GLOBE Joins with ACTFL to Promote Content-Based Language Study around the World

Article excerpt

GLOBE is a cooperative effort of schools, led in the United States by a Federal interagency program supported by NASA, NSF, and the U.S. State Department, in partnership with colleges and universities, state and local school systems, and nongovernment organizations. Internationally, GLOBE is a partnership between the United States and over 100 other countries. Over a million primary and secondary students in more than 15,000 schools have taken part in the program; there are more than 28,000 GLOBE-trained teachers and those numbers are growing. The program naturally provides authentic content resources for language teachers in all six United Nations languages, with many more materials becoming available in other languages. GLOBE provides learners opportunities to participate in challenging interdisciplinary projects with classroom-ready materials for both foreign and second language instruction. For more information about how GLOBE can be used in the language classroom, go to http://www.globe.gov.

The Year of Languages is a time to focus America's attention on the academic, social, and economic benefits of studying other languages and cultures around the world. In line with this goal, GLOBE teachers have been actively working for years to promote foreign language integration, as well as facilitate English language learners to participate and excel in content areas such as science, mathematics, technology, social studies, and geography, in addition to language arts in the K-12 curriculum. An important milestone in this effort occurred when GLOBE signed a formal partnership with ACTFL in February.

Many teachers over the past 10 years have utilized GLOBE materials as the primary content for their foreign language classrooms, English-as-a-second-language (ESL), and English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) classrooms around the world. As a result, in 2003 the Center for Applied Linguistics and the ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics requested a manuscript to document how GLOBE is being utilized in these settings in order to disseminate more widely the benefits of GLOBE for our nations language programs. Current outreach efforts include formal presentations to language associations across the United States and to their respective State Departments of Education to facilitate U.S. partners in their efforts to conduct GLOBE training for bilingual as well as foreign language teachers in their states.

GLOBE provides a natural partnership for the contentbased language classroom. The GLOBE program can bring virtually every classroom in a school together to work on a single project with other students and scientists on an international level. Although GLOBE's primary focus is science, it also provides students concentrating on learning a second language with authentic opportunities to communicate in the language they are studying. Science serves as a focal point around which oral language and literacy can develop. The GLOBE Teacher's Guide, as well as materials such as cloud and soil charts, instructional slides, and many Web pages, provide language teachers with content curriculum that can be incorporated into their students' learning experiences.

Because GLOBE partners represent over half the countries in the world, with schools on every continent, in every time zone, and representing virtually every type of biome, the program naturally provides many resources for language teachers. Authentic materials ready for classroom implementation are available in all six UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish), and at least part, if not all, of the GLOBE Teacher's Guide is also available in Dutch, German, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Portuguese, and Thai, with many other materials becoming available in other languages through GLOBE's 106 international partner countries.

There have been a variety of implementation models for incorporating GLOBE in U.S. and international language classrooms over the past years. …