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Why games are elemental in a language classroom

The New Times – Christine Osae

“Traditional teachers hold a common perception that all learning should be serious and solemn in nature and that if one is having fun and there is hilarity and laughter, it is not really learning. However, the field of language teaching has seen a drastic change moving from the classic educational model, where teaching is deemed a ‘serious’ matter, to the most flexible and communicative approaches upon which contemporary methods are based. Subsequently, a funny, low anxiety atmosphere in the classroom has become a prerequisite to effective learning. One of the best ways of inducing this atmosphere is through games. Many experienced textbook and methodology manual writers have argued that games are not just time-filling activities but have a great educational value. For this reason, they should be treated as central, not peripheral to the foreign language teaching.”(more)

Adios Monolingual Me! 9 Great Reasons to Study a Foreign Language

Shout Out UK – Emily Maybanks

“Having knowledge of one or more foreign languages is increasingly important in today’s society. Instead of being tongue-tied, here’s why you should learn:
1. When you’re looking for a job One of the main advantages of studying a foreign language is that it looks excellent on a CV. For a start, when applying for jobs and attending job interviews, it demonstrates to a prospective employer that you have a willingness and ability to learn, and will make the most of the opportunities the job will provide. Moreover, when applying for particular areas of work it can be especially useful. Knowledge of foreign languages for jobs in the hospitality sector, for example, allows you to communicate better with foreign guests in hotels and restaurants.”(more)

Career Benefits Of Learning A Foreign Language

The HR Digest – Jane Harper

“We stay in a fast-paced, hyper-connected world, and things are not going to change anytime soon. So, you need to be different or have some special skills to survive. In this competitive and continuously connected world, learning a foreign language may help you stand out in the crowd. The way companies are operating today across the globe, spreading their business in different countries, the speed at which global expansion is happening is faster than ever before. In such situation, learning a second language will be really important – no, mandatory for people to add an edge to their resume and have a competitive advantage during their job search. No doubt, most of the businesses are conducted in English, but with changing landscape, the career benefits of learning a foreign language are really extensive. It not only allows you to communicate with different people, it will also make you aware of different cultures.”(more)

4 Reasons Entrepreneurs Should Learn Another Language

Entrepreneur – Ben Simkin

“Today, emotional intelligence (EI) is viewed by HR departments as a critical skill. In addition to making you a better communicator, problem solver and team player, emotional intelligence allows you to step into other peoples’ shoes and walk a few miles. This, of course, is critical for entrepreneurs and innovators. In order for entrepreneurs to be effective and compassionate, they need to have a demonstrable history of well-rounded thought. According to Sean Hopwood, President of Day Translations, the best way to develop this is to learn a new language. Hopwood would know since he speaks seven languages and has mastered the intricacies therein.”(more)

Schools that teach in two languages foster integration — so how come so many families can’t find programs?

The Hechinger Report – Connor Williams and Catherine Brown

“U.S. Education Secretary John King has proclaimed school integration a key priority. Policymakers have focused on attaining diversity because of the benefits for all students, regardless of their background. School integration has been a critical priority for many waves of education reformers: students in diverse, integrated schools grow up better prepared to flourish in a plural democratic society and economy…So, what to do? Some have wondered if instead of promoting diversity for its own sake, school districts might attract families of diverse backgrounds to enroll in integrated schools by promoting unique educational themes. Might privileged families be willing to enroll their children in integrated schools that promise thematic instruction focused on science, the arts, or technology? Perhaps. But what if we took this thinking a step further and designed and promoted schools that actually required integration for their model to work? Dual immersion programs offer precisely that.”(more)

Why Multilingual People Have Healthier, More Engaged Brains

KQED News Mind/Shift – Staff Writer

“Prior to the 1960s, scientists thought children who spoke more than one language had a handicap for learning because they had to spend too much time distinguishing between languages. With more modern brain imaging technology, researchers can now see how multilingualism actually strengthens the brain. People who speak more than one language have a higher density of gray matter that contains most of the brains neurons and synapses. Scientists are also beginning to distinguish between young children who grow up learning and speaking two languages as compared to those who learn a second language in adulthood. Children use both hemispheres of the brain to acquire language, which means they often grasp the emotional implications of language more deeply. In contrast, adults who learned a second language tend to approach problems presented to them in that language in a more rational, detached way. Scientists hypothesize that it’s because adults often acquire language through the left hemisphere of the brain.”(more)