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Schools turn to Chinese language classes with help of Chinese government
CNN Radio

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

(CNN) About 75 students at Hillsboro High School in Nashville, Tennessee, finished their first semester of Mandarin Chinese. Hillsboro Principal Terry Shrader says the inaugural class has been a success.

"We feel like, with the flattening of the world economy, that students who are able to learn some Mandarin and learn something about the Chinese culture have a leg up when they move into college and eventually the work force,” Shrader says.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Foreign language educators encourage fluency, but students say it's a challenge
Republican Herald

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spanish is the foreign language of choice in Schuylkill County high schools with German a close second.

Meanwhile Latin, a traditional part of the curriculum 50 years ago, is still taught in Schuylkill Haven Area and Shenandoah Valley.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Madison Schools' dual-language program prompts concerns
Wisconsin State Journal

Monday, November 28, 2011

Students in the Madison School District's dual-language immersion program are less likely than students in English-only classrooms to be black or Asian, come from low-income families, need special education services or have behavioral problems, according to a district analysis.

School Board members have raised concerns about the imbalance of diversity and other issues with the popular program.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Advantages of learning a foreign language at an early age
Today's Zaman

Friday, November 25, 2011

Learning a new language at any age is an enormously rewarding experience in many ways. While language learning is an enriching experience for all ages, children have the most to gain from this wonderful adventure. Quite simply, starting early offers the widest possible set of benefits and opportunities.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Chinese immersion programs grow in state
St. Cloud Times

Monday, November 21, 2011

At Yinghua Academy in northeast Minneapolis, children’s art lines the walls — thumbprint trees, traced hands, self-portraits. It looks like most elementary school hallways, but the kids have signed their artwork twice, once in English and once in Chinese characters.

Yinghua Academy opened in 2006 as the first Chinese immersion charter public school in the Midwest. Students learn a curriculum ranging from history to math, all in Mandarin Chinese. Teachers instruct students completely in Chinese for kindergarten and first grade. In second grade, one English class is added, and by sixth grade the curriculum is taught half in English and half in Chinese. Signs on classroom doors ask visitors to not speak English to the teachers in front of students.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Spanish in Darien elementary schools proposal returns
Darien Times

Friday, November 18, 2011

Darien schools continue the debate over exactly what type of Spanish foreign language program would be introduced to elementary schools, if any at all.

On the table is a program that would last for 45-minutes and happen once a week, comprising 2.5% of total instructional time and replacing the current library period. It would require the hiring of five additional teachers and would cost roughly $320,000 annually.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Board of Ed Revisits Plan to Teach Spanish at Elementary Schools
The proposal would add $344,000 to the operating budget.
DarienPatch

Monday, November 14, 2011

Darien school administrators have revived a proposal to add Spanish language classes at the town's elementary schools, citing studies supporting the practice and nearby districts that are already doing the same.

Judith Pandolfo, assistant superintendent of elementary education, introduced the idea at Wednesday's Board of Education meeting. Her presentation echoed a similar plan presented a year ago and backed by many parents — one that was ultimately cut from the 2011-12 budget in the face of mounting special education costs.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Learning German through rock music
School language offerings changing with the times
CNN

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The new Germany has no space for your lederhosen-clad image. And forget that dark German music scene promulgated by metal industrial bands like Rammstein. Here comes Madsen, a four-piece indie rock band with heart and high-energy live shows. They are one of the most popular new bands in Germany, with several top 10 hits.

Madsen is made up of brothers Sebastian, Johannes and Sascha Madsen and their friend Nico Maurer. They are touring the United States to promote the German language and their audience is mostly high school and college students like 10th grader Maya Dudley of Chamblee, Georgia. She saw the band in Athens on a field trip with her German class.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Spanish sí, Latin non
School language offerings changing with the times
Asbury Park Press

Friday, November 4, 2011

“Veni, vini, vici.”

The Latin phrase from Julius Caesar, meaning “I came, I saw, I conquered,” was once familiar to most high school students in the days when Latin was a required subject in the early part of the 20th century.

Latin remained the most commonly taught foreign language until about 1950, when Spanish took the lead. Today, Spanish is now the language of choice for 72 percent of high school students who take a foreign language, followed by about 15 percent who take French, 4.4 percent German and 2.3 percent Latin, according to a 2007-08 survey by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

Read the rest of the article online.

