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Classroom Resources: Definitions



  • contains more than 260 explanations of words and expressions related to technology and world language education
  • often shows examples of the concept being defined
  • provides sources of additional information about the concept
  • offers suggestions on how to apply the concept in the classroom



Click on the letter to jump to that section of the definitions

for various  social and cultural purposes by and for users of the target language.  The use of the word “authentic” means that the text has not been simplified or edited for the purpose of foreign language education.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N 
O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W
X  Y  Z

@ - When replying to a tweet, put an @ symbol in front a Twitter username in order to link to that Twitter user.  
# - Hashtags can be placed in front of a topic on Twitter. Click on a hashtag to see all the tweets public users are sharing about that specific topic. are This makes it easy to follow specific topics, events or trends.
1:1 Initiative -The 1:1 initiative requires one devise (laptop or tablet) per every child in a school. The program is intended to help students develop 21st century skills by providing digital learning opportunities to all students as well as to make learning more individualized, increase independence and extend academics beyond the classroom.


#authres - In social media #authres is used to refer to authentic resources.

AATSP - The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) is a professional organization for all Spanish and Portuguese educators and others who support its mission to promote, develop, and advance the teaching of   Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and other related languages at all educational levels.   See for additional information.
Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Español (ANLE)— The mission of ANLE is to preserve the use of the Spanish language by establishing, disseminating and promoting among Hispanic Americans the criteria of proper and correct usage as well as to offer authoritative advice to public and private institutions on the norms of use of Hispanic American Spanish. ANLE also collaborates in the programs of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language.

Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM) - AIM is a teaching method that uses gestures, music, dance and theater to help students learn.  The Accelerative Integrated Method was developed by French teacher Wendy Maxwell.
ACTFL - The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is a professional organization for all foreign language educators and administrators. ACTFL is committed to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels. See for additional information.


ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) Measure —The AAPPL Measure is a performance assessment of World-Readiness Standards-based language learning across the three modes of communication: interpersonal listening/speaking, presentational writing/ interpretive reading and listening. Find more information about AAPPL Measure at


ACTFL Performance Guidelines - The ACTFL Performance Guidelines for K-12 Learners are performance standards that describe how well students demonstrate competencies. The standards are organized according to the three modes of communication: Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational for three learner performance ranges: Novice, Intermediate, and Pre-Advanced. These guidelines were designed to help educators better understand how language learning occurs for students in a classroom setting. See for additional information.

ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines - The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines describe language performance for adult language users regardless of where, when or how the language is acquired. See for additional information.
Adaptive Learning - Adaptive Learning is an educational method that uses computers as interactive teaching devices. The software used by these interactive teaching devices adapts its content and pacing to the current knowledge level of the user.

Affective filter - Negative emotions such as anxiety, self-doubt and boredom reduce a student´s ability to understand what he or she is hearing in a target language. These negative emotions are referred to as a learner´s affective filter. A lowered affective filter is thought to be necessary for effective language acquisition and learning. The affective filter concept was introduced by Dr. Stephen Krashen, professor emeritus at the University of Southern California.

AIM - See definition for Accelerative Integrated Method.
Albricias — Albricias is a literary magazine of student work published twice a year by the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica.  Albricias is sent without cost to all active chapters of the Sociedad Honoraia Hispánica.  It is also available online.

Anchor activity -
An anchor activity is one that allows students to work independently on an ongoing assignment that is directly related to the curriculum. It provides meaningful work for students when they are not actively engaged in classroom activities.


Anchor Chart - An anchor chart is a visual strategy that enhances student learning.  Anchor charts define concepts, terms or strategies, identify or summarize procedures or sequences and reflect on what has been learned.  The charts have a single focus and match the learner´s developmental needs.  They support ongoing learning and provide scaffolded support to students.

Animoto - Animoto is a web application that produces videos from photos, video clips and music.  

Anticipation guide - An anticipation guide is a comprehension strategy used prior to reading a text to stimulate a reader´s interest in a topic. It also activates the reader´s prior knowledge about the topic.  For example, an anticipation guide may provide statements about key concepts presented in the text and have the reader interact with these statements before reading the text. 


App - An app is a program or application that runs on mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets and music players. Most apps are inexpensive and can offer students opportunities to practice listening and reading skills.

Asynchronous Online Learning - Asynchronous online learning is a a student-centered teaching method that uses online resources to facilitate learning. Instructors provide materials, lectures, tests, and assignments that can be accessed at any time. Students are free to connect whenever they choose although usually there is given a period of time during which students are expected to connect.
ATC21S - ATC21S (The Assessment and Teaching of 21st-Century Skills) is a research project that encourages teaching and adopting 21st-century skills in the classroom and proposes ways of assessing these skills.

Audacity - Audacity® is free, open source software which can be used for recording and editing sound files. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Go to to download Audacity. At the following link there is a helpful pdf file with many ideas about how to use Audacity in the classroom. Scroll down to the last entry under the heading AP Lengua to find the link.
Audio Dropbox - Audio Dropbox is a Rich Internet Application developed by CLEAR. It is a virtual dropbox for audio recordings that a teacher can place on any web page. From within that web page, students record themselves and their audio files are automatically put into the teacher´s drop box. See for additional information.

Authentic materials - Print, audio and visual materials that have been developed specifically for various  social and cultural purposes by and for users of the target language.  The use of the word “authentic” means that the text has not been simplified or edited for the purpose of foreign language education.

Avatar - An avatar is a computer user's representation of himself or herself. Avatars are often used on Internet forums and online communities. They may be in the form of a three-dimensional model or just a picture or user name.



Backward design - Backward design or backward planning starts by identifying the end task or product of a lesson and then working in reverse to identify the learning tasks and assessments necessary to accomplish the end task or create the final product.

Blended course— A blended course is a class that combines online course work and face-to-face instruction.


Blended learning - Blended learning refers to a mix of traditional face-to-face classroom methods with online learning. In the past, technology-based materials played a supporting role to face-to-face instruction. Now through a blended learning approach, technology will be more important. There are many different approaches to blended learning and a variety of names for it such as "blended," "hybrid," and "mixed-mode".

Blog - A blog is a website usually maintained by an individual and updated on a regular basis. Some blogs provide news or commentary on a particular subject; others are more like personal online diaries. A typical blog combines texts, images and links to other blogs, and web pages related to its topic. Usually readers are able to leave comments in an interactive format. It is easy to create and maintain a blog with many blogging tools available online. is a popular platform. Teachers might use a blog to communicate with parents or with colleagues or to showcase student work.  Readers are able to subscribe to blogs via RSS.

Blu-Ray -  A Blu-ray Disc (Also known as BD or Blu-Ray) is an optical disc storage medium designed to greatly improve upon the standard DVD format.  It is mainly used to store high-definition video. BDs are the same physical size as standard DVDs and CDs, but store almost ten times more data than a DVD. Blu-ray competed with the HD DVD format during the high-definition disc format war. Toshiba, the main company supporting HD DVD, ceded in February 2008, and the format war ended in July 2009.

Bookmark - A bookmark is a saved link to a web page. Bookmarks can be created using a web browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox) or a social bookmarking website (Delicious, Diigo).
Broadcasts - Broadcasts is a Rich Internet Application developed by CLEAR. It allows teachers to record audio files and distribute them to students for playback on computers or portable media devices. See for additional information.

