: Provide students with poorly written complex sentences and ask them to identify the errors, correct them, and provide alternative constructions.

15.Conjunction Concentration: Play a memory-style game focusing on matching coordinating and subordinating conjunctions to parts of complex sentences.

16.Real-World Applications: Have students find examples of complex sentences in newspapers, magazines, or online articles and analyze their construction.

17.Comic Strip Sentences: Assign students to create a comic strip illustrating the events described by complex sentences they’ve constructed.

18.Sentence Expanding Battles: Divide the class into pairs and have each pair take turns expanding a simple sentence into a complex one using different conjunctions or clauses.

19.Error Correction Relay: In teams, have students race to find and correct errors in provided complex sentences within a specific time limit.

20.Role-play Scenarios: Develop role-play situations that require the use of complex sentences in conversation, for instance, solving a problem or describing a past event.

21.Sentence Gallery Walk: Post examples of complex sentences around your classroom for students to independently evaluate and analyze before sharing their insights with the class.

By incorporating these varied activity ideas into your lesson plans, teaching complex sentences will become an exciting and memorable experience for both you and your students.

Spanish Teachers, You’re Going to Love This Customizable Country Report Poster for Students


Attention all Spanish teachers! Get ready to be blown away by the perfect supplement to your students’ country reports – a customizable country report poster! This fantastic resource is designed to make learning about Spanish-speaking countries more engaging and interactive for your students. Read on to discover how this customizable country report poster can take your classroom activities to the next level.

Customizable Elements:

One of the best things about this country report poster is how customizable it is. Teachers can easily adjust every aspect of the poster to suit their own requirements and lesson objectives. Some of the unique elements that can be customized include:

1. Country selection: Whether you’re focusing on Spain, Mexico, or another Spanish-speaking country, you can quickly change the poster’s contents based on your chosen nation.

2. Flag and Map visuals: Enhance students’ geographic knowledge by showcasing the flag and map of the selected country.

3. Culture and Traditions: Share important facts about the country’s culture and traditions, such as national symbols, holidays, and popular expressions.

4. History: Highlight key historical events that shaped the country, including political changes and social transformations.

5. Language: Provide information about unique linguistic features of the nation’s Spanish variant or any other languages spoken within its borders.

6. Famous people and landmarks: Feature notable figures from the selected country as well as popular tourist attractions or significant landmarks.

7. Fun facts: Combine entertainment with education by adding fun facts or trivia about various aspects of the country’s identity.

Incorporating the Customizable Country Report Poster into Your Lessons:

Utilizing this customizable poster in your classroom is incredibly easy! Here are a few suggested ways you could incorporate it into your lessons:

1. Group projects: Divide students into groups and assign each group a different Spanish-speaking country to research using template-lined textbooks, websites, and other resources. Then, have them collaborate to create their own unique country report posters.

2. Individual assignments: Task each student with researching a specific country, utilizing the poster template as a final deliverable for their project.

3. Presentations: Encourage students to present their country report posters to the rest of the class, fostering public speaking skills and creating opportunities for questions and discussion.

4. Language practice: Have students use Spanish-language sources for their research, thereby improving their reading comprehension and translation abilities.

5. Classroom displays: Decorate your classroom with finished country report posters to create an engaging environment that celebrates diversity and cultivates cultural interest.


The customizable country report poster is an incredible tool designed to make learning about Spanish-speaking countries more entertaining, interactive, and visually appealing for your students. By incorporating this resource into your lessons, you’ll help drive students’ enthusiasm for language learning and strengthen their understanding of different cultures. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity—try out the customizable country report poster in your classroom today!

Educator Infographic: Fascinating State-by-State ELL Facts


As educators, it’s essential to be aware of the diverse student populations we encounter daily. English Language Learners (ELLs) play a significant role in the American educational system, and understanding their unique needs is crucial for their success. This infographic presents fascinating facts about ELL students, showcasing state-by-state data.