 

What Teachers Can Learn from English-Language Learners
Education Week

Friday, November 4, 2011

I am blogging from the Education Trust conference this afternoon in Arlington, Va., where one of the few presentations focused on English-language learners featured student voices.

Dr. Betty Smallwood from the Center on Applied Linguistics presented a fascinating video of students from Arlington County, Va., talking about what teachers can do better to teach them English. The video is part of a professional development program developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Mother Tongues and Multilingual Education
The Island

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The term ‘multilingual education’ which embodies the idea of using at least three languages in education, namely, the mother tongue, a regional or national language, and an international language was adopted by the United Nations’ Educational, Social, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at its General Conference in 1999. As one of its important roles, the organization provides international frameworks and parameters for educational policy makers to guide their decisions about complex issues. Language, or rather the choice of the language of instruction, is one such area. A 2003 UNESCO position paper about mother tongue and multilingual education makes this observation: "While there are strong educational arguments in favour of mother tongue (or first language) instruction, a careful balance also needs to be made between enabling people to use local languages in learning, and providing access to global languages of communication through education."

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Immigrant Students Get Crash Course In Being An American High Schooler
KPBS

Friday, October 28, 2011

SAN DIEGO — The morning English lesson in Gwen Osgard’s classroom at Crawford High School is coming to an end and 17-year-old Phu Nguyen is practicing reading.

Nguyen arrived in the United States from Vietnam in May. So far, she’s liking her classes here more.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Mandarin has the edge in Europe’s classrooms
Financial Times

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Asked at the start of their first Chinese class what motivated them to take up the language, the students of the Institut de la Providence, a secondary school outside Namur in Belgium, give their new teacher varied answers.

“It’s a big country,” says one. “I’ve been to China and would like to go back,” ventures another.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Raising bilingual children: The infant and toddler years
Washington Times Communities

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SILVER SPRING, MD, October 13, 2011—We live in an increasing interconnected world.  We have become a global society.  Many of the goods we buy are from other countries, movies and music are shipped to other parts of the world, and we can video chat with people on other continents as easily as we can talk to someone who lives down the street.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Danbury High's Hispanic population has nearly doubled in last decade
NewsTimes

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DANBURY -- Hispanic youths now represent the largest minority group in the country's public schools and are the fastest-growing segment of students, according to a report of the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center.

The same is true in Connecticut, where by 2009, one of every seven public school students in the state -- 72,592 of 563,796 -- had a dominant language other than English and 47,000 were dominant in Spanish, according to the state Department of Education. And in the 2010-11 school year, there were 104,220 Hispanic students.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

DPI, UW-Madison School of Education project receive federal grant
News from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

September 28, 2011

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education’s World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA), has received a $10.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to build a technology-based assessment system for English learners.

The department is the lead agency in a 28-state consortium that is working with WIDA and five other development and research partners to develop new assessments for English learners.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Give Foreign Languages Another Chance
Lexington resident Andrei Radulescu-Banu is among those speaking up in favor of foreign language instruction at the elementary school level.
Lexington Patch

September 28, 2011

A new school year has started, and students fill the halls with excitement en route to their classrooms at Lexington's Diamond Middle School.

In Ms. Joan Yarmovsky's 6th grade, the class is learning its first few French words. Teacher and students have set up a small decorum - a Bistrot table, a restaurant sign. In the distance one can make out the Eiffel Tower. They are taping a dialogue to be watched on the tall smart board screen, and perhaps to be shown to visiting parents later in the week during Curriculum Night.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Two Thoughts on Education This Week: The Double-Speak of Dennis Van Roekel
Dropout Nation

September 23, 2011

A Little Consistency, Please, Mr. Van Roekel: Maybe the ghost of idiosyncratic-yet-militant teachers union legend Albert Shanker had taken a hold of him. Or perhaps, he is a little jealous of all the attention Randi Weingarten gets from her failed triangulation of the school reform movement. But National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel attempted to play the role of school reformer during an “education braintrust” session held yesterday at the Congressional Black Caucus’ annual legislative pow-wow.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Our Achievement-Gap Mania
American Enterprise Institute

