The Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR) at Michigan State University was established in 1996 as a Language Resource Center (LRC) through a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education. As an LRC, CLEAR strives to promote and support the teaching and learning of foreign languages in the United States through its various projects and outreach activities.
CLEAR develops materials for foreign language teaching and learning, conducts research on the teaching and learning of foreign languages, and provides professional development opportunities for educators in the field.
Notable CLEAR initiatives include the following:
- CLEAR provides high quality professional development for hundreds of foreign language teachers every year through hands-on training, workshops, and conference presentations.
- Web-based professional development materials are also available, including a collection of online video clips and accompanying materials on best practices in foreign language teaching.
- Dozens of free language-teaching resources are available on CLEAR’s website. These range from a collection of complete content-based lessons in Russian to video clips in other strategic languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean, with transcripts and lesson plans which teachers can use in the classroom.
- CLEAR’s largest online initiative is a suite of free tools that allow teachers to create their own online materials without having to do any computer programming. Thousands of teachers use these tools regularly; for example, there are nearly 19,000 “mashups” (multimedia activities such as a YouTube video combined with comprehension activities for students), over 19,000 “conversations” in which a teacher asks video questions and students respond online (over 150,000 responses so far), and over 38,000 “audio dropboxes” which allow teachers to collect audio recordings from their students (with well over a million speech samples to date!).
To learn more, visit the CLEAR website.