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Indifference toward Foreign Languages Could Cost Americans

Good Call – Marisa Sanfilippo

“Census Bureau data represent the most comprehensive evaluation ever of languages spoken in the United States. Previous data sets only included information on 39 languages, while the latest results gathered information on 350 languages. In the New York Metro area alone, the data reveal at least 192 languages being spoken at home, with 38 percent of the population older than 5 speaking a language other than English at home. In the Los Angeles metro area, 185 languages were identified and 54 percent spoke a language other than English at home.”(more)

Language learning aids attention, study says

Know Ridge Staff Writer

“Mental agility can be boosted by even a short period of learning a language, a study suggests. Tests carried out on students of all ages suggest that acquiring a new language improves a person’s attention, after only a week of study. Researchers also found that these benefits could be maintained with regular practice.”(more)

Opinion: Language education provides benefits to students

LSU Now Alaina DiLaura

“In an increasingly interconnected world, knowing more than one language is not only useful, but essential to success. The American education system lacks emphasis on the importance of language education. With budget cuts happening nationwide, educators have been forced to reorient teaching away from foreign language and toward subjects that are more prioritized.”(more)

Foreign language in elementary school: more talk, less grammar

The Chicago Tribune Kimberly Fornek

“In language classes in area elementary schools, students spend less time memorizing vocabulary lists and conjugating verbs and more time speaking and writing the language. “We may be learning fewer vocabulary words, but the words students learn they will remember and use on a daily basis,” said Kyle Schumacher, superintendent of La Grange Elementary District 102..”(more)

Learning the lingo: Taking up a second language before we’re 3?

The Irish Examiner – Arlene Harris

“Dr David Carey, director of Psychology at City Colleges and Dean of the College of Progressive Education, says introducing children to new languages before they even start primary school is a great idea. “All children can learn another language at an early age and it’s a wonderful gift to give to them,” he says. “The young brain, before the age of 5, is able to learn to speak another language without developing an accent — to speak it like a native. “And when a foreign language it taught in a fun and engaging style, without an obsessive focus on grammar, it opens the world to them. While learning any skill builds confidence and self-esteem, language learning is intrinsically rewarding to children.” The experienced psychologist says incorporating a new language into your child’s everyday life in an engaging fashion is the best way to create interest.”(more)

Opinion: Important to learn more than 1 language

The Pacific Daily News – Gerhard Schwab

“If we search libraries and the internet, we find numerous lists of Top 10 reasons why we should promote language learning. Research on language learning has long been at the margins of what was considered important research. However, in recent years, research on language learning has become a major focus of research in many research centers around the world — as it relates to personal, social, cultural, economic and political developments.”(more)