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Making Connections That Count

Language Magazine – Roberto Rivera

“My father is from Nicaragua, and when I was growing up, he brought several of his siblings to the U.S. to live with us. We mostly spoke Spanish at home, and there was a disconnect at school, because my teachers believed my “learning acquisition” in English was delayed. They ran a bunch of tests on me, and no one had the cultural sensitivity to ask if I was learning a new language. So I got labeled LD, and I deeply internalized that label. Even when we moved and it took my transcripts a while to catch up, I self-selected to be in remedial classes.” (more)

3 tenets for developing cultural competency in schools

E-School News – Leila Nuland

“Although educational equity is a fundamental pillar of the American education system, school districts are struggling to ensure their students feel included, safe, and supported. This is in large part due to a shift in the demographic makeup of the student population (non-white students are expected to make up the majority of public schools by 2024) while the demographic makeup of the teaching workforce remains constant (80 percent of teachers during the 2015-2016 school year were white).” (more)

Culture shapes the brain: How reading changes the way we think

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“From a research perspective, reading and writing is a fascinating phenomenon. After all, the first writing systems date back less than 6,000 years – the blink of an eye in the timescale of human evolution. How the human brain is nonetheless able to master this complex task is a key question. Current topics of scientific interest include exploring the differences between practised readers and illiterate individuals—and the consequences for people with reading difficulties—as well as the impact of poor reading and writing skills on global democracy.” (more)

Orange County parents opt to put children in language immersion programs

Los Angeles Times – Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil

“‘They’re learning how to speak English anyway, so it’s really no different for them to learn other languages at the time,” said Carrie Mizera, executive director of Renascence School International, a tri-lingual English, Spanish and Mandarin immersion program in Costa Mesa. “Their brains are really, really absorbent at that time, and that’s why we want to capture this opportunity and teach multiple languages.'” (more)

Lunar New Year: What the Year of the Dog is all about

Aljazeera – Staff Writer

“The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, is one of the most celebrated events worldwide. The date of celebration varies every year. The traditions and celebrations go back in time and are transmitted from generation to generation; they welcome health, wealth and good relationships to come in the new year.” (more)

4 Tools to Help Kids Develop Empathy and Cultural Humility

KQED News Mind/Shift – Danny Wagner

“Humility is not necessarily about modesty or pretending to be less than you are. In fact, people who are humble often have a high sense of self-worth; it’s just that they can recognize their own strengths and limitations. Research about humility also suggests a strong connection between being humble and being generous. For kids growing up in a media-driven world that often rewards narcissism, humility has become a way to stand up and stand out, like this valedictorian student who used a secret Instagram profile to sing the praises of his peers.”(more)