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Monday, October 20, 2014

Johnson: bilingual brains

The Economist – R.L.G.

“The researchers in this line of inquiry tend to share a common hypothesis: that being bilingual is a kind of constant inhibitory mental exercise. With two languages in the mind, nearly everything has two labels (words) and nearly everything can be expressed in two different kinds of sentences (grammar). Every time a thing is named, an alternative must be suppressed.” (more)

Friday, October 17, 2014

What Kind of Language Program Should My Kids Take?

Chicago Now – Nick Jaworski

“So you’ve made the right decision and decided to get your kids learning a foreign language. But, you need to find classes because you don’t speak one yourself. Well, what do you look for? You’re looking for two key elements – fun and immersion. And both really boil down to excellent teachers.” (more)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

School Successes Inspire N.C. Push for Dual Language

Education Week – Lesli A. Maxwell

“Raising achievement across the board—while producing a new generation of bilingual, biliterate students—is at the heart of North Carolina’s statewide initiative to replicate the success of Collinswood and dozens of other dual-language immersion programs that have taken root during the last several years.” (more)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Competition Requires Multilingual Americans

The Courant – Kevin Conlan

“Young adults who fail to sign up for language courses are missing out on a critical skill they need in the now globalized economy: foreign language proficiency. Without the ability to do business in other languages, the U.S. will fall behind other nations whose citizens are more linguistically nimble.” (more)

Bilingual children ‘show advantage’ in noisy classrooms

BBC – Judith Burns

“Children fluent in two languages learn better in noisy classrooms than pupils who speak just one, research suggests.” (more)

Language studies bring rewards

The Davis Clipper – Louise R. Shaw

“Students who don’t begin studing the Chinese language until they get to college are “not going to be professionally functional,” he said. “Whether it’s scientific research or government, we people who can speak the language, otherwise we’ll miss out on opportunities.” (more)

Mix of languages being spoken in US is changing

The Gazettenet – Tim Henderson

“The number of people living in the U.S. who speak a language other than English at home has grown to 21 percent, or 62 million, compared with 18 percent, or 47 million, in 2000, according to census data and the American Community Survey.” (more)

Monday, October 13, 2014

How A Second Language Betters Your Brain

The Huffington Post – Nathan Collins

“Speaking more than one language has some advantages beyond ordering food in the local tongue — psychologists believe that bilingualism has many other positive side effects. Now, researchers have evidence connecting bilinguals’ talents to stronger so-called executive control in the brain.” (more)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Foreign language push features new state credential

The Chicago Tribune – Diane Rado

“Limited proficiency in a foreign language is no longer acceptable in a global, multicultural society, experts say, and Illinois is launching a statewide initiative this school year to do something about it.” (more)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Two languages are better than one

My San Antonio – Larry Johnson

“There are definite advantages to learning a second and/or third language. According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, learning a second language at an early age has a positive effect on intellectual growth. It enriches and enhances a child’s mental development, leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.” (more)