Kansas World Language Association

Promoting and improving teachingProviding professional development. Encouraging cooperation.

August 15, 2006

Unbelievable! Another school year is about to begin! Here are news tidbits to help plan your year:

·        Kansas World Language Standards Review

·        Kansas Seal of Biliteracy

·        KSWLA/FLAM joint fall conference

·        Retirement nearing

·        Notices of interest


The Kansas World Language Standards Review Committee has met three times this summer. We decided to put the new national standards, World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, ACTFL, 2015,  to good use in our state. The committee is trying to complete a first draft of our revised standards to be published for your feedback this fall. After a final edit, revised standards will be presented for the KS Board of Education’s approval this winter. We are excited about this update that integrates higher expectations leading to higher proficiency levels. Watch for more news coming soon from the standards committee co-chair, Lindsey Colliing (Olathe USD 233) and Elke Lorenz (Manhattan USD 383).


The Kansas Seal of Biliteracy proposal was adopted by the KS Board of Education at its May meeting. Districts are encouraged to implement this award for 2017 graduates. “Guidelines for Kansas Seal of Biliteracy” have been created by the World Languages Advisory Council and webinar recording have been posted on the World Languages webpage at ksde.org.  If these first guidelines do not answer all your questions, then additions and interpretations will be refined in the future. Thanks for your patience and enthusiasm as we begin this new era of emphasis on proficiency and bilingualism, or multilingual skills of our KS students.


Kansas World Language Association joint fall conference in collaboration with the Foreign Language Association of Missouri will convene on October 28-29 at the Overland Park Marriott. Details about the keynote presenter, sessions, and registration information will be announced soon. Keep your eyes on the www.kswla.org website for more information.


I am retiring.

My last day at KSDE will be Friday, August 26, just 10 days from now. To date, my position has not been advertised. Until the vacancy is filled, please address your questions to my supervisor, Jeannette Nobo, [email protected], 785-296-4948. I wish to express my sincere thanks and delight in collaborating with all of you on many projects during the past (almost) nine years. Keep up the great work! Keep advocating for language learning! Hope to see you at future professional development opportunities. I will continue teaching German to pre-schoolers at the German (Saturday) School of Northeast Kansas, promoting immersion teaching techniques, and promoting dual language elementary schools. But I’ll do it on my own schedule, more or less.


The following notices are being passed along as a service. This does not mean that KSDE has reviewed any of the materials listed, or endorses any of the services offered…..


Seeking French Middle School teachers and students in KC area for partnership:

Sarah de Leiris is an English teacher in a middle school near Lyon, France. She is originally from Kansas City;  herschool would like to start a partnership or exchange program with a middle school in the Kansas City area.

She would like to bring a group of 20 8th graders for ten days in spring 2017. It would need to be a middle school that has a French program starting in 6 or 7th grade where the students could stay in host homes. The students would shadow their host student for about 5 days and would also spend time visiting KC with me and other teacher chaperones from France. There would also be the possibility to develop a relationship during the year through letters, e-mails, Skype etc...

Sarah currently is in Kansas City and would love to have some connections in person while she is here (until August 16). Her email is[email protected].


Free Spanish textbooks.

Sam Samuelson, Burlington High, has a bunch of textbooks in good condition that are free for the taking.  He calls it a “U-Haul Special.”   If you will Haul it away… it’s YOURS!!!  The series is called ¡EN ESPANOL! From McDougall/Littell. [did not specify publication date].

·        Approx. 6o copies of the student edition of the Spanish I text and about 15 workbooks (workbooks are pretty rough but useable).

·        Approx. 40 copies of the student edition of the Spanish II text but few workbooks.

·        Approx. 20 copies of the student edition of the Spanish III text and about a dozen workbooks.

These books are all pretty useable, as the really bad ones were culled over the years.  This includes the teacher’s editions, transparencies, and fairly complete sets of the supplemental materials. 

If you would like to have these materials, it is just a matter of arranging a pick-up or drop off. 