Browser - A web browser is software that retrieves and displays pages and files on the web. Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox are examples of web browsers.
BYOT - The Bring Your Own Technology initiative encourages students to bring their own technology devices to school to use as tools in their learning experiences. Personal technology devises include smart phones, iPods, tablets, laptops. This initiative is also referred as BYOD-Bring Your Own Devise.
CALPER - The Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research (CALPER) at the Pennsylvania State University is one of 15 Title VI Language Resource Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Established in 2002, CALPER focuses on supporting language education through developing innovative teaching materials, expanding language learning assessment procedures, conducting critical research to inform teaching practice, creating extensive online professional development resources, and offering intensive institutes and workshops for language educators. For more information go to


Can-Do Statements - Can-do statements are self-assessment checklists used by language learners to asses what they can do with the language in the Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational modes of communication. These statements can also be used to provide learning targets for curriculum and unit design. For more information go to

CARLA - The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota is one of the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI National Language Resource Centers. CARLA focuses on improving the nation's capacity to teach and learn foreign languages effectively by studying multilingualism and multiculturalism, developing knowledge of second language acquisition and advancing the quality of second language teaching, learning and assessment. For more information go to 
CASLS - The Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS) at the University of Oregon is one of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI National Language Resource Centers. CASLS focuses on improving the teaching and learning of foreign languages by Integrating technology and research with curriculum assessment, professional development and program development. For more information go to 
 CD - A Compact Disc (also known as a CD) is an optical disc used to electronically record, store and play back audio, video, and text in digital form. Standard CDs can hold up to 80 minutes of uncompressed data. There are many variations of the CD: CD-ROM (data storage), CD-R (write once audio and data storage), CD-RW (rewritable storage), video CD, photo CD.

Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) - The Center for Applied Linguistics is a private, non-profit organization.  It is staffed by scholars and educators who use the findings of linguistics and related sciences to identify and address language-related problems. CAL carries out a wide range of activities including research, teacher education, analysis and dissemination of information, design and development of instructional materials, technical assistance and more.

- The Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy at the University of Arizona is one of the U.S. Department of Education´s Title VI National Language Resource Centers. CERCLL focuses on developing innovative pedagogies and materials, conducting research on the teaching and learning of foreign languages and providing professional development opportunities. For more information go to

Circumlocution - Circumlocution is the use of many words to explain the meaning of an unknown word or expression.
CLEAR -- The Center for Language Education And Research (CLEAR) at Michigan State University promotes and supports the teaching and learning of foreign languages in the US. CLEAR was established in 1996 as a Language Resource Center through a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.  For more information go to

Clip art - Clip art refers to illustrations, line drawings, pictures and other graphics that can be copied and inserted in documents. Clip art is usually royalty free but has terms of usage which must be followed. There is a good explanation about terms of usage and free clip art is at the following link:


Code-switching - Code-switching refers to the alternation between languages in a specific communicative episode, such as a conversation or an e-mail exchange. The alternation usually occurs at specific points of the communicative episode and, as linguistics research demonstrates, is governed by grammatical, as well as interactional (conversational sequencing), rules.

COERLL - The Center for Open Educational Resources & Language Learning (COERLL) at the University of Texas at Austin is one of the U.S. Department of Education´s Title VI National Language Resource Centers. COERLL focuses on producing and disseminating Open Educational Resources (OER) for online language resources and courses. Sign up for COERLL news.  For more information and to sign up for COERLL news go to 
Cognate - A cognate is a word that shares a common origin and meaning with another word in a different language.
Collaborative learning - Collaborative learning is an instruction method in which students of varying abilities work together in small groups toward a common learning goal. The students are responsible for each group member’s learning as well as their own.
Common Core State Standards -The Common Core State Standards Initiative seeks to bring diverse state curricula into alignment with each other by following the principles of standards-based education reform. The standards-based education reform movement calls for clear, measurable standards for all school students. Rather than norm-referenced rankings, a standards-based system measures each student against the concrete standard. Curriculum, assessments, and professional development are aligned to the standards.
Communication protocol - A communications protocol formally describes digital message formats and the rules for exchanging these messages in or between computing systems and in telecommunications.
Competency-based education (CBE) - Competency-based education is an initiative that changes assessment strategies. The learner advances by demonstrating mastery of required knowledge and skills of a particular course rather than relying on time-based systems or grade levels.

Comprehensive input - Language is acquired only if a learner hears language which he or she can understand. If enough understandable language is modeled, then the structures that learners are ready to acquire will be present in what the student hears. The comprehensive input hypothesis was developed by Dr. Stephen Krashen, professor emeritus at the University of Southern California.
Conventions of language - The conventions of language are those elements of a language—grammar and vocabulary— that are accepted among speakers of that language.
Conversations - Conversations is a Rich Internet Application developed by CLEAR. It allows teachers to record prompts or questions for students to answer. The program runs from a web browser and works without downloading or uploading. See for additional information.
Cooperative learning - Cooperative learning is an instruction method in which students work together in small groups on an activity that has been designed by the teacher to facilitate cooperation. Students are individually accountable for their own work and the work of the group as a whole is assessed. Cooperative learning is a specific type of collaborative learning.

Copyright - A copyright is a legal right that is given to a person who creates original literary, musical or artistic work. This is an exclusive right which means that only the creator of the work is permitted to publish, distribute, change or benefit from the work.  A copyright is given for a fixed number of years. When a copyright expires, the artistic, musical or literary work passes into the public domain. Works in the public domain are not owned or controlled by anyone. They are available for anyone to use freely for any purpose.
Course Management System (CMS) - A course management system is a collection of software tools that provide an environment online for course interactions. CMS tools facilitate class discussion, document management, homework submission and course scheduling.

Creative Commons license
- Creative Commons is a non- profit organization that helps a person publish his or her original work online. A Creative Commons license does not replace a copyright. However, it does give the creator of the work the ability to dictate how others may use his or her work--such as the right of others to copy, make changes to, distribute and/or make money from the work. All Creative Common licenses require that anyone using the work give credit to the creator of the work. The conditions of attribution are usually specified in the Creative Commons license. Works protected by a Creative Commons license display this icon or the words and logotype "Creative Commons” or a Creative Commons license button.

Cultural appropriation - Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of a culture’s symbols, artifacts, genres, rituals, or technologies by members of another culture.  Cultural appropriation can be placed into 4 categories: exchange, dominance, exploitation, and transculturation.

Dailymotion - Dailymotion is a video sharing website which offers content from users, independent content creators and premium partners. It is headquartered in Paris, France and, according to comSource, it is the second largest video site in the world after YouTube.

Danielson Model - The Framework for Teaching is a research based model for assessing and supporting teaching practice.  It was developed by Charlotte Danielson.

Deductive instruction This is a “top-down” approach. The teacher presents a grammar rule with specific examples. Students learn the rule through practice.

Differentiated Instruction - Differentiated instruction present learning materials in creative ways that match every student’s individual learning style.  
Digital divide - Digital divide refers to the gap or inequalities between individuals and communities that have and do not have access to information technologies.
Digital immigrant -  A digital immigrant is a person who did not grow up with digital technology but who has accepted it to some extent later in life.
Digital literacy - Digital literacy is the ability to use digital technology to find, organize, understand, evaluate, analyze, use and create information.
Digital native -  A digital native is a person who was born during or after the late 1960s and who has interacted with digital technology from an early age. A digital native understands the value of digital technology and how to use it to make an impact on his or her immediate environment and to initiate processes of social and personal change.
Digital Storytelling - Digital storytelling is the practice of using digital tools--photographs, video, animation, sound, music, text, a narrative voice--to tell a story.  

