Renascence School Education News - private school

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)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Why I would choose an immersion course over a language degree

The Guardian – Fred McConnell

“I did not choose Arabic for an undergraduate course because I loved learning languages. All that mattered to me was travel and adventure, and in that regard my degree was highly successful. But I loathed all forms of academic work and was under the delusion that academics could somehow transmit Arabic over the course of four years via exposure and mental trickery. By the end of my degree, I came no where near close to fluency. Yet, the fact I never memorised a thing or opened my mouth in class didn’t seem to bother anyone. I kept up just enough to pass and avoided having to overcome my terror of saying something incorrect.”(more)

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Reinvention of Bilingual Education in America’s Schools

Salon – Sarah Carr

“One afternoon last fall, I watched as a group of young Hispanic students trained to become the best Spanish-language spellers in America. Their thick practice packet for the fourth annual National Spanish Spelling Bee began with examples of the easiest words students might expect to encounter in the bee’s first round, like esperar (to wait for), cuidar (to take care of), and peluca (wig); it extended to much harder 20th-round samples, like fisioterapeuta (physical therapist), otorrinolaringologo (ear, nose, and throat specialist), and nenufar (water lily). The students, many of whom attended Sunland Park Elementary School in southern New Mexico, located just feet from the Mexican border, beamed with pride when they nailed words.”(more)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Silence is Golden in Language Learning

Chicago Now – Nick Jaworski

“We know from the experts that children must talk talk talk to learn a language. How many bilingual parents have children that understand, but can’t speak the language? The answer is a lot more than you’d think. Language use requires multiple parts of the brain with the receptive (reading, listening) and productive (writing, speaking) skills being in different areas. Each area needs development. However, there are definitely times when silence can, in fact, be golden.”(more)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Growing up bilingual: Two families find Spanish-English teaching opens doors in both languages

Oregon Live – Kelsey O’Halloran

“On a quiet street near downtown Forest Grove, Jennifer Weston’s four children are growing up bilingual. And as much as Weston and her husband believe in the benefits of speaking a second language, they can’t exactly take credit for their children’s immaculate Spanish accents and ease with the language.”(more)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Revolution in world language instruction taking hold in First State

Delaware Public Media – Larry Nagengast

“To the untrained ear, the sounds are virtually impossible to decipher, but the ninth-grade students are starting to figure it out….They are taking their first steps in learning the language spoken in the world’s most populous nation…What’s going on at A.I. du Pont is a part of a small but significant revolution in world language instruction in Delaware public schools. In high school, and even in kindergarten, learning Chinese is becoming an option for students who relish challenges and dream of careers that could find them circling the globe.”(more)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bilingual education: Every student learns in English and Spanish at Forest Grove’s immersion schools

Oregon Live – Kelsey O’Halloran

“In the dual language program at Echo Shaw and Cornelius elementary schools, students receive 50 percent of their instruction in English and 50 percent of their instruction in Spanish, with the goal of producing students who can speak, read and engage with the culture of both languages. The Forest Grove School District, with a 50 percent Latino student population, is the most heavily Latino district in the Portland metro area. At Portland Public Schools, by comparison, 16 percent of students are Hispanic or Latino.”(more)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Is Foreign Language Training the Key to Creating More Coders?

Ed Surge – Tony Zanders

“With foreign language degree programs going on the chopping block across the country, and media, business and education leaders sensationalizing the need for a million coders by 2020, one would assume that investment in foreign language training should decrease to fund teaching kids how to code. But is there more to the relationship between human languages and programming languages than meets the eye? In the digital age, the impact of immigration and globalization provides new context for the role of foreign language training, as these two entrepreneurs realized.”(more)