Email Sam at:  [email protected] .   Or call him at school 620-364-8672 (ext.*4120).  If no one wants these they will just get pitched. 


Free French materials

Norma Pipkin, LaCrosse High, has French materials to give away. She is willing to deliver or work out a delivery plan.

·        20 Level 1 Bon Voyage! textbooks © 2002 w/ teacher materials

·        20 Level  2 Bon Voyage textbooks © 2002 w/teacher materials

·        French Flag, games, posters, bulletin board sets,  dictionaries, travel books and more surprises!

·        French 3 & 4  Easy Readers:  The 3 Musketeers (10), Count of Monte Cristo (10),  Fantom of the Opera (5), The Little Prince (13), The Bourgeois Gentilhomme (6), Cyrano de Bergerac (10).

After 35 years in the classroom Norma would feel better about not teaching this fall if she knew her materials were put to good use. Please contact Norma at [email protected] or call 785-625-6991 and leave a message.


Rainforest Travel Fellowship

This notice of a fellowship for teachers in 2017 came from Bruce Calhoun, Save the Rainforest, [email protected]

Save the Rainforest Take Flight 2017 Fellowship

·        Travel free to Costa Rica, Panama or Belize

·        Earn graduate credits (optional)

·        For high school Spanish and science teachers

·        Application deadline is October 1

·        Visit www.saverfn.org for details


Spain-USA Reciprocal Exchange program for Kansas State Schools

Pursue Languages  specializes at organizing  quality exchange and immersion programs between American and Spanish schools. Some excellent Middle and High Schools in Spain are very interested in a school to school cultural exchange program with Kansas State Schools. The  duration is approximately 12-18 days( can be customized). The groups would travel with a teacher, the students ages range from 11-17. Schools visit each other at a date that suits both schools during the academic year. There is no need to worry about grades or credits. It is a great and economic opportunity for students to be immersed culturally, linguistically and to develop global awareness, all this for only $450 per student, it is free for teachers/chaperones.


For more details please contact: Ephraim Wambu,  General Manager, Tel 0034 660841622, skype:jwnfy26, www.pursuelanguages.com


June 13, 2016
June News  for the World Languages Listserv includes:
  • Seal of Biliteracy
  • Change in FSU Spanish degree
  • Interpreter/Translator Handbook
  • Language Teachers Needed!
  • Tip for Teaching in the Target Language
Seal Of Biliteracy
Since the KS Board of Education adopted the Seal of Biliteracy in May, a variety of steps have been taken to spread the news. It has been announced on KSDE listservs for Superintendents, Curriculum Leaders, World Languages, and English as a Second Languages. It will also be one of the “Hot Topics” for lunchtime webinars later this month. On August 11, 9 a.m. there will be a 20-30 minute webinar to answer questions districts might have about implementing the seal of biliteracy. Use the link at end of this announcement. The KSDE World Language Advisory Council met June 3 to hammer out guidelines for districts who want to award certificates beginning in May of 2017. Guidelines will include what tests are available, their costs, and sources and other helpful information. This document will be posted on the World Language Resources webpage<http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Career-Standards-and-Assessment-Services/Content-Area-M-Z/World-Languages> by August 1. Here is the link to the August 11 webinar:
--> Join Skype Meeting<https://meet.lync.com/ksde/pfarrar/BKK0SL5S>
This is an online meeting for Skype for Business, the professional meetings and communications app formerly known as Lync. (You do not need a Skype account in order to participate in this webinar.)

Change in FSU Spanish degree
Professor Jerry Smartt wrote recently explaining that the Friends University Bachelor of Spanish degree program will have a new focus beginning this fall, 2016. It is designed to train students in the art of translation and interpretation for the 21st century. The change is based on research confirming interpreters and translators are one of the fastest growing, highest demand occupations according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. A survey of recent Friends University graduates revealed that they were all using their Spanish skills in interpreting/translating in schools; in hospitals and doctors' offices; in the business world both nationally and internationally; at domestic violence shelters; etc.. This directly influenced the decision to make changes.

