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PISA Menu to Include Global Competency

Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“In Kurashiki, Japan, last month, the G7 Education Ministers Meeting brought together representatives from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, U.S., EU, UNESCO, and the OECD to discuss the future of education in the world’s most powerful and affluent nations. They agreed that an assessment of global competence would provide a metric to measure progress in this area…International education, language education, and cultural studies are key to the success of the G7’s proposals for a new role of education…Beyond the ability to live and work in another language, world language education will help develop precisely the skills and values that the Kurashiki Declaration aims to promote, such as cultural respect, flexible thinking, and empathy for others.”(more)

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)

Instilling success through languages

KPNX – JR Cardenas & Christopher Latella

“If Spanish is considered, by some, to be the language of the Gods, then Mandarin may very well be the language of the future. At Arizona Language Preparatory, in Northeast Phoenix, students are taught both Spanish and Mandarin alongside English. Arizona Language Preparatory is a charter school with the aim of helping their students achieve their fullest potential through an immersion in a trilingual education…”There’s a lot of scientific evidence out there that learning a different language also enhances your learning in other areas,” Michael Girety, a parent with three children in the school, said. “…they’ve taken state testing, and all of that, and their state testing scores exceeded the average, despite the fact that they spend a majority of their time learning other languages.””(more)

The Future Speaks Chinese

Asia Society – Jeff Wang

“Foreign language study isn’t just about training every student to replace a translator; it’s about building a society of citizens that invoke mutual trust, respect, and possess the disposition to collaborate. These are critical elements of a world seeking a shared sense and responsibility for security and prosperity…We believe that making sure more of our young people learn and master a global language affords them not only advantages in career opportunities, but also the lifelong gift of fostering tolerance, sensitivity, and curiosity. Put simply, with every passing day it becomes clearer, and easier to make the case: The future really does speak Chinese; and that future holds more promise for the United States, if more of its citizens become students of the language.”(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)

King Calls for Return to Well-Rounded Education

U.S. Department of Education – Press Release

“U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. today called for a renewed focus on well-rounded education for all students, as states work to implement the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In a speech at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts in Nevada, King said the new law…gives schools, districts and states a chance to reset after years of focusing heavily on math and reading while other important classes—like science, social studies, the arts and world languages—took a back seat…Research shows that students—particularly historically underserved students—engage more deeply in learning when they are exposed to a variety of topics and can better connect what they are learning in the classroom with the world outside the school house. For example, there’s evidence that students improve at math when they’ve taken classes that connect science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with the arts…That’s why the U.S. Department of Education is taking action to support states and districts in ensuring schools provide a rich range of offerings—from arts and social studies to computer science and world language.”(more)