Renascence School Education News - private school

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Advice for raising bilingual kids

The Latin Post – Jeanne Kim

“The list of benefits bilingualism brings isn’t getting shorter any time soon. Cognitively bilingual people are better able to switch between tasks, have increased problem solving capabilities, and can learn a third language more easily. For working adults, bilingualism can open more doors with jobs, and for the elderly can possibly delay dementia, including Alzheimer’s. But raising kids to speak a second language is tough, even when parents bring a heritage language into the family home. For me, growing up in English-language dominated Hong Kong, my parents had to actively help me learn their native Korean. Later, when we moved to Seoul, the challenge became helping me balance using English with friends and at school (where I spent a good portion of my time) with speaking Korean at home and in public spaces. Whatever your circumstances, here are a few tips on helping your children grow up bilingual, based on expert advice and personal experience.”(more)

Many Key US States Lack Early Development Plans for Dual Language Learners

The Latin Post – Nicole Akoukou Thompson

“Dual language learners have increased massively within the last few years, due greatly to immigration and the organic growth of Spanish-dominate U.S. born Latinos. That said, there’s evidence that identifying and supporting bilingual or multilingual students earlier in their cognitive development/educational process does not seem to be a state or national priority, although it can make all the difference in their future. Very few states demand early language assessments in early education programs, according to a new webinar by the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) and the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), titled “Young Immigrants and Dual Language Learners: Participation in Pre-K & Gaps at Kindergarten Entry.” A meager 40 percent of pre-K programs in 40 states require language assessment and the screening of children enrolled in those programs. Even less (38 percent) utilize home language surveys to pre-screen children or implement policies that make translators and bilingual staff accessible (30 percent).”(more)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Learning A New Language Helps Kids Better Understand Psychology, Diversity

The Medical Daily – Stephen Castillo

“There are several benefits of learning a new language, the latest being it promotes a better understanding (and acceptance of) psychology and diversity. The study, published in Developmental Science, tested a total of 48 study 5- and 6-year-olds who were either monolingual, simultaneous bilingual (learning two languages at once), and sequential bilingual (learning one language, then another). Researchers told the kids stories of English babies adopted by Italians and ducks raised by dogs. Afterwards, researchers asked kids if the babies would grow up to speak English or Italian and the ducks to quack or bark. Krista Byers-Heinlein, lead study author and a member of the Centre for Research in Human Development in Montreal, said in a press release that she predicted the sequential bilinguals’ personal experience of learning languages would help them understand human language is learned, while traits, such as animal vocalizations, were innate. While the first part of her hypothesis was true — sequential bilinguals believed babies raised Italian would speak Italian — they also believed this to be the case for the ducks. Not only did they think ducks raised by dogs would bark, but they also believed ducks would run instead of fly. Despite this, bilinguals were found to have an advantage.”(more)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Learning second language early in childhood behind developing super brain: study

The Micro Finance Monitor – Staff Writer

“Learning a second language after the age of 10 improves cognitive functions in the brain, which is helpful to develop a super brain, says a study. Researchers from University of Kent have analysed brain scans from 20 people aged 30 who lived in Britain for at least 13 months, spekaing more than one language and compared it with those who spoke only English.”(more)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Learning a language “improves” mental agility

The Herald Scotland – Andrew Denholm

“LEARNING a foreign language can improve mental agility, researchers have found. Tests carried out on modern language students found they were quicker at switching their attention between tasks compared to a group studying humanities. Academics from Edinburgh University who conducted the study said the results confirmed the cognitive benefits of learning in general and language learning in particular. Dr Thomas Bak, from Edinburgh University’s Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, said: “Our study demonstrates that learning languages is not only good for a person’s career and social life, but also has beneficial effects on cognitive functions, which go well beyond the language itself.” The research builds on two previous studies which suggested that speaking a second language could improve thinking skills in later life and help delay the onset of dementia.”(more)

5 simple ways to improve your foreign language skills

USA Today – Natalie Marshall

“It’s that time of year again when students from universities all across America are making their way to various study abroad sites. Studying abroad is an exciting and challenging time in a student’s academic career, but those who travel to non-Anglophone countries usually face an added challenge — the language barrier. This extra challenge is not as daunting as it seems, as there are simple ways to improve your language competence before you leave and even during your time abroad. Whether you need to brush up on the language skills you already have or you’re starting from scratch, these five activities can help you boost your language abilities.”(more)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Language skills provide job advantages

Grand Valley Lanthorn – Duane Emery

“Careers today are increasingly more demanding than in the past. Professionals need to have more skills than ever before when entering the work force. One of these skills is the ability to communicate, particularly fluency in more than one language. The benefits of speaking another language can range from a very specific skill set to much more generalized needs…Though there is a large commitment involved with learning another language, employers will see students’ hard work as an indication of their ability to commit to their perspective job. The ability to understand different viewpoints and maintain cultural competency are assets to any employer…”(more)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

How does mother tongue affect second language acquisition?

The Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“A new study is exploring how a person’s native language can influence the way the brain processes auditory words in a second language. Because cues that signal the beginning and ending of words can differ from language to language, a person’s native language can provide misleading information when learning to segment a second language into words. Annie Tremblay, an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Kansas, is trying to better understand the kinds of cues second language learners listen for when recognizing words in continuous speech. She also is studying how adaptive adult learners are in acquiring these new speech cues.”(more)

In schools south of Boston, a wide disparity on foreign language offerings

The Boston Globe – Johanna Seltz

“Students at Walpole High School can learn French, German, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish. At Hull High School, students have only one choice: Spanish. Massachusetts doesn’t require languages other than English to be taught, and the wide disparity in foreign language requirements and offerings is a fact of life in public schools across the region. “There are certainly very strong programs in Massachusetts, but it’s a commitment on the part of the [local school] district,” said Nicole Sherf of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association, a nonprofit group pushing for a state requirement for foreign language education. Sherf said her organization also is trying to get the state Legislature to create a “seal of bi-literacy” on high school diplomas to recognize students with foreign language expertise.”(more)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Growing First State foreign language efforts will take some students overseas

Delaware Public Media – Karl Malgiero

“Foreign language instruction opportunities are growing for students enrolled in Delaware’s public schools. A new partnership between the Department of Education and a company from China will expose Delaware high school students to Chinese culture and develop their language skills…The Delaware Summer Chinese Language Initiative for Communicating STEM (LinCS) program will place 24 students at Wanxiang’s automotive and industrial facilities for four weeks to experience the culture and develop language proficiency…Governor Jack Markell said research shows foreign language instruction most effective when begun as early as possible, calling the program a chance to provide Delaware students an edge in the global job market…The agreement comes as the Department of Education announces another expansion of the world language immersion program, adding six more elementary schools utilizing the immersion model of academic instruction in English half the time and either Mandarin or Spanish during the other.”(more)