A Kansas Interpreter/Translator Handbook is posted on the World Language Resources webpage<http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Career-Standards-and-Assessment-Services/Content-Area-M-Z/World-Languages/Resources>.

Language Teachers Needed!
There are two language openings in the Manhattan school district – one HS French, one MS Spanish. Please help spread the word!
French Teacher, Manhattan High School, Full-time:

Spanish Teacher, Anthony/Eisenhower Middle School, USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden, Full-time:

Tip for Teaching in the Target Language
Here is a tip for training students to stay in the target language:
Use Kagan pair and group activity structures after teaching students the phrases they need to get started.
If you are going to have students work in pairs, then teach them to start with “Hi, I am your partner.” And “You go first” or “Do you want me to start?” Remind them or co-construct with them the phrases they need most, after you have given directions for the activity (in the target language, of course, and probably using two people to demonstrate. .
For a “Think – Pair – Share” they will obviously need the sentence starter “I think……” and to point out justification for an opinion or clues needed to answer questions “It says here…..” etc.

Read this article from Dr. Spencer Kagan’s website. Out of his 60-some structures he selects the six that are most useful in a language learning classroom. I love all six. In the article, just replace the word “English,” each time it appears, with the language that you teach.

Now, think of all the times you could use these six structures. Make small classroom signs with the useful phrases. Teach them the first time or two, then expect/demand that your students routinely use the phrases, since you will use the structures frequently.
May 23, 2016

Kansas Seal of Biliteracy

Adopted by Kansas Board of Education, May 17, 2016.



It is proposed that a “Seal of Biliteracy” certificate be awarded by Kansas State Department of Education and a local school district to recognize any student who has attained proficiency in English and one or more other world languages by the time the student graduates. The recognition for attaining biliteracy becomes part of a student’s high school record. It explicitly addresses the Career and Technical Education foundational skill of communicating “respectfully and effectively with people of different cultures and diverse perspectives.” The Seal is a statement of accomplishment that recognizes a student’s readiness for career and college, and for engagement as a global citizen.            


Four national organizations collaborated to create national guidelines for the Seal of Biliteracy: American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE), National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL), and TESOL International Association (2015). To ensure consistency in the significance of this recognition, the KSDE World Language Advisory Council recommends following these national guidelines with appropriate additions and guidance for implementation in Kansas.


Definition of Terms

“Biliteracy” refers to having a functional level of proficiency in two or more languages. The level of proficiency is not necessarily identical for all languages, but must include both social and academic language skills. This includes listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.



Upon completion of high school all students are eligible to attain the Seal of Biliteracy certificate. Students must demonstrate the state-determined level of proficiency in English, as well as one or more additional languages, be they native languages, heritage languages, languages learned in school, or languages learned in other settings.


Level of Language Proficiency Required

            Proficiency in English: Both native and non-native speakers of English must provide comparable evidence of English Proficiency, as demonstrated with evidence described below.


Proficiency in other Languages: Native and non-native speakers of a language other than English must provide evidence of proficiency in that language. The minimum proficiency level should be “Intermediate Mid” based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines or equivalent, and in all domains.


Kansas will adopt a two-tier Seal of Biliteracy, awarding a Kansas Gold Seal of Biliteracy for “Intermediate Mid” (ACTFL) and Kansas Platinum Seal of Biliteracy for “Advanced Low” (ACTFL). The former is attainable by learners following a 6-8 year sequence of middle school and high school courses. The latter is attainable for students completing bilingual or dual language programs, or with extensive exposure to language outside of the school setting.


Variations to proficiency levels will be made due to unique characteristics of certain languages. Examples include, but are not limited to American Sign Language, Classical Greek, Latin, and Native American Languages. The guidance document will include specifics.


Evidence Required

Assessments already exist for English and other languages which provide valid and reliable means of measuring students’ language performance. The evidence needs to evaluate students’ use of the language, not knowledge about the language. In cases where valid assessments of specific languages are not available, a process will be outlined through which comparable proficiency may be determined.