National Overview:

There are approximately 5 million ELL students across the United States, accounting for nearly 10% of the entire K-12 student population. The majority of these students speak Spanish (76.5%), with other common languages being Chinese (3.7%), Vietnamese (2.3%), and Arabic (2%).

State-by-State ELL Facts:

1. California:

– ELL Population: 1,332,111 students or 21.18% of the state’s K-12 student population

– Top languages spoken: Spanish (84%), Vietnamese (2.4%), and Filipino (2%)

2. Texas:

– ELL Population: 957,901 students or 19% of the state’s K-12 student population

– Top languages spoken: Spanish (91%), Vietnamese (2.2%), and Arabic (1%)

3. New York:

– ELL Population: 452,531 students or 14% of the state’s K-12 student population

– Top languages spoken: Spanish (63%), Chinese (20%), and Bengali (3%)

4. Florida:

– ELL Population: 290,314 students or 11% of the state’s K-12 student population

– Top languages spoken: Spanish (62%), Haitian Creole (20%), and Portuguese (4%)

5. Illinois:

– ELL Population: 201,995 students or 10% of the state’s K-12 student population

– Top languages spoken: Spanish (80%), Polish (3%), and Arabic (3%)

(Facts for all 50 states can be presented similarly)


English Language Learners are a crucial demographic of the American educational system, and their unique linguistic and cultural needs should be acknowledged. By understanding the prevalence of ELL students and their native languages across various states, educators can better tailor their instruction methods to ensure ELL success. The diverse state-by-state ELL facts presented in this infographic offer valuable insights and perspectives on the changing landscape of American education.

Ultimate World Language Giveaway: Win Posters and Digital Language Courses for Your Class!


Are you a language educator looking to enhance your classroom’s learning experience? Look no further! We are excited to announce the Ultimate World Language Giveaway, where you have a chance to win fantastic prizes, including eye-catching posters and top-notch digital language courses! This giveaway aims to promote global cultural awareness by encouraging people to learn about the beauty of various languages and cultures.

How to Enter

Participating in the Ultimate World Language Giveaway is as simple as 1-2-3! Just follow these steps:

1. Visit our giveaway landing page and fill out the sign-up form.

2. Share your unique referral link with fellow language educators or friends on social media.

3. For each successful referral, you will receive one entry into the giveaway.

The more friends you invite, the higher your chances of winning! So spread the word and encourage others to enter for a chance at these amazing prizes!

Prizes Up for Grabs

We have carefully selected incredible teaching materials that are both visually appealing and educational. Here’s what’s up for grabs in our Ultimate World Language Giveaway:

Posters: Brighten up your classroom with stunning posters featuring essential language phrases, grammar tips, pronunciation guides, and vibrant cultural illustrations. These posters not only help students learn through visualization but also create an inviting environment to spark their curiosity.

Digital Language Courses: Gain access to our premium collection of digital language courses that cover an array of popular languages like Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, and more! These courses are designed by expert linguists and offer interactive learning experiences tailored to different age groups and skill levels.

Giveaway Timeline

The Ultimate World Language Giveaway begins on MM/DD/YYYY and ends on MM/DD/YYYY. Winners will be chosen via random draw after the giveaway closes.

Don’t miss your chance to win spectacular language resources to enrich your classroom’s learning journey. Join the Ultimate World Language Giveaway today and start sharing with fellow language enthusiasts!

Good luck, and happy teaching!

8 Ways Interculturality Can Change the Way Students Learn a Language


Interculturality is the interaction between people of different cultural backgrounds, promoting understanding and cooperation in a global context. In language learning, incorporating intercultural elements in the educational process can have a profoundly positive impact on the way students acquire new languages. This article explores eight ways how interculturality can transform language learning experiences for students.

1. Promotes Cultural Sensitivity

By introducing intercultural activities into language learning, students are encouraged to understand and appreciate different cultures. This fosters cultural sensitivity, enabling them to communicate effectively and respectfully with people from diverse backgrounds.

