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Friday, September 19, 2014

Classes teach young children foreign languages

WBALTV – Megan Pringle

“Experts have always said that the earlier a child learns, the better, and that’s true for learning a foreign language, too. A growing number of parents are enrolling their young children in classes like Spanish and Mandarin Chinese because studies show it can boost a child’s brain function.” (more)

Students drawn to study Mandarin and Japanese

The Sydney Morning Herald – Henry Belot

“Japanese and Chinese languages remain among the most popular studied at the Australian National University…Dr Mark Strange, head of the Department of East Asian Studies at the ANU, said the interest in the languages reflected both the geopolitical and economic importance of China and Japan…” (more)

Tech is removing language barriers – but will jobs be lost in translation?

The Guardian – Martin Williams

“Could Microsoft’s Star Trek-inspired translation service ever replace professional human translation?…no matter how much the translation industry develops and improves, no translation will ever be as good as understanding the language for yourself, says Nataly Kelly. “When you learn words and phrases, you also learn cultural values.” (more)

Beyond the big three: French, German and Spanish aren’t the only languages that matter

The Conversation – Abigail Parrish & Florentina Taylor

“The shortage of foreign language skills in the UK is now a permanent preoccupation…Employers report that they cannot find the necessary linguistic abilities among UK school leavers. The most critical shortage is recorded in languages of the fastest-growing markets: Russian and Mandarin.” (more)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Building a Diverse Workforce: Minorities Studying in China

The Huffington Post – Carola McGiffert

“…my job is to increase the number of Americans who study Mandarin and study abroad in China. Why? Because the US-China relationship is the most consequential in the world. The state of global security — whether in terms of climate change or global economic stability; nuclear weapons or public health — depends on how well the US and China collaborate.” (more)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Achtung baby: the future is bi-lingual

The Age – Julia Proctor

“From Chinese to French, Italian to Japanese, Victoria is on track for every prep to learn a second language from next February.” (more)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

U.S. lacking in foreign language education

The Red and Black – Zach Hawkins

“Learning a foreign language can be one of the most difficult tasks in a person’s life. Whether it be in academia or just for fun, being introduced to a new language can be incredibly daunting for some people.” (more)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Best Language for Math

The Wall Street Journal – Sue Shellenbarger

“Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Turkish use simpler number words and express math concepts more clearly than English, making it easier for small children to learn counting and arithmetic, research shows.” (more)

Learn Spanish or Get Left Behind

TeleSur – Staff Writer

“By 2050 the United States will be the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation, the Cervantes Institute claims in a new report on the current state of the Spanish language.” (more)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Brain imaging study examines second-language learning skills

Domain B – Staff Writer

“With enough practice, some learners of a second language can process their new language as well as native speakers, research at the University of Kansas (KU) shows.” (more)