English: The student will demonstrate English proficiency by completing language arts requirements for high school graduation and by achieving a benchmark score on a validated test such as:

• Kansas English Language Arts Assessment at high school level “career and college ready” (3 or higher)

• Kansas English Language Proficiency Assessment for English Language Learners “proficient (4)” or higher

• Other assessments identified by the state as appropriate for demonstrating English proficiency equivalent to meeting high school graduation requirements.


Other Languages: The student will demonstrate proficiency in the language other than English through a validated test, such as:

• Advanced Placement Exam (score of 3 or 4 for gold; score of 5 for platinum)

• International Baccalaureate Exam

• Oral Proficiency Interview, Reading Proficiency Test, and Writing Proficiency Test (ACTFL)

• Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP4S)

• ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL)

• Tribal language validation by tribal officials

• Signed Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) for American Sign Language

• ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Exam (ALIRA)

• Other assessments correlated to the required minimum level of language proficiency.


Additional assessments and/or combinations thereof will be identified in a guidance document prepared by the KSDE World Language Advisory Council.


Equitable Access

“All students” means all, regardless of language background or any documented condition that may exclude demonstration of language proficiency in one of the modes of communication. Accommodations, such as those already in place for state-required assessments of language, should be included for assessments and requirements used to qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy certificate. All students should receive information on the Seal of Biliteracy upon entering middle and high school settings so that they are able to organize their Individual Plan of Study to meet the requirements of this honor. 


State/District Process for the Award

The Seal of Biliteracy certificate will be awarded upon high school graduation. The district will identify which students will receive this honor, based on the evidence described above. KSDE will provide guidance concerning documentation of those receiving the Seal of Biliteracy certificate. The award could be implemented as early as May, 2017.


Note: The entire text above will soon be posted on the World Languages webpage, see link below. The KSDE World Language Advisory Council will meet in June to prepare a guidance document. It will be posted on that same webpage in August.


May 12, 2016

World Language Webcast: Benchmark Assessments

Anyone interested in using the KS World Language Benchmark Assessments is invited to an online presentation next Tuesday, May 17, 3:30- 4:20 p.m..


> Join Skype Meeting      

This is an online meeting for Skype for Business, the professional meetings and communications app formerly known as Lync.

This webinar replaces the last Singleton PLC meeting of the year scheduled for May 18. Forget where the Benchmark Assessments can be found?. Go to this webpage.  



Seal of Biliteracy vote by BOE

Kansas may join more than a dozen states in offering a certificate to students who can demonstrate strong or fluent skills in more than one language. If the Kansas State Board of Education approves the idea, high school students could start earning the credential as early as next spring, though doing so wouldn't be easy. A student who completes two years of foreign language classes generally achieves only "novice" skills as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Kansas education officials and foreign language teachers are envisioning a credential that would denote much stronger proficiency. Read more. The Kansas Board of Education will vote on this proposal during their regular meeting May 17, Room 102, Landon State Office Building, 900 SW Jackoson, Topeka. The agenda item is scheduled for 11:25 a.m. and meetings are live streamed. Go to ksde.org, click the “Board” tab for the Livestreaming link.


World Language Advisory Council

A KSDE advisory council meeting takes place on Friday, June 3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Room 254, Landon Office Building, 900 SW Jackson, Topeka. If the KS Board of Education adopts the Seal of Biliteracy, the day will be spent finalizing the first guidance document for districts concerning this award. It will be posted on the ksde.org webpage for World Languages by the end of July.


World Language Standards Review

The committee of approximately 25 professionals from across the state is pending final approval and will soon be notified of the their first meeting. They will have at least two meetings in the coming summer months; one will be virtual and the other face-to-face. Revised standards are expected to be published for public comment in the fall, then adopted in fall or winter.