September 21, 2011

A decade ago, the No Child Left Behind Act ushered in an era of federally driven educational accountability focused on narrowing the chasms between the test scores and graduation rates of students of different incomes and races. The result was a whole new way of speaking and thinking about the issue: "Achievement gaps" became reformers' catch phrase, and closing those gaps became the goal of American education policy.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Arabic Instruction on Rise in U.S. Schools Since 9/11
Education Week

September 9, 2011

In exploring changes in the classroom since the 9/11 attacks occurred a decade ago, one notable development is growth in the teaching of Arabic as a foreign language. To be clear, it's still rare in comparison with most other languages, but the study of Arabic has been gaining ground in U.S. schools, in part with federal assistance.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Kindergarteners Schooled in Mandarin, English
Students in the test dual immersion program for pre-kindergarteners became an official kindergarten cohort with the start of the school year on Monday.
Diamond Bar

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In January, the Walnut Valley Unified School District tested out plans for a dual language immersion program with around 40 pre-kindergarten students.

On Monday, the program went from test mode to official with the class of kindergarteners slated to be studied as a group through fifth grade enjoying their first day of school.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Dual language immersion program faces challenges
Wisconsin State Journal

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

As the Madison School District's dual language immersion program enters its eighth year, the increasingly popular option for native Spanish and English speakers is experiencing growing pains.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

How to Raise a Global Kid
Taking Tiger Mom tactics to radical new heights, these parents are packing up the family for a total Far East Immersion.
Newsweek

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Rogers, age 8, stands among her classmates in the schoolyard at dismissal time, immune, it seems, to the cacophonous din. Her parents and baby sister are waiting outside, but still she lingers, engrossed in conversation. A poised and precocious blonde, Hilton Augusta Parker Rogers, nicknamed Happy, would be at home in the schoolyard of any affluent American suburb or big-city private school. But here, at the elite, bilingual Nanyang Primary School in Singapore, Happy is in the minority, her Dakota Fanning hair shimmering in a sea of darker heads. This is what her parents have traveled halfway around the world for. While her American peers are feasting on the idiocies fed to them by junk TV and summer movies, Happy is navigating her friendships and doing her homework entirely in Mandarin.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

N.J. congressmen introduce legislation to use $50M in federal funds for foreign-language education
Sacramento Bee

Sunday, June 05, 2011

TRENTON — When Rep. Rush Holt heard about FBI storerooms stacked with untranslated documents and U.S. businesses losing contracts for want of bilingual negotiating power, it became clear to him the country had a language problem.

The solution, decided Holt (D-12th Dist.) and others who advocate more extensive foreign-language instruction, lies in bolstering the nation’s budget-strapped K-12 programs.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

L.A. diocese opens bilingual schools
Sacramento Bee

Sunday, June 05, 2011

LOS ANGELES – The Valencia-Fragas household is a mix of cultures and languages embodied in 3-year-old Adan Fragas.

"How do you say blue in Spanish?" Adan's mother, Edith Valencia, asks him, pointing to a bright blue train in a picture book.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Foreign-Language Programs Stung by Budget Cuts
Education Week

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The federal government has a huge demand for proficient speakers of foreign languages, but Congress substantially reduced funds to support the teaching of foreign languages to K-12 and college students in the budget deal struck for fiscal 2011.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Socrates in Spanish
Inside Higher Ed

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When parents are given a choice of primary and secondary schools for their children, schools with foreign language immersion programs can be some of the hottest draws. By learning not just literature and grammar, but also physics and philosophy in a foreign language, students are thought to develop a more expansive view of the world and be more intellectually and culturally nimble, as well as being able to speak fluently in two tongues.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Dual-language immersion programs growing in popularity
Dual-language immersion programs are the new face of bilingual education — without the stigma. They offer the chance to learn a second language not just to immigrant children, but to native-born American students as well.
Los Angeles Times

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In a Glendale public school classroom, the immigrant's daughter uses no English as she conjugates verbs and writes sentences about cats.

More than a decade after California voters eliminated most bilingual programs, first-grader Sofia Checchi is taught in Italian nearly all day — as she and her 20 classmates at Franklin Elementary School have been since kindergarten.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Across nation, Latin a target
Backlash over proposed cuts not unique to county
Centre Daily Times

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Facing a large budget shortfall, high school administrators proposed eliminating the Latin program.

