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Chinese language education lays solid foundation for future U.S.-China relations – Xinhua

“Encouraging more American students to study Chinese and study abroad in China will ensure Sino-American relationship grows and flourishes in the future, U.S. educators have said. “The goal is to strengthen the overall U.S.-China relationship by ensuring very strong people-to-people ties,” said Travis Tanner, vice president of 100,000-Strong Initiative Foundation, a non-profit U.S.organization that leads the Chinese language education initiative called “1 Million Strong.”…”The U.S.-China relationship is the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century,” Josette Sheeran, President and CEO of the Asia Society, said on Thursday. “Now is China’s moment in the world to emerge, and the language is key to understand not only China’s today, but also China’s history, and the way it thinks.””(more)

Opinion: The importance of international education on global mobility

Human Capital Magazine – Staff Writer

“This is a unique period in world history, which requires exceptional leaders, who can overcome major political, economic and environmental challenges. The perceived stability of historical superpowers is being contested by new political and economic powers and we are facing an age of dynamism in international relations. We can expect more regional collaboration such as ASEAN and Mercosur to develop and more individual countries – India, China, Brazil and soon maybe Indonesia or Nigeria – to play even bigger roles in global politics.”(more)

Feature: Chinese language learning open doors for American students

Xinhua Net – Li Ming and Xu Jing

“When Fuschi was at her first grade in elementary school, her mother got her enrolled in a Chinese language class. “My family was very supportive. Since then, I’ve always loved learning Chinese,” said Fuschi, adding that she hoped to use the language in her future job. “The number of students learning Chinese have boomed since the institute first opened in 2006,” Lu said. “Some kids are learning out of pure interest; others, especially their parents, think the language can be an important skill for future career.” Lu’s words were echoed by many other educators attending the Chinese Language Conference. Josette Sheeran, President and CEO of Asia Society, believed that U.S.-China trade has become a major factor that boosts the heat of Chinese language learning in the United States.”(more)

The key to learning a new skill? Wanting it badly enough

The Guardian – Matthew Youlden

“Imagine I gave you a book full of words, numbers and strange symbols – 150-odd pages of the stuff. Some of the things relate to each other in obvious ways, others not so much. Now suppose I’m going to test you: 50 questions about the contents of that book, how do you think you’d do? Well, if you can drive a car, chances are you’ve already done very well: those of you who passed the theory test recently will have got at least 43 out of 50 questions correct. That’s just one everyday example of the average person’s capacity to learn something that appears complex at first. Despite recently making the questions tougher, the DVLA still reports that the test has a pass rate above 50%.”(more)

Learning a language can boost mental agility in just one week

CTV News – Staff Writer

” A new study has found that just one-week of an intensive language learning course is enough to boost students’ attention spans. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh compared a group of 33 students aged 18 and 78, who were taking part in a one-week Scottish Gaelic course, with 16 other students who were taking part in a comparable course, but not learning a language. Their attention levels were measured using listening tests, which assessed each participant’s ability to concentrate on certain sounds and switch their attention to focus on relevant information.”(more)

Instilling success through languages

KPNX – JR Cardenas & Christopher Latella

“If Spanish is considered, by some, to be the language of the Gods, then Mandarin may very well be the language of the future. At Arizona Language Preparatory, in Northeast Phoenix, students are taught both Spanish and Mandarin alongside English. Arizona Language Preparatory is a charter school with the aim of helping their students achieve their fullest potential through an immersion in a trilingual education…”There’s a lot of scientific evidence out there that learning a different language also enhances your learning in other areas,” Michael Girety, a parent with three children in the school, said. “…they’ve taken state testing, and all of that, and their state testing scores exceeded the average, despite the fact that they spend a majority of their time learning other languages.””(more)