French Film/Food events

Doug Miller, Wichita State University, writes: “We are promoting knowledge of history, culture, and the need for community communication via these events; all the while promoting connections with our sister city: Orleans, France.” The most recent event was a Sunday evening of film and food. If you want to receive notification of future events, please contact Doug.[email protected], 316-978-6046   fax:  316-978-3524       portable; 316-208-1052


German textbooks available

Meagan Meneley, Abilene High School, writes “I have many Komm Mit (Level 1 and 2) textbooks that I need to rehome at the end of this school year.” Contact here at[email protected].


CASLS Intercom

If you want to be ‘fed’ new ideas and resources on a regular basis, please sign up of this newsletter service. CASLS Intercom:  Click HERE to view in browser

April 1, 2016
·       Spanish Immersion Retreat
·       Workshop about Teaching in the Target Language
·       Proposal for State Seal of Biliteracy
Spanish Immersion Retreat 2016 for Spanish Teachers
April 22-24, 2016
Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center in Excelsior Springs, Missouri

Immerse yourself in Spanish throughout the retreat.
• Share teaching ideas with other Spanish instructors.
• Maintain or improve your fluency with activities at Advanced and Superior ACTFL proficiency levels.
• Enjoy outdoor activities while speaking Spanish in a relaxed and informal environment.
Native-speaking instructors are welcome. Contact your district about earning non-credit hour learning experience and funding. Participation certificates are provided.

Thanks to Johnson County Community College and McGraw-Hill Publishing, the total cost of the retreat, which includes five cafeteria-style meals, two nights’ lodging (double occupancy) and all activities at the rustic Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center, is only $50 (non-refundable). A private room option is available for a small additional Cost Space is limited to 24 participants.
View a video of the 2014 retreat by searching “JCCCSpanish Immersion Retreat” on YouTube.
For registration information or questions, please contact Jim Hillen at [email protected]
KSDE Workshop: Tips and Tricks for Teaching (mostly) in the Target Language
McPherson High School
9 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Friday May 6

Hosted by the McPherson World Language Department. RSVP with Neva Krug, [email protected]
Our national and state standards set a goal that at least 90% of instruction be in the target language. Students need to be trained to fit into an immersion setting. This can be done by establishing routines on Day 1, using prior knowledge, scaffolding activities, and carefully crafting comprehensible input. Borrow from a “mature” teacher’s bag of tricks to build your confidence. The presenter will help you justify this practice to doubting students, parents, or administrators.
Proposal for Seal of Biliteracy
A presentation about a State Seal of Biliteracy will be presented to the Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday, April 19. The presentation will be made by Phyllis Farrar and Julie Ewing, Education Program Consultants at KSDE, for World Languages and ESOL and Title III programs, respectively. The meeting agenda, instructions for viewing it live, or accessing recordings can be found on the Board of Education webpages at ksde.org. This an informational item only after which board members may ask questions, make suggestions, or ask for more information.

January 13, 2016
A good year for World Languages! - 2016
Let’s make 2016 the best ever for World Language acquisition in Kansas!
1.      Kansas Standards for World Languages review committee invitation
2.      Adopt a Seal of Biliteracy
3.      Increase Professional Development and Growth
4.      Fill all positions with highly qualified language teachers
1. Nominations for KS World Language Standards Review Committee
The Kansas State Department of Education requests nominations of candidates for a World Language Standards Review Committee. The committee should include members from all ten State Board of Education regions,  certified teachers in all languages taught in the state, and represent various grade levels and program types. We also need administrators, counselors, university faculty, and community members as reviewers. The committee will work during the 2016 calendar  year. We anticipate several virtual meetings – one to start the task (April) and several (July – August ) to complete it and one face-to-face workday in June. In order to nominate a colleague or yourself to this committee, please fill out the nomination form  by February 15, 2016.  Here is the “Invitation” form; you can  fill it out in Google Forms.

