Renascence School Education News - private school

Monday, April 27, 2015

Feature: If you can learn Chinese, “Impossible is nothing” is far beyond a slogan

Xinhua Net News – Staff Writer

“Most people, including the Chinese, would agree that Chinese is one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world. And they are right. Though the beauty of the Chinese characters is indisputable, the writing system, which is not a phonetic one, could be daunting for any beginner. Not to mention the language’s tonal feature, which means that words differ in meaning based on tone as well as pronunciation. Therefore, when Kara Babb decided to learn Chinese in her second year in university, feedbacks from people around her were not that supportive. “How can you get that? It’s the most difficult language ever. Only super geniuses learn Chinese,” they said. Babb survived the seemingly formidable learning process, and the hard work she had put into the learning not only helped her gain an edge by grasping a useful foreign language, but also boosted her confidence.”(more)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Knowing multiple languages can be powerful

State Hornet – Brandie Maguire

“Knowing more than one language can increase a person’s marketability and enhance their quality of life. On Friday, April 17, a presentation called “Communicating for Success: Leveraging Language to Launch Your Career” welcomed a panel of five business professionals who attributed part of their career success to their knowledge of multiple languages…Anne Goff, a Sacramento State French professor, led the panel discussion including speakers Andrew Bondar, Boryana Arsova, Tanya Altmann, Clarissa Laguardia and Carolyn Yohn. Goff began the discussion by explaining the importance of languages in modern workplaces. “Businesses are becoming increasingly international,” Goff said…All of the speakers wholeheartedly agreed that learning another language benefitted their lives and careers in a positive way…The discussion focused on the idea that there are many companies that seek out employees who have foreign language skills and many job descriptions specifically list various languages as a requirement for the job. Being fluent in additional languages is not only a marketable skill, but can be personally fulfilling.”(more)

District gets Chinese language grant

The Newberg Graphic – Seth Gordon

“As one of 10 districts in the nation to receive a U.S. State Department grant through the Teachers of Critical Languages program, Newberg Public Schools are in exclusive company. Perhaps more importantly, the district and Newberg High School will become unique in the state as one of the few schools to offer Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language. The grant will pay for the district to host a teacher from China next year, hopefully laying the foundation for a permanent program. “Especially students who go into any kind of business that connects internationally, there just aren’t enough people who can speak that language,” superintendent Kym LeBlanc-Esparza said. “If we can give kids any kind of exposure, that’s a great head start for them.””(more)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

World of Opportunity

Connecticut College – Amy Martin

“As a high school student weighing his college options, Christopher Bothur ’07 was sure of one thing. “I grew up in Connecticut, I went to school in Connecticut, and I wanted to get as far away from Connecticut as possible,” he says. But a visit to Conn, where Bothur figured he’d at least inquire about study-abroad opportunities, would challenge, and quickly upend, his plans to leave the state. Bothur was struck by the College’s commitment to international education, highlighted by intensive language instruction, subsidized international internships and an interdisciplinary curriculum steeped in world affairs…in recent years, faculty, staff and students have been involved in discussions about how to revise and renew the general education curriculum, in place since 1973. One of the goals is to better integrate language and culture study into all facets of the student experience…All of the developments are designed to prepare Connecticut College graduates for an undeniable reality. “Students today need to be incredibly flexible in their ability to think across regional and traditional boundaries, while also synthesizing vast quantities of information,” says Amy Dooling, associate professor of Chinese and co-director of the Mellon Initiative on Global Education. “You can have an international career in New York City or Minneapolis or Atlanta. The reality right now in America is that global society is right here.” “(more)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

From Colorado to New York, Dual-Language Programs Grow

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“Dual-language programs that offer students the ability to develop competency in two languages are becoming increasingly popular across the United States. While a variety of types of these programs exist, most provide all content, including subjects like science, math and social studies, taught in both English and a foreign language, typically Spanish. While a varying amount of time is spent with each language, the goal is to have a half-and-half split by the time students enter the third grade. Researchers estimate that 1,000 or more such programs exist throughout the nation. Supporters of the movement argue that becoming bilingual allows students to better compete in the global economy, while researchers agree, saying such students perform better academically than students who only speak one language…Studies have proven that multilingual people have an increased capacity to think creatively, are open to more opportunities later in life, and show a decreased risk of developing dementia.”(more)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Commentary: Studying foreign language in high school helps in a globalized world

