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5 Tips to Help Your Kids Learn a Second Language Fast

The Huffington Post – Charmaine Belonio

“Being bilingual has its benefits in this ever-changing and advancing world. So if you know some basics or you’re fluent with another language, teaching this valuable skill to your kids as early as possible is a wise decision you can make as a parent today. Why? Being fluent in another language is an asset your kids will surely find handy the moment they’re in the real word (and they’ll surely thank you for it.) I am not a native English speaker (my native language is Tagalog) but because my mom helped me learn the universal language early on, the skill proved to be quite useful for me.”(more)

Could dual language immersion be the future in our schools?

The Sheridan Press – Mike Dunn

““Today’s kindergarten class will graduate in 2029. What will that year look like?” Brian Deurloo said addressing parents and teachers Tuesday night. Deurloo is a Sheridan native, Casper resident and one of the leaders of a collaboration between parents, teachers and legislators called the Dual Language Immersion Parent Organization…These programs have been launched across the country…Deurloo said it’s very simple: If Americans don’t learn to speak more than one language today, they will be left behind in the business world tomorrow. While the most commonly spoken language in the world is English, a 2011 Bloomberg article stated that Mandarin Chinese is close behind. Spoken by more than 845 million people, Deurloo said Americans could have an advantage in business if they speak with clients in their foreign language. “The world is getting smaller. We can no longer afford to be monolingual,” Deurloo said.”(more)

Language learning: it really is harder to teach old dogs new tricks

The Telegraph – Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

“Now I’m not saying I’m an old dog, but on reaching middle age, learning new tricks became more difficult. As a German-born serial expat for most of my adult life, I got by with only having to learn English as a second language, plus a smattering of Arabic. I accepted that speaking quite fluent English did not necessarily mean I could understand it as spoken in Australia. Then I moved to France. Having visited habitually, I had a basic knowledge of vocabulary that could get me through a hotel stay and eating in a restaurant. However, forming a proper sentence and understanding the fast answer to a slowly pronounced question was another thing altogether.”(more)

Dual-Language Classes for Kids Grow in Popularity

The Wall Street Journal – Janet Adamy

“…schools that immerse students in a second language have become hot destinations for parents seeking a leg up for their children in a global economy. New York, Utah, Delaware and other states are adding classrooms where at least half of lessons are taught in a second tongue. Many of these programs started as a way to ease students from immigrant households into U.S. classrooms. Instead, they are attracting droves of native English-speaking families who bet that top jobs will increasingly demand bilingual skills thanks to foreign trade and a growing Latino population in the U.S. Programs that immerse students in Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic are seeing heavy interest starting in preschool…“In most parts of the county, it’s something parents are demanding,” says Marty Abbott, executive director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.”(more)

Raising Bilingual Children: Who Should Speak What?

The Huffington Post – Kevin M. Wong

“With more than half of the world able to speak two or more languages, multilingualism is slowly becoming a priority in the United States, with an estimated 20% reportedly bilingual in 2012. In addition to the obvious linguistic and cultural benefits of being multilingual, research shows that there are both cognitive and social benefits as well. To raise bilingual children, parents are recognizing that they need to start early — well before kids set foot in school. Wanting to immerse their children at home during those critical years of language development, parents are starting to ask: should one parent speak one language, while the other speaks another? What should children speak at home in light of the languages that will be taught in school, spoken among peers, seen on TV and heard in the community? This article addresses these questions by highlighting six research-based models that effectively cultivate multilingual speakers at home.”(more)

Language learning in schools: Are we wasting our children’s potential?

SBS – Sylvia Varnham O’Regan

“The school’s principal, Silvia Onorati, said bilingual education gave the students an opportunity that others didn’t. “Generally speaking in education in New South Wales the time devoted to language is very little,” she said. “That give frustration to whoever wants to learn another language because you don’t see the positive outcomes.” “Our children don’t even realise they are learning another language because it’s a part of their everyday life.” Despite having one of the most multilingual societies in the world, rates of language uptake in Australian schools are low, with the number of Year 12 students studying a second language dropping in the past 50 years from 40 per cent to 12 per cent. Victoria is so far the only state to make language learning mandatory from prep to Year 10. In Western Australia less than half of public schools offer programs to learn a second language.”(more)