2.    Adopt a Seal of Biliteracy
At its meeting on Tuesday, January 12 in Topeka, the KSDE World Language Advisory Council completed proposal to take to the Kansas Board of Education this spring asking to adopt a State Seal of Biliteracy.
The idea for a State Seal of Biliteracy originated in California. Ten states have adopted a state approved seal, 12 more states are in planning or piloting stages and a number of local districts are also adopting  individually. At least two large districts in Kansas are discussing the possibility. The proposal recognizes a growing need for graduates who can function in a global society.  Proficiency in English and in at least one other language are recognized on a high  school diploma. National guidelines for this recognition can be found here:  http://www.ncssfl.org/ . The proposal includes two levels of recognition, a Gold Seal for ACTFL Intermediate Mid Proficiency and Platinum Seal for ACTFL Advanced Low. In Kansas, a State seal would become official if approved by the Kansas Board of Education,  while district seals could be adopted by individual districts’ Boards.
At its business meeting Saturday morning, Nov. 7, of the KSWLA conference in Wichita, the members voted to support such a plan for Kansas.  All teachers will need to advocate for it to become a reality.
3.    Increase Professional Development and Growth

A. The Sunflower Chapter of AATSP has reorganized, hoping to energize Spanish teachers. Their website is being refreshed and will be moved to the KSWLA.org website soon. They have a new Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/KATSPgirasol/ . Please show the new leadership that you support their efforts by adding a “like” or “comment” to their page.
B. Professional Learning Community: for language teachers who are “singletons” (only one in the building or district) are welcome to participate in a virtual Professional Learning Community. The group will meet on Jan. 20 (the third Wednesday of each month,)  always at 3:30-4:30 p.m.. The focus is two-fold: 1) teaching in the target language and 2) using common summative assessments. RSVP for the group by email to [email protected] Use this AdobeConnect address to join the meeting. http://ksde.adobeconnect.com/world-language/   Please join us!
C. Standards-Based Grading: In response to some recent requests for information about standards-based grading, here is a useful resource. This link comes from the CASLS Intercom, a weekly collection of teaching resources. I encourage you to  go to https://casls.uoregon.edu/ to sign up for Intercom. To read the article about grading, just….  Click HERE  to view in browser
4. Provide a highly qualified teacher for every school

A.     The principal of Towanda Circle High has asked me to announce that they have a Spanish teaching job to fill beginning February 1. Here are the details he provided about the job:
We teach on a block schedule.  So, the individual will teach three classes per day, with one plan per day.
·        Individual will teach three Spanish 1 and three Spanish II classes
·        Roughly teach 120 students
·        Full time position
·        Start date is Feb. 1

Please contact him if you know of anyone who would be interested.
Todd Dreifort, Principal
Email:  [email protected]
Phone:  316-541-2277
B.  The Visiting International Teachers program will soon begin recruiting teachers from Spain and China for 2016-2017. Any district interested in expanding their language program can use this resource to fill short-term staffing needs (1-3 years). More information  about the program, including application deadlines and interview processes, are available here. http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=491  Districts should inform Phyllis Farrar, KSDE, of their interest by the end of February 2016.
Have a great year!!
September 29, 2015
Here is the latest news for the KSDE Languages Listserv
·        Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – October 15, 2015
·        German Reunification (10/3) and German American (10/6)  days
The 9/28/15 newsletter from the regional Center for Latin American Studies provides various resources that will help Spanish teachers and students celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. The Listserv format does not allow me to use the pictures  and formatting of the newsletter, so here is just a sample of the newsletter. Be sure to follow the links for more resources. - Phyllis
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors  came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September  15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,  Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.
The above overview and more information – including resources for teachers - can be found at the Library of Congress-hosted website:  http://hispanicheritagemonth.gov/
American Latino Theme Study: the Making of the United States ( from the National Park Service):  http://www.nps.gov/history/heritageinitiatives/latino/latinothemestudy/index.htm
A fun quiz from NBC:  http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/hispanic-heritage-month/hhm-quiz-1-n424861
Latino or Hispanic?  http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/08/27/434584260/hispanic-or-latino-a-guide-for-the-u-s-presidential-campaign
Five  Favorites for Hispanic Heritage Month:  http://www.nypl.org/blog/2015/09/15/five-ya-hispanic-heritage
Below are Center-sponsored events.  There are also a number of wonderful events planned as part of Olathe’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month – please see attached calendar.  Of particular  interest for teachers, Sonia Nazario, author of the Pulitzer Prize winner,  Enrique’s Journey, will be at Indian Trails Middle School (1440 E 151 St 66062) for a talk on October 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m.  

