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United States Needs To Significantly Increase Access To Language Learning To Remain Competitive

PR News Wire – Staff Writer

“The American Academy of Arts and Sciences today released the final report and recommendations of the Commission on Language Learning, a national effort established to examine the current state of U.S. language education, to project what the nation’s education needs will be in the future, and to offer recommendations for ways to meet those needs. “This report arrives at an important moment in our history,” American Academy President Jonathan Fanton said. “While English continues to be the most commonly used language for world trade and diplomacy, there is an emerging consensus among leaders in business and government, teachers, and scientists that proficiency in English is not sufficient to meet the nation’s needs in a shrinking world. And parents are beginning to understand that there are real benefits to teaching their children a second or third language in addition to English: cognitive benefits, important habits of mind, and new and valuable perspectives on the world.” While more than 65 million U.S. residents speak a language other than English at home, that number represents only 20.7 percent of the total population, and only a fraction of this cohort is considered proficient in reading, writing, and speaking a second language.”(more)

Language Study as a National Imperative

Inside Higher Ed – Colleen Flaherty

“A major 2013 report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences warned that at “the very moment when China and some European nations are seeking to replicate our model of broad education,” including the humanities, the U.S. was instead “narrowing” its focus and abandoning its “sense of what education has been and should continue to be.” The paper caught the attention of policy makers, including members of Congress. Four Republicans and four Democrats asked the AAAS to dig deeper into the state of language education in the U.S. They wanted to know what the U.S. could do to ensure excellence in language education, especially how it might more efficiently use existing resources. They also asked how language learning influences economic growth, cultural diplomacy, productivity for future generations and a sense of personal fulfillment.”(more)

10 meal, play tips for healthier, happier kids

The Chicago Sun Times – Jordan Owen

“Now that it’s March, you’re (hopefully) doing well on your own healthy New Year’s resolutions, but now it’s time also to focus on someone else’s health — your children’s. Child obesity is a growing issue across the country, but Chicago children have even higher overweight and obesity prevalence rates than other U.S. children in the same ages groups, according to the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children. About 70 percent of Chicago students do not eat the recommended fruit and vegetable servings per day. Dr. Jennifer Shu, the co-author of “Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup,” and Dr. Rebecca Unger, an attending physician at Northwestern Children’s Practice who has also worked at Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Wellness and Weight Management program, offer some of their best tips for happier and healthier children.”(more)

Sleepovers with stuffed animals help children learn to read

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Sending stuffed animals for a sleepover at the library encourages children to read with them, even long after the sleepover took place, say researchers in a new study in Heliyon. For the first time, the study proves stuffed animal sleepovers are an effective way to get children to read. The results also suggest that stuffed animal sleepover programs may help develop children’s prosocial behavior by encouraging them to read the books the stuffed animals had chosen during their sleepover. The researchers behind the new study, from Okayama University, Kanazawa University, Osaka Institute of Technology and Kyushu University in Japan, say they hope their results support the global spread of this approach, which has a positive effect on children’s reading habits.”(more)

Emotional Agility as a Tool to Help Teens Manage Their Feelings

KQED News Mind/Shift – Deborah Farmer Kris

“Navigating the ups and downs of the teenage years has never been easy, as young adults manage a lot of changes that are hormonal, physical, social and emotional. Teens could use help during this period; according to a recent study, the prevalence of depression in adolescents has increased in the last decade. One way teens can manage these experiences, according to psychologist Susan David, is by equipping teens with the emotional skills to “help them develop the flexibility and resilience they need to flourish, even during hard times.
“Emotions are absolutely fundamental to our long-term success – our grit, our ability to self-regulate, to negotiate conflict and to solve problems. They influence our relationships and our ability to be effective in our jobs,” said David, author of the book “Emotional Agility” and an instructor at Harvard Medical School.”(more)

What Happens If Obama’s ESSA Regulations are Repealed?

Education Next – Kate Maas

“On February 7, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 234-190 to roll back regulations created under President Obama that interpret the accountability provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The measure now goes to the Senate, where it’s likely to pass and then to President Trump, who has promised to sign it. News of this major move was largely lost amidst the coverage of Betsy DeVos’s fractious confirmation process. This is unfortunate considering that the Congressional action could affect American education more than the new education secretary, at least in the near term.”(more)