Digital Textbook Collaborative -  The Digital Textbook Collaborative is a joint effort of industry stakeholders, school officials and nonprofit leaders to encourage collaboration, accelerate the development of digital textbooks and improve the quality and penetration of digital learning in K-12 public education. The Digital Textbook Playbook was developed by the Digital Textbook Collaborative.

Digital Textbook Playbook - The Digital Textbook Playbook is a guide to help K-12 educators and administrators begin building rich digital learning experiences for students in districts across the country. The playbook offers information about determining broadband infrastructure for schools and classrooms, leveraging home and community broadband to extend the digital learning environment, and understanding necessary device considerations. It also provides lessons learned from school districts that have engaged in successful transitions to digital learning

DVD - A Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc, (also known as a DVD), is an optical disc used to electronically record, store and play back video and data. DVDs are the same size as CDs, but store more than six times as much data. There are variations of the DVD: DVD-ROM (read only memory), DVD-R and DVD+R (write once), DVD-RW DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM (re-writable). DVD-Video and DVD-Audio discs refer to properly formatted and structured video and audio content, respectively.

eBlogger - eBlogger is a free blogging platform available to everyone. It is owned by Google so to create a blog on eBlogger you will need a gmail ID. There are templates available for you to use.

E-Books - Electronic books or e-books are book-length publications in digital form. They may contain images as well as text and are read on computers or e-readers.
E-Learning - E-learning is electronically supported learning and teaching. It is a learning environment that allows instructors and students to interact through the computer.  
Edmodo - Edmodo is a social learning network that allows students, teachers and parents to connect and collaborate, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices. Edmodo has a user interface that is similar to Facebook.

Edutopia - Edutopia is dedicated to encouraging innovation in K-12 schools by focusing on six core learning strategies --project-based learning, integrated studies, comprehensive assessment, social and emotional learning, technology integration and teacher development. These strategies can transform the learning process by empowering students to think critically, access and analyze information, creatively problem solve, work collaboratively, and communicate with clarity and impact. Edutopia was founded in 1991 by filmmaker George Lucas and venture capitalist Steve Arnold. 

Electronic Classroom - An electronic classroom is equipped with multimedia devices to enhance learning.

Enlace — Enlace is the AATSP online newsletter.  It is published quarterly and contains timely articles of interest to members. For information and article submissions, contact

Eyejot - Eyejot is an online video messaging platform. It offers users the ability to create and receive video messages with any browser.


Facebook -  Facebook is an example of an online social network.  It is an online community of people who share interests and/or activities. Members have user profiles and social links which can be updated and shared with their social connections.  These social connections are called friends.  Members have the opportunity to accept or reject in advance requests made by other members who wish to view and share information. To accept a friend request is to allow that person access.  Facebook also offers additional networks organized by school, workplace, city and region. Members interact by using e-mail and instant messaging.
False cognate - A false cognate appears to share a common origin and meaning with another word in a different language but does not.

The Five Cs - The five Cs represent the themes in the National Standards in Foreign Language Learning: Communication (what can be done with the language), Culture (understanding the relationship between languages and cultures), Connections (connecting language instruction with other subject areas), Comparisons (insight into similarities and differences across languages and cultures) and Communities (learning experiences beyond the classroom).  See for additional information.
Flat Classroom Project - This is a global collaborative project for students in grades 3-12 which uses Web 2.0 tools for communication, interaction, collaboration and creation between students and teachers from classrooms around the world. Project themes are designed to explore social issues and develop cultural understanding. The Flat Classroom Project was inspired by Thomas Friedman´s book, The World is Flat.

FLES - Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) is a program taught to elementary school students by a qualified foreign language teacher who organizes instruction around a scope and sequence with the goal of developing language proficiency.

FLEX - A Foreign Language Exploratory Program (FLEX) is a program which introduces elementary or middle school students to one or more languages. It usually takes place daily or less frequently over a period of 6 to 9 weeks The goal of this type of program is to introduce students to learning a language and developing cultural awareness.
Flipped instructional method - In a flipped instructional method, the student first studies a topic outside of class using videos, podcasts, articles and/or thinking about questions that access his or her prior knowledge. In the classroom, the teacher answers any questions and clarifies any confusion the student may have and then the student tries to apply the knowledge by solving problems and doing practical work.


FLTeach - FLTeach is a listserv whose broad topic is foreign language teaching methods for all levels and all languages.
Fluency - Fluency is the ability to express oneself orally and in writing easily and accurately.

Formal assessment - A formal assessment is done at the end of lesson or unit to evaluate student mastery. It evaluates all students in the same way and under the same conditions. Tests and quizzes are examples of formal assessments. A formal assessment is also called a summative assessment.
Formative assessment - A formative assessment evaluates students´ progress as they participate in a learning activity. This type of assessment provides feedback for both the student and the teacher on how learning is progressing. It allows the teacher to adapt instruction based on student needs-- to intervene with students who are having difficulties or to provide enrichment to those students who have mastered the material. A formative assessment is also called a informal assessment.

Fossilization - Fossilization refers to a phenomenon in which students who are learning a language internalize forms of the language that are not standard. These incorrect forms often become habits of speech that are not easily corrected.


Framework for State Action on Global Education - The Framework for State Action on Global Education is a blueprint that provides states with actionable strategies to improve the preparation of students for the global realities of work and life in the 21st century.  This Framework was developed by P21.


Functional language ability - Functional language ability is the skill to accomplish authentic communication tasks accurately. 

Gamification - Gamification is the use of game design and mechanics to drive motivation and increase engagement in learning.


GANAG - GANAG lesson planning schema is a simple organizational tool that is fast, effective and easy to implement.  It incorporates the use of high-yield strategies—state the lesson goals, access prior knowledge, introduce new information, analyze and apply the new information and summarize or restate the lesson goals.  For more information, see!ganag/chsb

The Global Seal of Biliteracy - The Global Seal of Biliteracy program provides access to anyone interested in being formally certified for achieving a high standard of proficiency in two or more languages to earn college credit, to apply for scholarship or study abroad programs, and to access employment opportunities or pay differentials. Please see for more information.
Glog - A glog is an online poster containing text, images, graphics, animations, audio and/or video.  To create, post and view glogs go to
Google Tools - Google has created many applications that may be useful in the world language classroom: Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Street View, Google Groups, Google Doc, Google Voice and others. To find more information about Google Tools as well as examples of classroom activities and tips go to Google for Educators at
Google Voice - Google Voice is a free telecommunication service offered by Google. It includes many features such as voicemail, free text messaging, call history, conference calling, call screening, blocking of unwanted calls, and voice transcription to text of voicemail messages. Users choose a new phone number which can be customized to ring to all the user’s phones or a certain phone based on who is calling or on the time of day.

The Gouin Series - The Gouin Series is a direct method of teaching a foreign language developed in the 19th century by Francois Gouin.  According to this method, language is presented in a controlled context and is acquired first by listening, then speaking and finally reading and writing. Using props and pantomime, the teacher presents a series of 6 to 8 short sentences describing a logical sequence of actions to the students.  The students respond first by pantomiming the actions and then eventually with the words.

Graphic organizer
- A graphic organizer is used to visually organize information and make patterns and relationships between ideas more apparent. There are a variety of types of graphic organizers which can be used to help students brainstorm ideas and vocabulary, create a time line of events, provide a framework for capturing the main points of a reading or listening task, compare and contrast information. Go to to find a collection of free graphic organizers that can be downloaded.
Heritage speaker - A heritage speaker is a person who grows up in a home where the language spoken in the home is different from the language spoken outside of the home. Heritage speakers vary greatly in their mastery of the home language. Some have only an appreciation of the language and a desire to learn it while others enjoy full fluency and literacy. Most heritage speakers are in between these two extremes.