   ·        Salsa Dance Lessons
Monday, September 28th, 7:00-8:00 pm
Dance Because Studios, 330 Bob Billings Pkwy #11
     Dance Because Studios opens their doors for free Salsa dance lessons to those that have pre-registered.

   ·        Flamenco Clinic
Tuesday, September 29th, 4:00-5:00 pm
Murphy Hall, Room 114
     Free flamenco music and dance clinic available to anyone -no registration required-! Beau Bledsoe and  Michelle Heffner-Hayes will demonstrate the concepts behind one of Spain's great treasures. Participation not required.

   ·        Exhibition of Latin Dances From the Americas and Dance Party!
Thursday, October 1st. 7:00 – 11:30 pm
Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St, Lawrence ($10 General Admission)
     Come celebrate Latin American dance traditions, including Samba, Colombian Cumbia, Salsa, and Tango with the Lawrence community. Performances will be followed by a DJ'd Salsa open-dance party.

   ·        Live Music and Milonga (Tango) Dance Party with Cucharada
Friday, October 2nd, 7:00-10:00 pm
Eldridge Hotel, Big 6 Bar, 701 Massachusetts St.
($5 General Admission)
     The Eldridge Hotel will feature Argentine tango group Cucharada. The opening hour will be DJ'd and dance instruction will be made available. After 8, the band hits the stage to conduct a milonga for dancers and listeners alike.

   ·        Latin American Cinema Festival of Kansas City: “El Almuerzo” (“The Lunch”)
Saturday, October 3rd, 11:00 am
Rio Theatre 7204 W. 80th St., Overland Park, Kansas ($6.00)
     Sociedad Hidalgo continues its annual Latin American Cinema Festival this week with a screening of Javier Torre’s 2015 film with commentary by KU’s Veronica Garibotto.  The group will  be screening Latin American films throughout the month of September. The  full schedule with trailers is online.
Visit us Center for Latin American Studies online:
Web:          http://latamst.ku.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KULATAMST
Twitter:     https://twitter.com/KULatamst
Danika Swanson
Outreach and Project Coordinator
Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies
University of Kansas
[email protected]
German Reunification and German American days
Resources include lesson plans for both 
·       Tag der Deutschen Einheit, 3. Oktober.  This year the German Federal Republic celebrates its 25th anniversary of reunification.
o   Celebrations in Berlin
o   Celebrations in Frankfurt
o   Website for „Fall of the Wall“ 
·        German-American Day, 6. Oktober.
o   Webpage listing Famous German-Americans,  http://german.about.com/library/blfam_geramABC.htm 
o   Timeline of German-American history. 


September 10, 2015


Greeting! This is the first message of the year to the KSDE World Language Listserv. Topics include:


·        World Language Benchmark Assessments Workshop

·        Kansas World Language Association Conference in Wichita

·        Professional Learning Community

·        Visiting International Teachers

·        KATG Immersion Weekend

·        German Immersion Weekend and MOU

·        Advisory Council discusses State Seal of Biliteracy


World Language Benchmark Assessments

Teachers looking for performance assessments to use as one of their measures of student growth should consider using Kansas Benchmark Assessments.  These performance assessments were collaboratively developed based on Kansas World Language Standards.  They are available on the WL Assessment webpageThere will be a one day training workshop on Friday , November 6, at the Wichita Marriott. This all-day workshop  (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) will provide foundational training for Level 1 and Level 2 Interpersonal assessments, all languages,  with a brief overview of Level 3. A validity discussion will be part of the day, as well as scoring practice using recorded student samples. There is no fee for the workshop. To RSVP your spot, please use the KSWLA conference registration form, and stay for the conference Friday evening and Saturday. 

