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Communicating in a foreign language takes emotion out of decision-making

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“If you could save the lives of five people by pushing another bystander in front of a train to his death, would you do it? And should it make any difference if that choice is presented in a language you speak, but isn’t your native tongue? Psychologists know communicating in a foreign language matters. In a new study, they take a major step toward understanding why.”(more)

The State of Dual-Language Education Initiatives in U.S. Classrooms

Education World – Joel Stice

“As of 2015, there are 41 million native-Spanish speakers or roughly 13 percent of the population in the United States. To put that in perspective, there are more people, including second-language speakers, in the United States who speak Spanish than in Spain. Spanish is the second-most natively spoken language in the world, with around 400 million. Mandarin Chinese takes the top spot at nearly a billion native speakers, while English comes in third place. With business being more global now than any other point in human history, the need for more bilingual education is on the minds of many education experts.”(more)

Instilling in children a love for foreign languages

The Times of Malta – Staff Writer

“One of the greatest benefits for a child learning a foreign language is that of becoming aware of cultures distinct from one’s own. This is especially true for children living in a small country such as Malta. Even though the island’s demography has become much more heterogeneous in recent decades, it is still very homogenised. Today, being fluent in only one (and, to a certain extent, two) languages seems to be the exception rather than the rule given that many languages are spoken in the vast majority of classrooms in European countries, and Maltese classrooms are no exception. It is becoming almost impossible to find a classroom in which all students speak the same language. This makes it essential to find ways of addressing issues and challenges arising from diverse populations and multilingual and multicultural settings that were formerly unknown to primary classrooms.”(more)

Bilingual kids can pick up third language ‘more easily’: Study

The Strait Times – Samantha Boh

“Bilingual infants such as Summer are able to learn a third language more easily, a study by National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers has found. They are able to differentiate between words from an unknown foreign language, unlike their monolingual counterparts. “That suggests that the window on further language acquisition had started to close on monolingual children but was very much open for the bilingual children,” said Associate Professor Leher Singh from the NUS department of psychology.”(more)

Students thrive on Mandarin learning at Chicago’s top high school

Xinhua – Miao Zhuang and Xia Lin

“Upper schoolers at the Walter Payton College Preparatory High School like to warm up their get-togethers with a rendition of Jasmine, the classic Chinese folk song that U.S. President Donald Trump’s grand-daughter performed months ago during her visit to the Chinese Embassy in Washington. “Chinese is one of the most widely used language in the world. So I think learning it is super important, because so many different people speak it,” Helen, a Payton enrollee, told Xinhua in a recent interview. Xu Qun, who came from China for her Mandarin-teaching job at Payton, has noticed for a long time the trendy choice among American children, saying that “I think a lot of children in the U.S. are very young when they start learning Chinese. Some parents think Chinese is so important that they hire a Chinese-speaking nanny to look after their children.'”(more)

Bilingual babies listen to language

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Are two languages at a time too much for the mind? Caregivers and teachers should know that infants growing up bilingual have the learning capacities to make sense of the complexities of two languages just by listening. In a new study, an international team of researchers, including those from Princeton University, report that bilingual infants as young as 20 months of age efficiently and accurately process two languages.”(more)