Parents and students turned out in large numbers to object, arguing that studying the language improves performance in other areas, provides a foundation for studying the sciences or the law, and makes it easier to learn French, Spanish, German or Russian.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Push language choice? Nyet, nein, non, nope!
Chicago Tribune

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

For parents determined to convince their middle school student to study a particular foreign language, linguistics expert Nancy Rhodes offers a bit of advice: First, be grateful your child's middle school even offers a foreign language program.

Then back off and let your child decide.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Beyond Our Mother Tongue: Learning Chinese a new step toward achieving a well-rounded education in Taunton?
Taunton Gazette

Saturday, March 12, 2011

‘Yi, er, san, si …” Teacher Gina Chang prompted her small after-school class at East Taunton Elementary School to count aloud with her in Mandarin Chinese one recent afternoon.

The seven students, most of them still in first grade, are in the early stages of learning a new tongue, a pursuit that will expand their minds and give them a leg-up in their future lives, said many adults involved in the program.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Chinese language classes growing in popularity
Daily Record

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sure, China is a booming economic powerhouse, host of the 2008 Summer Olympics and a producer of vast quantities of goods used every day in American homes.

But ask some students why they take Mandarin Chinese classes in school, and they don't immediately say they want to compete on the world stage or gain an upper hand in international business and trade.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

H-E-B school district to offer Arabic language classes
Star-Telegram

Sunday, February 20, 2011

As part of its efforts to prepare students for a global work force, the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district will offer Arabic language classes next fall.

Arabic will initially be taught at Central Junior High School in Euless and eventually at L.D. Bell and Trinity high schools. The district already offers Chinese and Hindi, among other languages.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

New Jersey to Open First Chinese Immersion Charter School
Excellent Education for Everyone (E3)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Following the introduction of dual-language immersion programs in a growing number of public schools around the country, New Jersey is opening its first public school with dual-language immersion in Chinese and English in September, 2011. The Princeton International Academy Charter School (PIACS) was approved by the New Jersey Department of Education in January, 2010 and will be the third public school in New Jersey offering dual-language immersion. In September 2010, a Spanish/English immersion school opened in Hoboken and a Hebrew/English immersion school opened in East Brunswick.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

A whole new language
Norwell high schoolers among growing number in US to learn Arabic
Boston Globe

Sunday, February 13, 2011

At age 16, Meaghan Lynch has her heart set on becoming quintilingual — but one of those languages presents some unique challenges.

The Norwell High School junior has studied Spanish; at home, she’s teaching herself Italian; her goal after that is to learn one of the Celtic languages (Gaelic or Welsh). And now at school, she’s delving into Arabic.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Multilingualism promotes cultural understanding
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Protesters abroad fill the streets, cars are set on fire, militiamen hunt down dissenters -- and we watch correspondents report these events in our own English language.

"Our world is shrinking," we hear people say.

The Internet has accelerated this phenomenon of globalism, and these global connections are made possible by the fact that today many people across the world speak and understand English.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

'Equip the children with language skills that will give them an edge'
KVAL News

Friday, January 21, 2011

EUGENE, Ore. -- In China, party hosts still have about two weeks to prepare for New Year celebrations, but students 9,000 miles across the globe in Eugene are already celebrating by singing a traditional New Year song in Mandarin.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Groups pay homage to Farwell BOE
Clare County Review

Friday, January 21, 2011

Monday night’s two-hour Farwell Area Schools’ Board of Education meeting was filled with presentations. In honor of School Board Recognition Month, each school thanked the Board by way of presentations that highlighted the programs that, through Board support, make Farwell’s curriculum unique.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

Americans lag in learning foreign languages
Immersion skills and other programs try to combat the trend
Columbia Missourian

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

COLUMBIA — At 6 years old, Travis Worsowicz, walked through the door of his kindergarten classroom ready to learn English — and Japanese.

Today, Worsowicz, a junior broadcast major at MU, is preparing to spend next semester in Japan where he will be the first student to participate in the newly established study abroad program through the Missouri School of Journalism.

Read the rest of the article online.

 

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