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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)

From inequality to immigration, new report examines what will shape future education

Shanghai Daily – C.M. Rubin

“TRENDS Shaping Education 2016 is a new OECD work which looks at major social, demographic, economic and technological trends affecting education…Author of the report and OECD Project Leader Tracey Burns joins us in The Global Search for Education to discuss the big picture of global changes and how they are shaping learning in our everyday world…Q: What kinds of skills should we be teaching to meet shifting labor needs? A: Educators need to be aware of the advanced skills their students will need to flourish in more knowledge-intensive labor markets, without neglecting the development of other important competencies. These include 21st century skills such as global languages, advanced digital skills, and social and emotional intelligence.”(more)

Is Spanish Just an Immigrant Language?

Language Magazine – Domenico Maceri

““Spanish, obviously, because we have a lot of Spanish-speaking people in our country.” That’s how Hillary Clinton responded to a question by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC about what language she would learn if she had the time. It’s an easy answer in many ways, because the number of Spanish speakers in the U.S. has increased to nearly 41 million. This would make it the fourth-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, after Mexico (121 million), Colombia (48 million), and Spain (46 million)…the importance of Spanish as a global language will continue. The purchasing power of the Spanish-speaking population already represents 10% of global GDP. The increasing purchasing power of Mexicans who stay home will expand it, adding value to the Spanish language. Whatever happens, Spanish, with more than 450 million speakers, is the number two language in the world after Mandarin. Knowledge of Spanish is thus very valuable. Americans already realize it. More than 10 million of them are studying Spanish in schools and colleges, making it the number one foreign language by far. Those Americans not familiar with Spanish would be smart to start learning it. It will be beneficial now and in the future.”(more)

Cape considers dual language immersion

Delmarva Now – Jon Bleiweis

“Spanish or Chinese could be the prominent language in a Cape Henlopen elementary school classroom in the near future, as the school district contemplates adding a dual language immersion program. It could happen as soon as 2017, according to district assistant superintendent Kathy Petitgout. It’s part of Gov. Jack Markell’s 10-year world language expansion initiative, which started in 2011. The goal is to have 20 immersion programs in the state and 10,000 students be part of them…Lynn Fulton-Archer, an education specialist for world language immersion with the state Department of Education, said the increase can be attributed to potential economic and academic benefits. Not only does it give students another marketable skill in a global workplace, but decades of research has shown that students who have an earlier start in language learning in an immersion education typically perform as well or better than their monolingual peers on standardized test, she said. It also has the potential to close the achievement gap across minority populations that are enrolled in the programs, she said.”(more)

Foreign language classes open up world global focus

Messenger-Inquirer – Karen Mallonee

“…we are looking at a future that is changing more rapidly than it has in any time in history…With these fast-paced worldwide changes comes a demand for greater knowledge of each other…The necessity of learning a second, third or even fourth language is evident when we realize our job is not about getting students comfortable with where they are now, but where they will be in 20, 30 or 40 years…They will need a world-class education with not a local focus, but a global focus with knowledge of interconnected world economics, markets, careers and cultures. It requires a diversity of thought and a deeper understanding of the 
7 billion inhabitants of this earth. Approaching other cultures is like looking through a door into another world. We can reject that world as foreign by slamming the door shut, or we can open our minds as we embrace the uniqueness and richness of other languages. The study of a world language engages critical thinking skills, as well as enhancing creativity, listening skills and memory while expanding one’s view of the world…As parents and educators, we need to emphasize to our children the vast opportunities that exist for those who choose to study globally with world language acquisition…”(more)