Kansas World Language Association Conference

Meet with other teachers from across the state at the Wichita Marriott, November 5-6  for “The Magic of Languages” annual KSWLA conference. The Keynote Speaker is John DeMado, returning to KS after about 20 years, as positive, engaging, inspiring, and entertaining as ever! Break-out sessions (20+) will be presented by your colleagues at K-12 and post-secondary levels. To attend you must be a KSWLA member. For the first time this year, registration and payment can be handled entirely online! Go to www.KSWLA.org . IF YOU ARE A FIRST OR SECOND YEAR TEACHER IN KANSAS, please contact me ASAP. I will nominate you to be a VIP at the conference, which would allow you to attend without the registration fee.


Professional Learning Community

All KS language teachers, especially those who are “singletons” (only one in the building or district) are invited to participate in avirtual Professional Learning Community. I will moderate the group’s virtual meetings, using AdobeConnect and Google docs , once per month during the school year. We will meet the third Wednesday of each month, 3:30-4:30 p.m.. This is intended to be professional development focusing specifically on two areas that appeared to be ‘weaknesses’ on recent KSDE WL Quality Surveys: 1) teaching in the target language and 2) using common summative assessments. To join the first meeting use this AdobeConnect address. http://ksde.adobeconnect.com/wl-standards/  Please join us!


KSDE Visiting International Teachers

Ten teachers from Spain have accepted positions in Kansas school districts, joining the four (three from Spain and one from China) who remain in the program from last year. They received warm welcomes from these districts: Auburn-Washburn USD437, Cherryvale USD 447, Valley Falls USD 338 , Jefferson County North USD 339, and Topeka USD 501. There are now a total of ten teachers from Spain employed in the expanding dual language program in two elementary schools and a middle school Topeka. The rest are teaching at secondary level. Welcome to Kansas!


German Immersion Weekend and MOU

Kansas Association of Teachers of German (KATG) will celebrate their 30th year of conducting annual immersion weekends for teachers. They will meet September 25-27 at K-State University Student Union, Flint Hills Room, beginning around dinner time on Friday evening. The theme is German and STEM (MINT); presenter is Katrina Griffin, an AP high school teacher from Maryland who initiated a “STEM Magnet program”. For registration materials, contact KATG President Daniela Thrasher, [email protected]


On Sunday, September 38, Irene Mrazek,  from the Zentralstelle für das Auslandschulwesen will continue support of progressive German programs with training for the Deutsche Sprachdiplom 1 assessment. The training invitation has been sent to a dozen participants for a workshop. For more information about how your program can qualify for these assessments, write to [email protected], or seek her advice at the KATG Deutsches Wochenende.


A Memorandum of Understanding has been finalized between the Zentralstelle für das Auslandschulwesen and Kansas Department of Education to formalize support for German teaching in Kansas. Just as with the MOUs with France (2013), China (2006) and Spain (2001) it recognizes a variety of ways to collaborate in support of language learning. Plans are still being finalized for a signing ceremony of the MOU on the weekend of the KATG Deutsches Wochenende.


World Language Advisory Council discusses State Seal of Biliteracy

The KSDE World Language Advisory Council is considering a recommendation to the Kansas Board of Education to adopt a State Seal of Biliteracy. Using an idea that originated in California, nine states (California, Washington, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and New York) have adopted a state approved seal, 13 states are in planning or piloting stages (Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts) , and individual districts have shown growing interest. It taps a growing need for graduates who can function in a global society and benefits students in multiple ways.  Here are some places to get more information:

Seal of Biliteracy Guidelines: http://www.ncssfl.org/

California’s state procedure: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/er/sealofbiliteracy.asp

Promotional website: http://sealofbiliteracy.org/


If you have strong feelings for or against making such a recommendation, please send me your thoughts to share with Advisory council members. There are about 20 people on the council. We meet 3 times per year

To view posts from previous years, click here.

The “Languages” listserv of the Kansas Department of Education
 provides periodic posts of information for world language teachers, supervisors, and administrators.

Request to join by sending an e-mail to: [email protected].


 (back to top of page)