Hispania — Hispania is the official journal of the AATSP.  It features articles on literature and language, book reviews, theoretical and applied linguistics, professional and Hispanic/Luso-Brazilian World news, and media and computers, along with AATSP official announcements, and advertisements. Hispania is published in March, June, September, and December and is a member of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.

Hispanic Society of America —The Hispanic Society of America is a museum and reference library for the study of the arts and cultures of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. It was founded in 1904 by Archer M. Huntington and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012.  It is located in New York City.


HootCourse - A HootCourse is an online classroom that uses a combination of social networks and blogging platforms to deliver instruction. HootCourses are built upon tweets and status updates in real-time.

Hybrid course — A hybrid course is a class that combines online course work and face-to-face instruction.


Hypermedia - Hypermedia refers to the text, graphics, audio, video and hyperlinks displayed on a computer or other electronic device which interact to create a non-linear presentation of information. 



Hypertext - Hypertext is the text displayed on a computer or other electronic device. Hypertext has references or hyperlinks to other text which can be accessed by a mouse click.




ICT - ICT stands for information and communications technology  
Immersion program - In an immersion program, subject matter is taught only in the target language. Mastery of the subject matter is the primary educational goal of these programs. Target language proficiency and appreciation of the target culture are also goals.

Inductive instruction - This is a “bottom-up” approach. The teacher presents examples of a grammar in context. Students learn the rule by making observations, detecting patterns, formulating hypothesis, and drawing conclusions. 

Individualized Learning - Individualized instruction is a method in which presentation of content, materials and pace of learning are based upon the abilities of each individual learner. All learners receive the same content but work through it at their own pace.

Infographics - Infographics or information graphics are visual representations of information. Infographics help to make complex information easier to understand by presenting facts and figures on a particular subject in an easy to read and vibrant form.


Informal assessment - An informal assessment evaluates students´ progress as they participate in a learning activity. This type of assessment provides feedback for both the student and the teacher on how learning is progressing. It allows the teacher to adapt instruction based on student needs-- to intervene with students who are having difficulties or to provide enrichment to those students who have mastered the material. An informal assessment is also called a formative assessment.
Informal Learning - Informal learning is an ongoing process that takes place outside of the traditional school setting. It occurs in a variety of places, such as at home, work and through daily interactions and shared relationships with other people.

Information Gap Activity -
Information gap activities provide practice in negotiating meaning while exchanging information. Each student has information that must be shared with others in order to complete a task.
Information literacy - Information literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate and effectively use that information in its various formats.


Inquiry-based teaching - Inquiry-based teaching is a method that is based on solving a particular problem or answering a central question.  When learners encounter problems they do not understand, they formulate questions, explore problems, observe, and apply new information. Learning occurs as a natural part of the process as students work towards finding solutions.  Inquiry-based teaching is not a new method.  It dates back to  John Dewey (1859-1952), American education philosopher. Inquiry-based teaching can easily accommodate project-based learning, challenge-based learning, place-based education, blended learning, and other trends in education.


Instagram - Instagram is an online photo-sharing and social networking service. It allows its users to take pictures, apply digital filters and then share their pictures on a variety of social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

Instructional Technology - Instructional technology combines education and technology to enhance a curriculum. Instructors can choose how they deliver content to students depending on the technology available at their school.


Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) - The Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) is an assessment tool developed by ACTFL that is standards-based, performance-based, developmental in nature, integrative and designed to be used with scoring rubrics that rate performance in terms of whether it meets expectations, exceeds expectations, or does not meet expectations for the task. It assesses students at the novice-, intermediate-, and pre-advanced levels of proficiency. For more information, please see

Interactive notebook — An interactive notebook is a format for taking notes that encourages organization, making connections and interaction.  All pages have a title, date and page number.  A table of contents helps find where pages are.  Everything is taped or glued in so it can’t get lost.  Notes are highlighted, colored and drawn so that important information stands out.   Notes are taken using graphic organizers, clear steps, fold-outs.

Interculturality - Please see Intercultural competence.

Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) - This is an approach to foreign language teaching that focuses on the immediate needs of learners who require a specific language as a professional tool.


Intercultural communicative competence (ICC) -  Intercultural competencis the ability to interact with a person from a different culture in a manner that is open minded and to communicate effectively and appropriately using authentic language and demonstrating cultural knowledge and understanding.


Interlanguage - An interlanguage contains features of the target language and the mother language. This interlanguage develops as the learner of a second language who is striving for full proficiency attempts to simplify or overgeneralize target language patterns.

International Baccalaureate
- The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an international educational organization that works with schools, government and international organizations to offer rigorous educational programs. These programs strive to develop young people who are inquiring, knowledgeable and caring and who create a more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Go to for additional information. 


Internet - The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks. These networks, which may be private, public, academic, business or government owned, use a standard communications protocol (TCP/IP) to carry a wide range of information resources and services.

Internet forum - An Internet forum is an online discussion site where conversations are held in the form of posted messages. Unlike chat rooms, messages in a forum may need moderator approval before posting. Also, the messages are usually archived.

Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium - The Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) is a group of state education agencies and national educational organizations dedicated to the reform of the preparation, licensing, and on-going professional development of teachers. It was created in 1987.
IPA - International Phonetic Alphabet was devised by the International Phonetic Association as a standardized representation of the sounds of oral language. It is based primarily on the Latin alphabet and its symbols are composed of letters and diacritics. The word "international” would be transcribed as ɪntəˈnæʃənəɫ using the IPA
Joint National Committee on Languages - The Joint National Committee on Languages (JNCL) is a coalition of 65 national, regional and state language teaching associations. It is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to educate the public about foreign and international language education. The JNCL gathers information about foreign language education and then makes this information available to its member organizations.  Although JNCL acts as a liaison between the international and foreign language communities and Congress, it does not participate in any advocating. Public advocacy on behalf of JNCL is done by the National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS). For more information please see

JNCL-NCLIS - The Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies work together to gain adequate support for and recognition of the importance of languages and international education in the public and national interest. For more information please see

Keepvid - KeepVid allows users to download and save video from YouTube, Dailymotion, Metacafe, iFilm and many more websites. There is no charge to use Keepvid. To start saving videos go to
KWL chart - A KWL chart is a graphic organizer that is used to activate student background knowledge of a topic to be studied. It consists of three columns—K, W, and L. In the K column students list what they know about a topic and in the W column they list what they want to learn about the topic. The L column is filled in with what students have learned after studying about the topic. Go to to see an example of a KWL chart.


Lang-Chat - #LangChat is an independent group of world-language education professionals who come together every week via Twitter to share ideas and discuss pressing issues in the world of education.

Language acquisition - Language acquisition refers to the subconscious process of becoming proficient in a language. It is dependent upon meaningful interactions in the target language during which the learner pays attention to meaning rather than form. The acquisition hypothesis was developed by Dr. Stephen Krashen, professor emeritus at the University of Southern California.

Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) - This is an approach to foreign language teaching that focuses on the immediate needs of learners who require a specific language as a professional tool.

Language learning - Language learning is a conscious process in which the learner pays attention to the rules and grammar of the target language as well error correction.

Language Resource Centers - Language Resource Centers (LRCs) at US universities provide support to world language educators by offering teaching materials and professional development opportunities. LRCs also conduct research in the area of language learning and develop teaching materials. LRCs are supported by grants under the Title VI of the Higher Education Act. Please go to for more information.