2. Enhances Cognitive Abilities

Intercultural approaches in language learning require students to adapt their thinking patterns and problem-solving skills to comprehend diverse perspectives. This mental gymnastics promotes cognitive flexibility and improves critical thinking abilities.

3. Encourages Empathy

Experiencing other cultures through intercultural activities helps learners appreciate similarities and differences between their culture and others’. This understanding promotes empathy, enabling students to form deeper connections with native speakers while communicating in their target language.

4. Develops Open-mindedness

Understanding multiple cultural contexts broadens a student’s worldview, encouraging open-mindedness and acceptance of diversity. This open-mindedness is essential for effective cross-cultural communication – an increasingly valuable skill in today’s globalized world.

5. Improves Motivation

Engaging in intercultural exchanges can be highly stimulating and rewarding, making the language-learning process more enjoyable for students. This increased interest and motivation make it more likely that students will grasp linguistic nuances faster.

6. Enriches Vocabulary & Idiomatic Knowledge

By incorporating aspects of real-life experiences from diverse cultures into language instruction, students can learn about customs, traditions, idioms, slang, and colloquialisms unique to each culture. This approach offers them well-rounded linguistic knowledge beyond what traditional textbooks provide.

7. Enhances Non-verbal Communication

Interculturality isn’t only about learning spoken language. By integrating cultural elements, students can gain an understanding of non-verbal communication cues common within a specific culture. These cues include gestures, facial expressions, and body language – indispensable components of effective communication.

8. Paves the Way for Successful International Experiences

Mastering a new language alongside understanding the cultural context in which it’s spoken can open up a world of opportunities for students, such as international study programs and career prospects. Ultimately, the intercultural approach to language learning prepares them to excel in a globalized world.


Interculturality is reshaping the way students learn languages by promoting cultural sensitivity, empathy, open-mindedness, and motivation. Furthermore, it enriches vocabulary and idiomatic knowledge while enhancing non-verbal communication skills. In embracing these benefits, students are more prepared to engage in meaningful personal and professional international experiences in an increasingly interconnected world.

5 Alternative Ways Students Can Address You Besides “Mr.” or “Ms.”


The traditional way of addressing teachers with the titles “Mr.” and “Ms.” has been prevalent for centuries. However, times are changing, and educators around the world are adopting more inclusive and friendly ways for students to address them in the classroom.

Here are five alternative options for addressing a teacher that can create a more relaxed and inclusive learning environment for all:

1. First Name Basis:

One of the easiest ways to change the way students address you is by allowing them to call you by your first name. This creates an atmosphere of mutual respect and helps in breaking down hierarchical barriers. Using first names promotes open communication and encourages students to be more honest and expressive with their thoughts.

2. Mx.:

Mx. (pronounced “mix”) is an honorific that has grown in popularity as a gender-neutral title. It can be used by anyone, irrespective of their gender identity or expression. Encouraging students to use Mx when addressing you shows them that you recognize the importance of inclusivity and appreciate individuality.

3. Educational Titles:

Another option is to use educational titles, such as “Professor” or “Dr.”, if applicable to your qualifications. These titles highlight your expertise in a specific subject area, and it reminds students that they are in a professional academic environment where knowledge is respected and valued.

4. Coach:

If you have a sport or extracurricular activity associated with your teaching position, asking students to address you as “Coach” can be a great way to foster camaraderie among your class or team. This title emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and motivation outside of the traditional academic setting.

5. Custom Nicknames:

Creating custom nicknames for yourself can be an excellent way of connecting with students on a personal level while maintaining professional boundaries. An example might be using something like “Mr. E” or “Ms. B” which are derived from your initials. This can make the classroom more casual and alter the power dynamic between teachers and students in a positive way.


Reconsidering how students address you in the classroom can have a significant impact on their experience and learning outcomes. Experimenting with these five alternatives can help build a comfortable, inclusive, and supportive environment for all. Remember to choose an option that genuinely reflects your personality and teaching style, and always ensure the title maintains the balance between professionalism and approachability.

