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I’m future-proofing my child with Chinese lessons – we should all be doing the same

The Age – Nicole Webb

“Research will tell you, learning any language at any age is beneficial and learning a language as a child should almost be a rite of passage. A study from Pennsylvania State University found learning a foreign language provides a competitive edge in career choices, enhances listening skills and memory and improves the knowledge of one’s own language. Multilingual people, especially children, are skilled at switching between two systems of speech, writing and structure. As an added bonus, according to a Macquarie University senior lecturer in literacy in a multicultural society, Dr Robyn Moloney, is that “After learning a secondary language, subsequent languages are easier to learn – patterns can be recognised a lot faster.” So no matter the language my now six-year-old is learning, be it Italian, French or Spanish, I’m delighted. But, still, we’re keeping up the Mandarin. For her and for me.” (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)

Diversity starts in schools – children need to see a wider range of careers

The Guardian – Staff Writer

“Ask a seven-year-old “what do you want to do when you grow up?” and you’ll get an answer built on very limited experience. But unless children are exposed to a wide range of options how can they know what opportunities exist that might interest them? The lack of awareness of primary school children of the full spectrum of careers is highlighted in a new study, Drawing the Future. Carried out for the organisation Education and Employers, the conclusion is that more of us need to go into primary schools to share our experiences of the world of work.” (more)

‘Reskilling crisis’ emerging as 1.4M U.S. jobs face technology disruption

Education Dive – Naomi Eide

“Referred to as a “reskilling crisis,” only 2% of workers could transition to new jobs if immediately called on to take another position that matched their skill set. Most other workers, however, have few skills required to transition jobs; 16% have no opportunities to transition to new jobs.” (more)

The urgent need to get more women involved in technology

The Toronto Star – Katherine Manuel

“There is a problem in the technology sector that too few are tackling, let alone talking about. A recent Brookfield report found only 9 per cent of software developers in Canada are female. Women’s participation in the technology sector has remained between 23 per cent and 25 per cent for well over a decade.” (more)

Innovative education programs key to future job markets, experts say

The Toronto Star – Brandie Weikle

“There’s a lot of teeth gnashing these days about how our kids aren’t going to be equipped for the workforce of the future. Should they all learn to code? Should they get a jump-start on the entrepreneurial life with lemonade stands and dog walking? The world of work is changing and schools have an important role to play in preparing our kids for a future that we can’t really even fully comprehend. But a growing chorus of experts says most schools aren’t adapting their teaching methods quickly enough to turn out the kind of workers we need.” (more)