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10 Things You Need To Raise A Bilingual Child

The Huffington Post – Chontelle Bonfiglio

“Raising bilingual children comes with many well-known benefits. For parents, it can be very rewarding; however, it isn’t always as easy as some may think. Children don’t magically become bilingual overnight. Right from the start, it takes a lot of effort. There are various challenges to overcome along the way. There are certain things every parent needs to make the journey easier.”(more)

Breaking the language box in America

The Oxford Spokesman – Kay Nilest

“In other countries, it’s an expectation, not a hobby, to learn multiple languages. In fact, in many countries learning English as a foreign language is a requirement, according to Eurostat statistics. These statistics indicate that “just over half (51.2%) of upper secondary general education students in the [European Union] studied two or more languages.” This compares to barely 18% of Americans. In many American high schools, students are required to take at least two years of a foreign language. This is good in theory, however making something a requirement for so brief a time is ineffective. Students can just suffer through quizzes for four semesters, and ten years later show off their extensive vocabulary of the colors. No, this system is too formal, too brief, and begins too late in life.”(more)

The unfortunate demise of language learning

Varsity – Charlie Stone

“For over a decade, the number of pupils taking foreign languages for A level and beyond has been diminishing rapidly. This is, in part, the government’s fault: around a decade ago, foreign languages were removed from the core curriculum, taking away many 14-year-olds’ motivation and impetus to speak another language. However, the falling popularity of languages is perhaps down to something more serious: a deep-rooted way of thinking; an arrogance even, that English speakers have no need to learn another tongue because their own is by far the most important.”(more)

Language instruction leans forward in K12

The District Administration – Emily Rogan

“Alaska recently graduated its first class of Russian dual-language students who began the program in kindergarten. That’s just one example of the growing diversity of language-immersion programs in U.S. schools. While Spanish remains a constant, there is an increased demand nationally for dual-language programs in Portuguese, German, French and Mandarin, says Pete Swanson, president of American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and associate professor of foreign language at Georgia State University. Dual language and the increasing public awareness of the value of foreign language education will drive part of the discussions at the ACTFL’s convention in Boston this month.”(more)

Teens growing up multilingual has many benefits

The State Journal-Register – Anna Gegen

“Most Americans can respond to “¿Cómo estás?” or recognize the word “bonjour.” Others may have learned a whole new language in high school or college. But some teens in the area have grown up with more than just the odd phrase of a language other than English. According to a Gallup poll, about a quarter of Americans can hold a conversation in a language other than English. The poll also found that 43 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds can speak a language other than English.”(more)

Early bilingual studies will help tomorrow’s grads | Editorial

Lehigh Valley Live – Editorial

“In post-war America, public schools began looking outward in many respects — among them, requiring students to learn a foreign language. For many baby-boom kids, this meant a high school choice among Spanish, French, Latin, German. The space race of the 1950s and 1960s kindled an interest in Russian. Some school districts with the resources to expand curriculum began offering courses in Japanese and other “new” languages. Today’s global economy has sparked an interest in teaching Mandarin Chinese in many schools and colleges. While the relevance of specific languages tends to follow the shifting demographics of globalization, one principle of language instruction has remained constant: The sooner kids get involved in a second language, the more likely they are to pick it up in a useful, retainable way, whether in an immersion program or a less-intense, continuing exposure in elementary grades.”(more)