LARC - The Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC) at San Diego State University is one of the U.S. Department of Education´s Title VI National Language Resource Centers. LARC focuses on less commonly taught languages, cross-cultural issues, language skills assessment, and teacher training. For more information go to 

Layered curriculum - Layered curriculum is a method for differentiating instruction based on current brain-imaging information. This approach features a three layer model that requires students to use higher level thinking skills. The C Layer is the basic layer of competency with activities that typically ask students to collect factual information. The B Layer provides students with the opportunity to apply, manipulate and play with information. The A Layer asks students to think critically about an issue and to analyze a topic. Dr. Kathie Nunley created Layered Curriculum.

Learning Platform - A learning platform is a set of interactive online services that provide teachers, learners, parents and others involved in education with information, tools and resources to support and enhance educational delivery and management. 

Learning styles - Learning styles refer to different ways of learning. Visual learners learn by seeing while auditory learners learn by listening. Tactile learners are hands-on learners. They learn by moving, doing and touching. For additional information on learning styles see .

Lifelong Learning - Lifelong learning continues education informally for personal enrichment throughout life and in a range of situations including daily interactions with others and with the world around us.
LinguaFolio - LinguaFolio is a portfolio assessment tool designed to help individuals in setting and achieving their goals for learning languages. Students can use LinguaFolio to collect samples of their communicative abilities as well as record intercultural experiences and reflections. There is no charge to use LinguaFolio although registration is requested. 


Listserv - A listserv is an e-mail list which users subscribe to in order to receive mass e-mailings. Some listservs are interactive and subscribers may post e-mails to the entire lists. FLTeach is an example of a listserv.


Literary Design Collaborative — The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) is a project that seeks to ensure that every student in America graduates from high school with the literacy skills necessary for success in college and career. LDC is a teacher-created instructional design system that transforms educator practice through the use of online tools and resources that facilitate collaboration, content development, and professional learning to effectively implement College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) in K–12 classrooms.


LiveBinder - A livebinder is a digital 3-ring binder that can hold webpages, PDFs, documents, images, and videos.  Everything is organized by tabs.  Sub tabs can be placed inside of tabs.  Go to  to see examples of livebinders as well as to set up a livebinder .




Mashup - A mashup is a combination of two or more sources that have been integrated into one source. A mashup typically consists of graphics, texts, audio clips, and video from various media such as blogs, wikis, YouTube, Google Maps, etc. It is important to be aware of issues of plagiarism and copyright infringement when creating a mashup as well as data accuracy, content appropriateness and stability.

Mashups -- Mashups is a Rich Internet Application developed by CLEAR. It allows teachers to combine audio or video clips, text and interactive exercises. See for additional information.      
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) - A massive open online course is a type of online course aimed at large-scale participation and open access via the Internet.  
Micro-blogging - Micro-blogging allows users to publish online brief text updates or photos or audio clips to be seen by anyone or by a restricted group chosen by the user. Micro-blog entries are briefer than blog entries. Twitter is an example of a micro-blogging service.



Meme - A meme is an idea, behavior or style that acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices. An internet meme is a concept that spreads quickly from person to person over the Internet by way of e-mail, blogs, forums, social networking sites, instant messaging, video streaming sites and more.

Moodle - Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is a free web application that can be used to create online learning sites. Moodle offers assignment submission, discussion forum, files download, grading, instant messages, online calendar, online quiz and other features.

MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) - A massive open online course is a type of online course aimed at large-scale participation and open access via the Internet.



MP3 - MP3 is a digital audio encoding and compression format. It reduces the amount of data required to represent audio, yet still sound like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio to most listeners. MP3 also refers to files of sound or music recordings stored in the MP3 format on computers.


Multimedia - Multimedia communicates information by using a combination of different content forms such as text, audio, still images, animation, video.

Multiple intelligences - According to the theory of multiple intelligences there are eight ways to show intellectual ability: linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, musical intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence and naturalist intelligence. This theory suggests that effective classroom teachers should present lessons in ways that incorporate as many of the eight intelligences as possible. The theory of multiple intelligences was developed by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. For additional information on multiple intelligences please see

National Broadband Plan - The FCC´s National Broadband Plan supports wireless Internet connectivity for mobile learning devices, super-fast fiber connections to schools and libraries and allowing schools provide Internet access to local communities. 

National Content Standards
- National content standards for foreign language education define what students should know and be able to do after a specified period of foreign language study. These standards were written and are continuously updated  by the Standards Collaborative, a collaboration of the major language organizations.  The Standards Collaborative has published these standards in the document Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century. See for additional information.

National Council for Languages and International Studies – The National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS) is a nonprofit organization that engages in public advocacy in support of languages and international education. It lobbies on behalf of JNCL members for foreign and international policies in Washington, D.C. For more information please see

National Education Technology Plan -  
The U.S. Department of Education´s National Education Technology Plan calls for applying the advanced technologies used in our daily personal and professional lives to our entire education system to improve student learning, accelerate and scale up the adoption of effective practices, and use data and information for continuous improvement. 

National Portuguese Exam - The National Portuguese Exam (NPE) is an extra-curricular activity and contest for high school students throughout the United States. It is communicative and proficiency based. Go to for more information about the NPE.
NOTE: The National Portuguese Examination (NPE) will not be offered in 2010. The NPE is being redesigned and will be available in 2011. For more information about the NPE or if you are interested in assisting with the NPE, please contact the AATSP Office at

National Security Language Initiative -
The goal of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) is to increase the number of Americans learning, speaking and teaching strategically important world languages that are not now widely taught in the US. Arabic, Persian, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and Turkish are examples of strategically important languages. It is believed that by helping Americans make relationships needed to understand other cultures will help to increase national and global security. NSLI was announced in January 2006 by former President Bush and continues to be supported and expanded by the current administration. Go to for additional information.

National Spanish Exam
- Each year thousands of Spanish teachers throughout the United States chose to give the National Spanish Exam (NSE) in order to measure the proficiency and achievement of their students. The NSE is an online standardized assessment tool. The goals of the NSE are to recognize achievement in the study of the Spanish language, promote proficiency in interpretive communication in the Spanish language, assess the national standards as they pertain to learning Spanish and stimulate further interest in the teaching and learning of Spanish. Go to for more information about the NSE.

Native speaker - A native speaker is a person who speaks a language learned at home in childhood. It is possible that this first language learned is no longer a speaker's dominant language. This is often true of young children whose families immigrate into an area where a different language is spoken.
NCLRC - The National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC) at the George Washington University in collaboration with Georgetown University and the Center for Applied Linguistics is one of the U.S. Department of Education´s Title VI National Language Resource Centers. NCLRC focuses on educator professional development, material development and dissemination and less commonly taught languages. For more information go to

NCSSFL - National Council of State SupervisorsNCSSFL is an organization of education agency personnel from all states of the United States who have the responsibility of foreign/world language education at the state level.The mission of NCSSFL is to provide leadership in facilitating and promoting policies and practices that support language education.

NCCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements - The NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements are the result of a collaboration between the National Council of State Supervisors (NCSSFL) and ACTFL, to connect NCSSFL's LinguaFolio® with ACTFL's Proficiency Guidelines. These Can-Do statements help language learners identify what they need to do to function at a specific level of proficiency. The statements also help educators plan curriculum, units of instruction, and daily lessons to help learners improve their performance and reach a targeted level of proficiency. 

