California producing more bilingual high school graduates

Ventura County Star – Staff Writer

“More students are graduating high school in California fluent in at least two languages. Bilingual students can earn a biliteracy gold seal on their diplomas…“Becoming multilingual is a huge asset in today’s global economy, so I applaud the rising numbers of students attaining high levels of proficiency in multiple languages,” said Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, in a news release. “These skills will help students to live, work, and thrive in a multicultural, multilingual, and highly connected world.””(more)

The Role of Foreign Language in Global Economy [Video]

Ozarks First – Linda Ong

“Outside the United States, knowing multiple languages is the standard, not the exception. For Ivan Munoz, preparation precedes every busines trip to Latin America, but he said one skill gives him an advantage. “Being bilingual, helps a lot, because most of our customers are in Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, and Columbia.” Munoz said in our increasingly global economy, “cultural differences are still there and of course, language, is a big part of it.””(more)

University must adapt to bilingual world

The Daily Illini – Matt Silich

“As globalization continues to escalate in the 21st century, everyone is realizing it’s more essential than ever to have the ability to speak multiple languages. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always seem to translate here; The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign needs to do a much better job of ensuring that its students are well prepared for today’s multicultural world…The United States has long been a step behind other countries, particularly those in Europe, in bilingualism. It’s been estimated that around 20 percent of Americans are comfortable speaking two languages. For Europeans, that number has been reported as high as 54 percent…The University’s commitment to widespread foreign language learning should match its commitment to a diverse student population that has made becoming bilingual so beneficial — more needs to be done to ensure that students are prepared for the global communication of today’s world.”(more)

The Critical Role Of Teachers In Transforming Education Systems

Forbes – Ross Hall/Andreas Schleicher

“A lot of people are losing their jobs because the kind of ways we used to work and think are no longer relevant…The question is: how do we respond to this? How do we equip people with the skills that are essential in the modern world?…In the past, it was about building relationships with your family and immediate network. Today it’s about building relationships with people who may think differently from you—who may look at the world in a very different way…It requires the capacity to see the world through different lenses, to appreciate different value systems, to respect different cultures. And those people who are able to do that will find their way through this kind of world…So how can we develop these kinds of essential skills systematically?…it’s really about innovative teaching and innovative practice.”(more)

Go multilingual

The Hindu – ANURADHA SHYAM

“Language is one of the ways a culture expresses itself. It weaves a rich tapestry of a culture’s ideas, philosophy and ways of looking at the world. By learning a new language, one is opening the portals to understanding and appreciating the diversity and richness of human experience…subtle differences in ideology have become increasingly important in today’s world. With workplaces becoming globalised, these cultural differences are being valued. Companies look for people who have the skills not only to speak the language, but navigate through cross cultural diversity.”(more)

UWS School Director Says Starting Mandarin Early Gives Kids an Edge

DNAinfo – Emily Frost

“Elizabeth Willaum, the director of HudsonWay Immersion School, doesn’t speak too much English with the school’s 60 or so students, some of whom are as young as 2 years old…DNAinfo sat down with Willaum to find out more about HudsonWay and why she believes Mandarin is so vital…”Mandarin has continued to be a critical language — critical because [China] is the fastest-growing economy. The learning of Mandarin is an asset to children: It makes them marketable in their adulthood. That’s one of the strongest reasons…There’s also the [positive] impact on the brain…It makes for children who grow up to be highly efficient and sharper in their thinking…Language is like the window to a culture. When children learn other languages, they open up a window into that culture. It provides children an environment in which they learn to tolerate and appreciate people who are not like them. It allows them that multicultural lens and the ability to really navigate other cultures.””(more)