World Language Activities for Remote Classrooms


The shift towards remote learning has presented challenges for educators across every subject, but language classes, in particular, face the daunting task of keeping students engaged and connected. Teachers can no longer rely on in-person verbal exchanges and body language to communicate effectively, but there are still plenty of exciting language activities that can work in virtual classrooms. Here are some engaging world language activities for remote classrooms to help you create a fun and interactive learning environment.

1. Collaborative Translation Games:

Online games such as Quizlet Live, Kahoot!, or Gimkit allow students to compete with each other in real-time to practice vocabulary and grammar. Teachers can customize questions based on the target language, making these games ideal for students of all skill levels.

2. Virtual Conversation Partners:

Match students with conversation partners or small groups for regular “language cafe” sessions. Provide a list of prompts covering a range of topics or encourage students to practice newly learned vocabulary during free-flowing conversations. With screen-sharing capabilities, students can even convert their virtual meetings into reading sessions or share language-related videos.

3. Multimedia Listening Activities:

Expose your students to authentic language in various contexts by sharing podcasts, news clips, interviews, or music videos related to the target culture. Assign comprehension quizzes or reflection questions to stimulate critical thinking and test their listening skills.

4. Individualized Feedback Sessions:

Ensure that each student receives personal guidance by organizing individual feedback sessions with video call platforms like Zoom or Google Meet. These one-on-one meetings will enable you to assess their fluency more effectively and tailor your feedback according to their specific needs.

5. Pen Pals and Digital Exchanges:

Forge connections with a class from a different country that speaks the target language in real-life situations through pen pals programs and virtual exchanges platforms like ePals or Flipgrid.

6. Cultural Showcase Projects:

Assign projects on the customs, cuisine, art, or history of countries where the target language is spoken. Allow students to present their research in creative ways, such as making a slideshow, writing an essay, or creating a short video.

7. Digital Escape Rooms:

Create custom digital escape rooms or scavenger hunts using platforms like Breakout EDU, where students answer riddles, solve puzzles, and decode messages in the target language to progress through challenges.

8. Asynchronous Role-Play Activities:

Assign role-play scenarios by having  students record videos of themselves responding to a given situation in the target language. Students can use apps like Flipgrid to record and upload their responses for teachers and peers to review and provide feedback.

9. Online Language Learning Resources:

Supplement in-class learning with online resources such as Duolingo or Memrise, which offer gamified platforms for practicing vocabulary and verb conjugations. These tools keep students engaged outside of class and help them track their progress over time.

10. Social Media Interaction:

Encourage your students to participate in language-related social media communities where they can interact with native speakers and other learners. Following influencers who speak the target language or joining dedicated language forums can improve fluency while exposing them to slang, idioms, and cultural nuances.

By incorporating these world language activities into your remote classroom, you will create a dynamic learning environment that keeps your students motivated and engaged throughout their language journey.

EU project CATAPULT offers opportunities for Internationalisation, profiling and lifelong learning for LSP, L2, MFL and CLIL teachers

One of the results of the CATAPULT Project (Computer-Assisted Training And Platforms to Upskill Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) Teachers) is LinguaCoP, a Community of Practice platform.

With its resource bank, blogs and forum Linguacop supports knowledge development and practice sharing by language, LSP and CLIL teachers.

It also hosts ‘LinguaClick’  to support (freelance) LSP, but also L2 and MFL professionals to offer their services, also internationally. View this short presentation video to see what this online Community of Practice has to offer.

Furthermore the project also offers a free online course (MOOC, released on October 12, 2020) based on the project’s LSP competence framework.

It supports LSP teachers wanting to update their teaching skills and those language teachers interested in developing competences specific for LSP teaching. Watch this video to get a sneak peek at what course participants can expect.  Those interested can register here

For more details about these and other project developments see the online version of the latest Newsletter

Project website: Twitter: @ProjectCatapult

From Ton Koenraad on behalf of Catapult partner TELLConsult