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Foreign language skills important in our global environment

Delaware Online – Dr. Annette Giesecke

“Fluency in a foreign language involves knowledge beyond ordering meals in a restaurant. Foreign language students are students of literature, business, art, history and diplomacy. They understand the complex intricacies of world cultures and can effectively communicate to promote mutual respect, cooperation and problem solving in an increasingly global and multicultural environment. There are also less obvious benefits of foreign language study. Research has shown that foreign language study helps children develop cognitive skills and native language reading ability. Foreign language study enhances problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Students of foreign language are not limited by the restrictions of a single perspective or world view. They employ diverse approaches to problem solving…”(more)

Teachers who hail from abroad bring the world to local classrooms

The Washington Post – Moriah Balingit

“Many of the students at Potomac View Elementary in Woodbridge hail from Guatemala, El Salvador or Mexico, sometimes showing up at school within days or weeks of their arrival to the United States. The adjustment — to longer school days, to a new language and to new friends — can be difficult. There is one teacher who understands that more keenly than others. Pablo Giudici moved from Argentina in the fall…Giudici is one of 56 teachers in Prince William who came to the county’s classrooms through the Visiting International Faculty (VIF) program, which brings teachers from around the world to work as world-language and general-education teachers for U.S. children…David Young, chief executive of VIF International Education, said the program was designed with the idea that students — even those who may never travel outside the United States — should be exposed to global perspectives.”(more)

Why International Students Benefit from Going to College in America

Forbes – Daniel R. Porterfield

““Education is all a matter of building bridges,” said the novelist Ralph Ellison. As the president of Franklin & Marshall College (F&M), I see such construction happening every day. More than one-third of our current first-year class comes from at least 1,000 miles away—and 14 percent of our entire student body is made up of international students, hailing from 55 countries. Such international reach reflects the increasingly global character of today’s American campuses…philosopher Martha Nussbaum believes we must cultivate in undergraduates capabilities like “the ability to assess historical evidence, to use and think critically about economic principles, to assess accounts of social justice, to speak a foreign language, to appreciate the complexities of the major world religions.” These are characteristic values of American colleges and universities—qualities of education that the international community is increasingly coming to see as essential for our interdependent multicultural world…it also benefits American students to attend colleges with global student bodies. Again and again, U.S.-born students describe the transformational value of learning with and from peers from around the world…Everyone wins when tomorrow’s global leaders spend their formative years learning intensively, sharing cultures, solving problems and building bridges, together.”(more)

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)