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Why it’s great to learn a second language

Health 24 – Staff Writer

“Is learning a second language on your bucket list? Here’s compelling evidence to get started right away. Numerous studies at institutions, including Penn State, have found that learning a new language is great for brain health. It can strengthen your brain just as exercise strengthens your muscles. And like muscles, the more you work at it, the stronger your brain gets.” (more)

The Importance of Being Multilingual

The Dickinsonian – Nadia Shahab Diaz

“Communication dominates our daily lives, whether it be at work, at home, abroad or in social settings. Thus, it is important to realize the impact that language has in our world and in how we interact with others. The United States, in particular, prides itself on being a melting-pot of cultures and histories. Its immigrant population boasts people from all over the world, bringing more languages and traditions to this country than I could possibly fathom. Yet, in my personal opinion, there still seems to be doubt towards the assimilation of languages besides English and a lack of prioritization when it comes to learning new languages, despite the many advantages that accompany multilingualism.” (more)

Voter initiative opens door to expansion of popular dual language immersion programs

Ed Source – Ashley Hopkinson

“As an initiative approved by California voters last November clears the path for districts to increase opportunities for students to become fluent in more than one language, the Fresno Unified School District is creating an educational track that will provide dual language instruction from preschool through 12th grade. The goal of the program is for English learners and native English speakers to start mastering two languages earlier in their school careers, and to maintain those skills through classes at every grade level.”(more)

The Answer Within—Making Language Personal

Ed Surge – Courtney L. Cochran

“Each word, every conversation, is focused on the students’ needs for information, and their own passions they bring to the classroom. After all, no child has—or even needs—the same set of vocabulary or structures to talk about herself, her life, or her family. Throughout the year, this language will grow and be used to tackle more and more complex situations that are based on the students’ lives and their needs for new words to describe the new situations. In my Spanish Language Acquisition course, this is what is meant by personalized learning.”(more)

As Movies And Videogames Go Global, New Jobs Open For Humanities Grads

Forbes – George Anders

“Create a popular U.S. movie, and you’ll want local-language versions of everything from T-shirts to trailers — fast! Come up with a dazzling videogame, and you’ll be scrambling for people who can convey an orc’s powers in languages ranging from Thai to Portuguese. Finding raw translation skills turns out to be the easy part. (Lots of online marketplaces and translation boutiques offer contract workers at every imaginable price point.) What’s trickier — and crucial — is to set up oversight systems to ensure everything gets executed properly. As a result, there’s booming demand for an intriguing class of experts, called localization specialists, localization managers and localization engineers. They pay attention to cultural sensitivities, so a joke that’s harmless in one culture doesn’t become offensive in another. They also devise checklists and templates to guarantee that each country’s build-out stays on track and gets done efficiently.”(more)

5 Reasons You Should Teach Your Child Another Language

The Huffington Post – Chontelle Bonfiglio

“My children who are almost three and five are bilingual. We live in Italy and they speak English and Italian to a native level for their ages. They have been learning Spanish for the past year and a half spending a few afternoons a week with a native Spanish speaker. Neither my husband nor I speak Spanish very well. My eldest can hold a good conversation though, while my little one understands a lot and can speak the basics. We also have fun learning bits and pieces from other languages. Before having children, I lived in many other countries and learned the basics of a few different languages. Sometimes I teach my kids a few words here and they love it. We recently introduced Mandarin, and hope that the language will spark interest in my children on a more serious note. Neither my husband nor I speak Mandarin, but we hope to learn a little along with our kids.”(more)