Negotiation of meaning - Negotiation of meaning is a process of explaining, clarifying and confirming information in order to communicate that information and reach mutual understanding.

Network - A computer network is a group of computers than are connected for the purpose of sharing data and information.
NFLRC - The National Foreign Language Resource Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is one of the U.S. Department of Education´s Title VI National Language Resource Centers. NFLRC focuses on developing prototypes for language educators to apply as resources to improve foreign language education nationally. For more information go to 
NHLRC - The National Heritage Language Resource Center, at the University of California, Los Angeles, is one of the U.S. Department of Education´s Title VI National Language Resource Centers. NHLRC focuses on curriculum design, materials development and teacher education for heritage language learners. For more information go to 

Ning - Ning is an online platform that allows users to create their own social networks around specific interests. On a Ning, users can run discussions, post pictures and videos, embed blogs, attach documents and control access. There are three levels of paid service with each level offering different degrees of features, viral tools, customization and customer support. More information is available at .
NNELL - NNELL is the National Network for Early Language Learning. Founded in 1987, NNELL provides leadership as well as advocates for and supports successful early language learning and teaching.
OERs - Open Educational Resources are educational materials offered without charge for anyone to use, modify, improve and redistribute. 
One to One initiative - The 1:1 initiative requires one devise (laptop or tablet) per every child in a school. The program is intended to help students develop 21st century skills by providing digital learning opportunities to all students as well as to make learning more individualized, increase independence and extend academics beyond the classroom.


Online course — An online course is a class that is conducted entirely online with no face-to-face instruction.


Online Lab - An online or virtual laboratory allows learners in a number of different physical locations to collaborate in an ongoing way.

Online social network - A virtual social network is an online community of people who share interests and/or activities. Usually members have user profiles and social links, and may have the opportunity to approve in advance their social connections. The online network may offer additional networks organized by school, workplace, city and region. Members interact by using e-mail and instant messaging. Facebook is an example of an online social network.
Open Educational Resources (OER) - Open educational resources are freely accessible and openly formatted documents and media that are useful for teaching and research purposes. These materials are openly licensed which means that they are not restricted by copyright.

Open Source – Open source software is computer software created under a software license that meets the Open Source Definition. This license gives anyone the right to use, change, and improve the software, and to distribute it in modified or unmodified forms. Open source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner.

Organic World Language -  Organic World Language (OWL) is a teaching methodology that focuses on student-empowerment, kinesthetic engagement, and community to fuel second language acquisition.  The five goals of the OWL methodology are to use the second language 100% of the time, to not be be afraid of a second language environment, to take risks and break down the filter (make mistakes), to be able to infer and to participate and be part of a community.


P21 - The Partnership for 21st Century Skills


PACE Model - The PACE Model or Story-based Approach, designed by R. Donato and B. Adair-Hauck, helps students acquire grammar in a more natural way. PACE is an acronym for four steps used in this model: Presentation, Attention, Co-construction and Extension. For a detailed description of this model, please go to

Partial immersion program - In a partial immersion program, subject matter is taught in the target language and in English. Mastery of the subject matter, target language proficiency and appreciation of the target culture are goals of these programs.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) - The Partnership for 21st Century Skills  was founded in 2002 and is  a national advocacy organization that encourages schools, districts, and states to infuse technology into education.  The Partnership provides tools and resources to facilitate that effort.  Founding members include the National Education Association, business partners (Time Warner, Ford, Microsoft and others), foundations, media groups and various education related organizations.

PDF file
- A Portable Document Format (pdf) is a file format created by Adobe Systems. Any application can create a file which can be saved as a pdf. A pdf document may contain text, images and hyperlinks and can be viewed and printed on many platforms—Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, UNIX, as well as many mobile platforms. In order to view a pdf file it is necessary to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer. Adobe Reader may be downloaded without charge at

Performance assessment - A performance assessment evaluates students as they demonstrate their ability to use the target language as native speakers might do.


Personal Learning Networks – Personal learning networks (PLN) are connections that educators develop with each other by using online social networks. These connections often are among people who do not know each other personally but who are able to share information and resources as well as collaborate and learn from one another.  PLNs contribute to professional development and knowledge.

Personalized Learning - Personalized learning is entirely geared toward the individual student. The content, pace, structure and goals of instruction vary depending on the student’s learning habits but providing access to the curriculum for all learners is at the core of personalizing learning. Some of the initiatives or district based programs that facilitate personalized learning include 1:1, flipped classrooms, blended learning, competency based education.

Pinterest - Pinterest is a website that allows users to share photos and images. Users can create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more as well as browse other pin boards.

Podcast - A podcast is a form of broadcasting on the Internet. It consists of a series of audio and video files that are released episodically and can be downloaded automatically to a user’s computer using a software application such as iTunes, Zune or Juice. Like any radio show a podcast usually has a host and theme.

The Portuguese Newsletter —The Portuguese Newsletter is published in the spring and fall, and features items of interest about the Luso-Brazilian world. For information and article submissions, contact 

Pragmatics - Pragmatics refers to the appropriate use of verbal and non-verbal elements of communication within a specific culture when conducting a speech act, such as apologizing, requesting, complimenting, refusing and thanking. The context as well as the relationship between the people who are communicating are important elements of conveying meaning.

Prezi - Prezi is a cloud-based presentation application which offers an alternative to linear slide-by-slide presentations. Instead, a zoomable canvas allows the user to present ideas and the connections between them by zooming in and out of the links, words, images, videos, etc. on the canvas. Go to for more information and examples.

Professional Learning Network - See definition for Personal Learning Networks.

Proficiency - Proficiency is the skill to accomplish authentic communication tasks accurately.

Project-Based Learning (PBL) - Project-based learning engages students with complex tasks based on challenging questions or problems that involve the students' problem solving, decision making, investigative skills, reflection and results in a product. The role of the teacher is to facilitate rather than direct learning.  

Public domain -  When a copyright expires on an artistic, musical or literary work, that work passes into the public domain. Works in the public domain are not owned or controlled by anyone. They are available for anyone to use freely for any purpose.


QR code - A Quick Response Code (QR code) is a two-dimensional bar code that can be read by a QR scanner. QR codes can store and digitally present much more data—url links, geo coordinates and text—than a standard barcode. The code is usually square with black modules arranged in a pattern on a white background. Many smart devises can scan QR codes.





Realia - Realia are materials that are found in everyday life in the target culture. Posters, advertisements, labels, schedules, tickets, placemats, newspapers are just a few examples of realia.
Response to Intervention (RTI) - Response to intervention seeks to prevent academic failure by providing early, systematic assistance to children who are having difficulty learning.
Revisions - Revisions is a Rich Internet Application developed by CLEAR. It is an online writing lab. See for additional information.
Role-playing - Role playing offers students an opportunity to use the target language in new contexts by having students pretend to be different people in different locations and situations.

- RSS is a data format that automatically checks frequently updated web-based material—blogs, podcasts, videocasts, news headlines, etc.—for new content. It will download any updates it finds to a RSS reader. This makes it easy to receive new content without having to constantly visit a Web site to see what has been posted.
 This icon will identify web-based material that can be updated by using a RSS feed.  To take advantage of this automatic updating, it is necessary to establish an account with a RSS reader such as Google Reader, NewsGator, Bloglines. Start a subscription by clicking on the RSS icon in the browser or entering the url of the site to be updated into the RSS reader. The RSS reader will check the subscribed feeds regularly for new content, download updates and provide a user interface to monitor and read the updates.  The RSS icon above has been made available by Avi Alkalay
RT - Place RT in front of a tweet from another user in order to share it with your followers.  

