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6 Benefits of learning a second language

Women Spot – Melanie Motta

“A linguist by background and speaker of three languages, I am used to being surrounded by other multilingual speakers, who whether by birth, studies or time spent abroad, have come to appreciate the resourcefulness that comes with multilingualism. Over the years, through reading on the topic and swapping notes with other polyglots, I’ve enjoyed the immediate benefits of multilingualism as a traveller—I can order a cerveza at the bar of a Cuban resort, I can ask and receive directions to la Tour Eiffel, I understood why the waiter in Italy laughed when my husband mistakenly asked for cane (dog) on his pizza rather than carne (meat). However, to know that there are many science-based benefits to speaking more than one language, fills me with a renewed pride. Let’s explore what they are:” (more)

Learning a Foreign Language Helps Kids Think and Make Money. Why Don’t American Parents Care?

Fatherly – Cameron LeBlanc

“The advantages of teaching kids a second language are diverse and well-established by research. Cognitive functioning improves. Standardized test scores rise. Cultural knowledge increases. Career opportunities abound. Unfortunately, the vast majority of American kids are missing out on these benefits. According to a recent Pew study, the median percentage of primary and secondary students in European countries enrolled in at least one foreign language class is 92. Seven European countries can boast that 100 percent of their schoolchildren are learning a foreign language. In the U.S. however, only 20 percent of K-12 students are enrolled in a foreign language class. The U.S. could triple enrollment tomorrow and it would still be the worst of any country in the survey.” (more)

UK’s Mandarin Learners Head for Top of Class in Other Subjects

Women of China – Su Yilin

“Mandarin learning in British classrooms is enhancing the ability of students to perform well in other subjects, including English and mathematics, according to a new survey released on Friday. The report shows 89 percent of students studying Mandarin at schools taking part in the survey achieved GCSE Grade 5 or better in English. In comparison, among students at the same schools who were not learning Mandarin, only 72 percent earned GCSE Grade 5 or better in English. Similarly, 87 percent of students learning Mandarin achieved GCSE Grade 5 or above in mathematics, while only 61 percent made the grade among students not studying Mandarin.” (more)

Want to strengthen your brain for the fall semester? Try learning a second language.

The Courier – Tessa Morton

“Americans are largely monolingual, and that’s not a good thing. During the recent immigration debate (which is definitely not what this opinion piece is about), I heard the same, dare I say, ignorant phrase: if you’re in America, you should speak English. On its face, the argument makes sense. In America, English is the language that most people speak, so if you want to be understood, that certainly would make sense. However, why would hearing foreign languages ever be considered offensive? Speaking multiple languages is a strength that should be valued, and bilingualism is a skill that should be revered and aspired to, rather than jeered at.” (more)

California must continue to lead in closing the bilingual skills gap

Ed Source – David Bong

“High school seniors in nearly three dozen states walked across the graduation stage last month to receive a diploma with a unique distinction that signifies they are even better positioned for success: a Seal of Biliteracy. That’s because in today’s global economy and multicultural society, the skill of being bilingual is becoming increasingly valuable in the eyes of colleges and employers. In fact, a recent study from the New American Economy showed that demand for bilingual workers more than doubled between 2010 and 2015.” (more)

Why We Should Encourage Modern Foreign Language Learning

FE News – Sabine Schnorr

“It’s often said that children pick up new skills quickly; that their brains are like sponges and that they absorb information more rapidly. There’s also a perception that it’s easier to learn a language when you’re young and that you’re more likely to become fluent if you start early.” (more)