The State Journal-Register – Megan Crain

“The concept of foreign languages has always fascinated me. When I was a little kid watching “Dora the Explorer,” it was so cool to realize that “red” and “rojo” meant the same thing. I looked forward to taking a foreign language class in high school, because my junior high only offered a Spanish class with a limited number of students. When I got to high school and had to pick a foreign language class, I decided to take French. To me, the French language is one of the most beautiful languages in the world, and I couldn’t wait to learn how to speak it. That first class freshman year, I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t know if my teacher would be speaking completely in French, if I needed to have any background in the language, or how quickly I would have to learn. But we just went over classroom rules and discussed English words with French origins. While that doesn’t sound like the most interesting topic, it was kind of amazing to see what influence French had on other languages.”(more)

California celebrates multilingual students

The Sacramento Bee – Marissa Lang

“Speaking Spanish doesn’t make high school senior Karla Garza Plascencia feel different. It doesn’t make her feel like an outsider in a school where English dominates, or like a foreigner in a state where – just 16 years ago – more than 60 percent of voters supported a measure that gutted the state’s bilingual education programs. It gives her a sense of community, said Plascencia, who earned top scores on her Advanced Placement English and Spanish exams. It makes her feel more confident about her future. Plascencia, 17, of Foothill High School was among hundreds of students who received certificates Monday night acknowledging their achievement of the State Seal of Biliteracy, a state program that recognizes high school seniors who have achieved a “high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing one or more languages in addition to English,” according to the California Department of Education.”(more)

On The High School Diploma: A ‘Bilingual’ Stamp Of Approval?

NPR – Jasmine Garsd

“In the 1920s, Aurora Orozco crossed over from Mexico to Texas — a child of African descent who spoke not a word of English. She was an uneasy transplant. Many years later, in an essay published in 1999, she recalled attitudes towards students who were caught speaking Spanish in school: “My teacher, Mrs. White, would make me stay after class. With a red rubber band, she would hit my poor hands until they nearly bled.” Today’s students don’t have it so bad. Texas recently started offering a “State Seal of Biliteracy.” It recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English. Several states now offer these seals. Indiana passed a bill last week that would make that state the ninth to do so. Eight other states are considering joining the list.”(more)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Seminole to bring foreign languages to all elementary schools

Orlando Sentinel – Lauren Roth

“The fifth-graders in Mei-En Marler’s classes at Bentley Elementary can politely tell you what they ate for lunch, ask directions and introduce themselves – all in Mandarin Chinese. Her students are on the leading edge of a Seminole County push to teach foreign languages at the elementary-school level. In the fall, the district plans to offer either Spanish, French, German or Chinese to students at each of its 38 elementary schools. Parents at each school will be offered the option to enroll their children in the program. That will make Seminole the first school district in Central Florida and only the second in the state, after Miami-Dade County schools, to offer foreign languages to all elementary students…”This is a dream come true,” said Minnie Cardona, who is overseeing the rollout of the new language programs in Seminole schools. The district’s experience has been that students who take a world language do better on assessments in English as well. “It’s one of the 21st century skills,” she said.”(more)

Arizona Student Test Scores Excel After Superintendent Introduces World Language Program

iSchoolguide – Sara Guaglione

“Can learning another language help students achieve better results in other subjects? That’s certainly what one superintendent in Arizona wanted to find out what she introduced a world language program in 2008 – and the results speak for themselves. Superintendent Debbi C. Burdick integrated learning Spanish and Chinese languages into the elementary school level in her district of Cave Creek USD in Arizona, Education World reports. Years later, students “in the various world language programs have excelled above and beyond district and state averages, pushing the district up in rankings to fifth out of 227 districts in Arizona,” according to a District Administration article…”Our students excel in 21st century skills when they learn a second language,” Burdick said. “It makes them better global citizens.””(more)