Scaffolding - In the classroom the term scaffolding refers to the structure and support given to guide students through a learning task. Scaffolding provides motivation and purpose for the task and helps students focus on what information they need to find and use. Guidance in the form of clear directions, suggestions, clues, informational support or question prompts and rubrics are examples of scaffolding. Graphic organizers are effective tools to use when scaffolding.
Schema - Schema is background knowledge. A student’s schema is activitated when he or she thinks about what he or she already knows about a topic. This background knowledge along with text clues—pictures, titles, text features such as headings, bold print and captions—can be used to make inferences as a student listens to or reads new material.
Seal of Biliteracy -The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, district, or state in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.  For more information see

Second Life - Second Life is a virtual world for people aged 18 and over accessible via the Internet. The users of Second Life are called Residents. By using a free program called the Second Life Viewer, residents are able to interact with each other through avatars. They can also create and trade virtual property and services with one another, or travel throughout the world (known as the "the grid" in Second Life). Teen Second Life is available for people aged 13 to 17.

Server - A server is a computer program that provides and manages resources to other computers on a network. The computer running a server program is also often referred to as a server.


Siele - Siele or the International Service for Evaluation of the Spanish Language is a globally recognized Spanish language certificate encompassing the diversity of the language from all Spanish speaking countries.  This initiative was jointly developed by Spain´s Cervantes Institute, the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the University of Salamanca.  The test will be available on five continents and will determine a student´s Spanish language skills.

Sigma Delta Pi — Sigma Delta Pi (ΣΔΠ) is the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society (La Sociedad Nacional Honoraria Hispánica). It was established on November 14, 1919, at the University of California at Berkeley. Student members are invited to join based on the basis of superior academic achievement in strict accordance with the criteria set forth by the Association of College Honor Societies.  HispaEntre nosotros—is the official publication of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.  Issues can be downloaded at

Sketchnoting — Sketchnoting is a form of note taking that incorporates purposeful doodling while listening to something interesting.  Expertise in drawing is not necessary;  however, it is important to be able to visually synthesize and summarize.


Skype - Skype is a voice-over-Internet Protocol service and software application that allows users to communicate with others by voice, video, and instant messaging over the Internet. Phone calls may be placed to recipients on the traditional telephone networks. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and mobile phones are charged via a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features, including file transfer, and videoconferencing.

SMART Goal - A SMART goal is a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound.


Sociedad Hispánica de Amistad -- The Sociedad Hispánica de Amistad is an activities-based society for elementary and middle school students of Spanish or Portuguese.  It was created by  the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).  Any elementary or middle school teacher of Spanish or Portuguese who is a member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese can sponsor a chapter.  There are two types of memberships. Any elementary or middle school student who is enrolled in Spanish or Portuguese can be a Regular Member. There are additional requirements for Honor Membership.  Members participate in individual and chapter projects, which are organized into three categories: ambassadorship, service to school, and service to community. Visit for additional information.

Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica — The Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica (SHH), an honor society for high school students enrolled in Spanish and/or Portuguese, is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. The purpose of the society is to recognize high achievement of high school students in the Spanish and Portuguese languages and to promote a continuing interest in Hispanic and Portuguese studies.  SHH publishes Albricias, a literary magazine of student work, twice a year.  Albricias is sent without cost to all active chapters of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica.  It is also available online.

Social bookmarking - Social bookmarking is a method which allows users to store, tag and share web pages.  Users may allow their bookmarks to be shared with the public at large, restricted to a specific group of users or not shared at all.  Delicious ( and Diigo ( are examples of social bookmarking sites.

Social news - Anyone may submit news articles and blog entries to social news websites. Readers then vote to rank the stories and determine which items remain on the front page of the website. Diggs ( and Newsvine ( are examples of social news websites.

Soundcloud - Soundcloud is an audio platform that enables sound creators to upload, record, promote and share their originally-created sounds.

Speech act - Any communication that serves a function is a speech act. Apologizing, greeting, requesting, complaining, inviting, complimenting, refusing and thanking are examples of speech acts. In order to perform a speech act appropriately a person must have knowledge of the language as well as appropriate use of that language within a given culture.

Spiraling - Spiraling is the process of re-teaching material by creating explanations and tasks that are increasingly broader and deeper. Such recycling of vocabulary and structures provide repeated practice in various contexts.
Standards based grading - Standards based grading is a method of assessment which measures a student’s proficiency on clearly defined learning outcomes. It assesses a student’s knowledge of grade-level content by reporting the most recent, consistent level of performance.

Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) —Avant's STAMP (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency) assessments measure proficiency in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking in five languages with content appropriate for elementary and high school students. The assessments are web-based and computer-adaptive with real-world questions that test level-appropriate topics and content. STAMP was developed by A Consortium of Six State Foreign Language Supervisors, The Center for Applied Linguistics and The Center for Applied Second Language Studies at theUniversity of Oregon.

STARTALK - STARTALK is a component program of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI). It offers students (K–16) and teachers of strategically important languages summer experiences that strive to exemplify best practices in language education and in language teacher development. Additionally it offers resources and assistance to those seeking continuous improvement in areas such as outcomes-driven program design, standards-based curriculum planning, learner-centered approaches, excellence in selection and development of materials, and meaningful assessment of outcomes. Go to for additional information.

Story map - A story map is a graphic organizer used to help students analyze elements such as characters, setting, plot, conflict, resolution in a written or oral text.
Storify - Storify is a social network service that allows users to create stories or timelines using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Storify provides users with a tool to search through other forms of media related to the story and then drag whatever they find into their created story time line.

Structured Input Activities - Structured input activities help students derive meaning from form and structure  by presenting one thing at a time and keeping meaning in focus.  Both oral and written input are provided and learners need to do something with the input.  These activities need to be truly communicative. J. Lee and B. VanPatten developed the structured input method.this method.            

Student Agency - Student agency happens when students are empowered to influence their own path to mastery as they are encouraged to take initiative in choosing activities that are meaningful and relevant to them, driven by their interests, and often self-initiated with appropriate guidance from teachers. This gives voice and choice to students in how they learn.

Summative assessment - A summative assessment is done at the end of lesson or unit to evaluate student mastery. It evaluates all students in the same way and under the same conditions. Tests and quizzes are examples of summative assessments. A summative assessment is also called a formal assessment.

Synchronous Online Learning - Synchronous online classes require students and instructors to be online at the same time. Lectures, discussions, and presentations occur at a specific time and all students must be online at that specific time in order to participate.  



Tag - A tag is a word or short phrase assigned to a digital image, bookmark or computer file which identifies the item and allows a person to find the image, bookmark or file by using the tag as a searching or browsing keyword. Tags are usually chosen by the person who creates the image, bookmark or file.

T.A.L.K - This is a technique that is used to evaluate oral communication during pair or group speaking activities. Students are assessed in the following areas: T – talking in the target language, trying to communicate, the talk is relevant to the task; A – there is an acceptable level of accuracy, particularly with regard to the objective of the lesson; L – the student is listening to his/her partner and is on task; K – the student is kind and cooperative, he does not kill the task, he works with his partner/group. See Shrum and Gilsan´s Teacher´s Handbook for more information about this technique.

Teacher Tube - TeacherTube is a video sharing website designed to allow teachers and other educators to share educational resources such as video, audio, documents, photos, groups and blogs.

