RSI Corporate - Licensing

How schools in Brazil are teaching kids to eat their vegetables

PRI – Rhitu Chatterjee

“On a hilly slope in São Paulo City, a group of sixth graders is busy at work. They’re armed with seeds, soil and a range of gardening tools. Upside-down soda bottles, filled with water, outline a series of rectangular garden plots. A boy named Felipy Pigato tells me they are preparing the soil for planting…The vegetables they grow are used in school meals. But the real aim of the school garden is not to supply ingredients, he says, but to teach students where food comes from, so they can develop a connection to their food…Just like in the US, highly processed foods like fast food, soda, and high-fructose corn syrup have become all too popular here in Brazil. And obesity rates are rising, even among children. It is a nation-wide problem that has alarmed the government and public health experts in the country.”(more)

Saved by song: can singing improve your language skills?

The Guardian – Jonross Swaby

“The late Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” But what if they can’t understand you when you do? Many people who have learned a language outside of a country that speaks it will sympathise. You could be trouncing native speakers at Swedish scrabble, your French grammaire could be parfaite, and watching Colombian telenovelas could be a breeze – but open your mouth to say something to a native and you’re met with a bunch of “qué?”s and “quoi?”s. This happened to me the first time I went to visit relatives in Brazil. A desire to discover the culture of my Cuban-born grandparents drove me to start taking Spanish classes after I left school. Many years of self-study, language exchanges, and six months of living in southern Spain made me fluent, and so I picked up Portuguese vocabulary and grammar pretty easily. A few years before my trip to Brazil, having worked my way through a self-study book and audio-visual software similar to Rosetta Stone, I began writing emails to my aunty in Belo Horizonte, a south-eastern city about 270 miles inland from Rio de Janeiro. However, reading and writing are very different skills to speaking and listening.”(more)

Raise relational kids in tech-filled world

Times-Gazette – Jason Reynolds

“Parents: Is your child growing up social or growing up attached to a video screen? A new book by two of America’s relationship experts can answer that question for you and help you raise your child with a healthy balance of screen time…The average American child, at the age of 7, will have spent one full year of 24-hour days watching a media screen. Children between ages 8-18 spend an average of more than seven hours a day looking at a video game, computer, cell phone or television. Those numbers result in some scary details about the impact on children’s development…Screen time affects the development of a child’s brain: the neural circuits that control the more traditional learning methods used for reading, writing and sustained concentration are neglected. Children begin to use gadgets to communicate instead of using face-to-face communication. Young brains are not naturally empathetic toward others. Empathy must be learned around people, and screen time takes away from that.”(more)

Can Brain Drain Be Beneficial?

The Atlantic – Alexandra Ossola

“Although the long-term effects of the program won’t be seen for some time, educators around the world already agree with Lube: that Science Without Borders has been a huge success. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff recently pledged to send another 100,000 students abroad starting in 2015. The program was a huge experiment in the effort to raise Brazil’s scientific prominence and boost its manufacturing economy—and it was expensive, costing the government over $2 billion U.S. dollars already.”(more)

Boosting education exchanges between the US and Brazil

The Christian Science Monitor – Rachel Glickhouse

“Brazilians now make up 2 percent of the foreign student population in the US…one major factor is language…The government had previously begun offering free online English courses last year…Now the United States needs to follow its lead by doing more to provide better funding and support for foreign language learning, especially languages like Portuguese, Chinese, and Spanish.”(more)

How baby talk gives your child the best start in life

NewScientist – Aviva Rutkin

“THERE is only one real rule to conversing with a baby: talking is better than not talking. But that one rule can make a lifetime of difference…Early language exposure has since been linked to a number of cognitive skills, including attention, memory and emotional development.”(more)