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Monday, July 21, 2014

Learning second language can help delay dementia, says academic, as Royal Holloway launches new language scheme

Health Canal – Staff Writer

“The Languages for All initiative, which is being run by the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University, will commence in September, with classes being held on weekday evenings and Wednesday afternoons. Members of the public can choose from a variety of different courses in French, German, Italian and Spanish, with weekly two hour sessions spanning a course of 20 weeks.” (more)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Study: Babies’ brains practice language use

The Yakima Herald – Meeri Kim

“Researchers at the University of Washington are a step closer to unraveling the mystery of how babies learn how to speak. They had a group of 7- and 11-month old infants listen to a series of syllables while sitting in a brain scanner. Not only did the auditory areas of their brains light up as expected but so did a region crucial to forming higher-level speech, called Broca’s area.” (more)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Being bilingual: Parents see benefit in early language learning

Needham Wicked Local – Jonathan Dame

“…research produced in the last five to 10 years had shown bilingual upbringings to be beneficial for cognitive development. Bilingualism from a young age can boost executive function – skills like planning and self-control – and strengthen linguistic abilities such as understanding metaphors and synonyms…” (more)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Infants Begin Learning Speech Mechanics Long Before Their First Word; Speaking To Them Early Is Key To Language Development

Medical Daily – Anthony Rivas

“Babies are wonderful beings. Sure, they scream and cry uncontrollably, dribble everywhere, and you’re cleaning up after them constantly. But put all that to the side, and what you’re left with is a lovable little thing that always seems to be learning something new — it’s rather impressive, actually.” (more)

Modern languages ‘recovery programme’ urged by MPs

BBC – Hannah Richardson

“All parties should make an election pledge to improve teaching and learning of modern languages in the UK, a cross-party group of MPs and peers has said.” (more)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Want your bilingual kids to get ahead? Teach them a third language: computer code

SCMP – Chris Lau

“Whether or not they dazzle in final exams, students are expected to be numerate and literate, preferably at least in two languages (English and Chinese for most youngsters here). They may soon have to add a third language if they are to get ahead in the 21st century: code.” (more)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Emmanuel Day School to offer Spanish immersion program

Mercer Island Reporter – JOE LIVARCHIK

“Spanish teacher Maria Kearney has seen firsthand the benefits of being bilingual…Kearney said she always thought all preschools should offer immersion for Spanish or any language…“Being bilingual opens up a whole new world,” she said. “It’s the best gift [parents] can give their kids. It opens up a lot of possibilities and opportunities and at that age, why not do it? It is a priceless gift you can’t get later.”” (more)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dual-Language Programs Grow in Arizona Public Schools

AZ Ed News – Lisa Irish

“In kindergarten, Arizona students learn to spell simple, frequently used words, count by fives and so many other useful skills. At dozens of local neighborhood public schools throughout Arizona, many now also learn a second language through dual-language immersion programs.” (more)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Wanting it enough: why motivation is the key to language learning

The Guardian – Alison Mackey

“Second language professionals, after explaining what we do for a living, are inevitably asked “What’s the fastest/best/most foolproof method for learning a language?” Some of us like to answer: language by partner, meaning, go to the country and fall in love with someone who speaks only the language you want to learn and not yours. In academic terms, what we are recommending is that people make the most of something that is crucial for language learning – motivation.” (more)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Children take two extra languages in their stride

Swiss Info – Sonia Fenazzi

“The researchers add that children also learn how to learn languages. This leads to the development of what they call metacognitive skills: the ability to reflect on one’s own learning, find the best strategies and then decide when and how to use them. This effect is longlasting, on into the teens and adulthood.” (more)