Technological Determinism - Technological determinism is the theory that assumes that technology drives the development of a society’s social structure and cultural values. The term is believed to have been coined by Thorstein Veblen (1857–1929), an American sociologist.  

Telecollaboration -  Telecollaboration is the organized use of Web resources and tools--email, listservs, message boards, real-time chat, web-based conferencing--to connect learners to other learners.  

TELL (Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning Project) - The TELL Project began as a collaborative initiative led by world language district coordinators. It is now managed by the non-profit organization AdvanceLearning and is guided by the TELL Project Advisory Board. This Project seeks to define what effective world language teachers do to ensure that students achieve world language competence and to support the growth of teachers to prepare for, advance and support language learning.
Thematic Unit - A thematic unit has a specific content as the organizing principle and vocabulary, structures and cultural information all relate to this content.

Total Physical Response - Total physical response (TPR) is an instructional method that allows students a period of time to listen and develop comprehension before having to produce language. Vocabulary is introduced through actions and gestures. Students copy these actions and gestures as they learn the words and eventually demonstrate comprehension through these actions and gestures. TPR is effective for teaching vocabulary and imperatives and it appeals to learners who need to be active in class. TRP was developed by Dr. James J Asher, professor emeritus of psychology at San José State University.

Total Physical Response Storytelling -Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS) is also called Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling. TPRS is an adaptation of TPR. The teacher initially presents the vocabulary of the story and its equivalent in the students´native language. The use of actions and gestures to establish meaning is optional. The teacher then provides a general outline of a story and elicits specific details from the students. Students read and discuss the created story and translate it out loud to ensure that the students fully understand the story. TPRS relies upon the importance of comprehensive input, personalization and the use of humor to lower the affective filter. Blaine Ray created TPRS.

Translanguaging - Translanguaging is the process whereby multilingual speakers use their languages, often simultaneously, as an integrated communication system. It is a dynamic process in which multilingual speakers navigate complex social and cognitive demands through strategic employment of multiple languages. It is not the same as code-switching, which is the use of multiple languages in a specific communicative episode.

TubeChop - TubeChop is a website that allows users to edit any YouTube video making it easy to cut a section from any video or remove questionable scenes or lyrics before sharing these videos with students.

Tweet - A tweet is a brief, text-based message sent or received on a Twitter account.  Tweets can include @mentions, #hashtags, RT retweets and links to websites.
Twenty-first century skills - Students develop 21st century skills as they learn to collaborate with others and connect through through technology. These skills are considered to be essential in a knowledge-based economy. The Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills, a group of more than 250 researchers across 60 institutions worldwide, have categorized these 21st-century skills into four broad categories: ways of thinking (creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and learning), ways of working (communication and collaboration), tools for working (information and communications technology and information literacy), skills for living in the world (citizenship, life and career, personal and social responsibility).

Twitter - Twitter is a free micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read brief messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based messages of no more than 140 characters. People who receive the tweets are called followers and have subscribed to the sender’s account. Senders can restrict delivery of tweets to their followers or allow open access. Tweets can be sent and received via the Twitter website, SMS or external applications.



UNIX - UNIX is an open source operating system commonly used for network servers.



Venn diagram - A Venn diagram is a graphic organizer that is used to compare and contrast. It consists of overlapping circles. The area of the circles that overlap show the shared features while the areas of the circles that do not overlap are used to list features that are unique to the persons, places or things being compared and contrasted. Go to to see an example of a Venn diagram.
Vidinotes - Vidinotes allows a user to create descriptive video summaries in three easy steps: upload a video from the user´s computer, capture and edit up to 30 images from the video by adding titles and descriptions and then print or otherwise share the video summaries. There is no charge to use Vidinotes. To start creating video summaries go to
Viewpoint - Viewpoint is a Rich Internet Application developed by CLEAR. It allows teachers to record videos or upload existing videos so they can be linked from other sites or embedded inside a web page. Viewpoint allows the teacher to add subtitles to the videos. See for additional information.

Vimeo - Vimeo is a video-sharing website where users can upload, share, and view
videos. Vimeo supports high definition video playback and allows only user-created videos to be hosted on the site. More information can be found at

Viral - Going viral refers to the process by which a video, image or text becomes popular by being passed from person to person or rising to the top of popularity lists on social bookmarking or social news websites.

Virtual Classroom - A virtual classroom is an online space where students and instructors interact via technologies such as course management applications, multimedia resources, the Internet and videoconferencing.

Virtual Learning Environment - A virtual learning environment is an online education system that mimics real-world education by using virtual access to classes, class content, exams, assignments and more. It is also a social space where students and teacher can interact through threaded discussions or chat.

Virtual world - A virtual world is a type of online community in which users can interact with one another. Second Life is an example of a virtual world.

VoiceThread - VoiceThread is a web-based application that allows group conversations to be collected and shared in one place. VoiceThread will also accept images, documents, presentations and videos. Participants can have conversations and make comments using any mix of text, a microphone, a web cam, a telephone, or uploaded audio file. VoiceThread runs inside a web browser, so there is no software to download, install, or update.
Voki - A voki is a computer generated avatar that can speak. Please go to to create a voki and to see examples of how to use a voki in the classroom.



Web - The World Wide Web is commonly referred to as the Web.

Web 2.0 - Web 2.0 refers to advanced Internet technology and applications that allow people to use the Internet in a more social, collaborative and interactive manner.  Applications such as blogs, social networks, wikis, RSS, social news allow Internet
users to generate their own content alongside content that is provided by websites. The term Web 2.0 came into use in 2004.

Web Portal - A web portal is a web site that serves as a point of access to information on the World Wide Web. In addition to a search engine, many web portals offer services such as e-mail, news, entertainment, weather, sports, finance. Yahoo! is an example of a web portal.

Webb´s Depth of Knowledge - Webb´s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) is a way to describe and measure cognitive demands in assessments, curricular units, lessons and tasks. The four DOK levels are recall, skills concepts and basic reasoning, strategic thinking and extended thinking.

WebQuest - A WebQuest is an inquiry-based learning activity. Students work in groups to analyze and synthesize information on the Internet in order to solve a problem or conduct an investigation. WebQuests were invented by Bernie Dodge and Tom March at San Diego State University in 1995.

Wiki - A wiki is a collaborative website. Any number of web pages which may contain text, image, audio and video files can be placed on a wiki. Basic word processing skills are used to create and edit wikis. There is no need to understand or use web authoring tools.  A public wiki can be read by anyone. However, permissions can be set to limit who can contribute, develop and update the content.  Wikis can be used in the classroom as an organizational tool to manage digital resources. Students can use a wiki to brainstorm ideas, to peer-edit and to offer peer feedback. Teachers can collaborate sharing ideas and lesson plans by using a wiki. To start a wiki it is necessary to set up an account with a wiki space provider. Although many websites offer wiki space for a monthly fee, offers free wiki space to K-12 educators.

Word Cloud - A word cloud is an arrangement of randomly positioned words. The most important words in a word cloud are in larger print than the other words. 

Word Wall - A word wall is a collection of words displayed on a wall, bulletin board or other large display area in a classroom. A word wall is an interactive tool for students to use during writing or reading tasks.

Worksheets - Worksheets is a Rich Internet Application developed by CLEAR. It allows teachers to create interactive and multimedia worksheets. See for additional information.  

World Wide Web - The World Wide Web (the Web) is a collection of interlinked hypertext documents which form web pages. These pages can be accessed on the Internet using a web browser.





YouTube - YouTube is a video-sharing website. Individuals and organizations are able to upload, share, and view videos.



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