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News Archive - 2010

New Year's Resolution: Study Chinese
Huffington Post

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How's this for a New Year's resolution? Study Chinese.

In 2011, it might just be better for you than exercising and losing weight! Plus, you'll be in good company: Another person studying Chinese this year is Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, Time's Person of the Year.

Read the rest of the article online.


Language program may have kept Sacramento school open
Sacramento Bee

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Laura Valencia held out a board with five plastic hippopotamuses on it and asked her students to count them.

Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco chimed the kindergartners from their seats on the floor.

Valencia's kindergarten class is one of three at Edison Elementary School in Sacramento that teaches students almost entirely in Spanish. The program – called dual immersion – teaches both native Spanish-speaking students and English-speaking students.

Read the rest of the article online.


Second language until second grade stays PROP
Planet Jackson Hole

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

State legislators on the Joint Education Committee made the grade last Thursday when they voted to effectively kill a bill that would have done away with state-mandated early foreign language education. The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the bill, sponsored by Rep. Matt Teeters (R), failed in a 7-7 tie vote. As the Star-Tribune pointed out, “The provision in existing law does not include any funding for or description of a foreign language program,” which is problematic.

Read the rest of the article online.


Linguists to gather in Pittsburgh for national conference
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hundreds of linguistic scholars from across the U.S. and around the world will convene in Pittsburgh for the 85th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) this January. Members of the news media are invited to observe and report on the proceedings.

The meeting is scheduled for January 6-9, 2011, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown Hotel. The meeting provides a forum for the presentation of cutting-edge research focused on the scientific study of language. In addition to the LSA program, the meeting also features concurrent programs sponsored by the American Dialect Society, the American Name Society, the North American Association for the History of the Language Sciences, the Society for Pidgin and Creole Languages, and the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas.

Read the rest of the article online.


Is Italian finito in America?
PRI’s The World

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Eataly is a massive new food emporium for all things Italian in the heart of Manhattan. There are 50,000 sq ft of olive oil, pasta, prosciutto, and panettone, plus an array of places to find a meal. One of the partners behind Eataly is the author and TV chef Lidia Bastianich. “Here we have all opportunities to enjoy authentic Italian products that are artizanale, from the origins of Italy,” she says.

Like generations of Italians before her, Bastianich came to the United States when she was a child. America has been her home for more than half a century.

Read the rest of the article online.


America’s Chinese Problem
The reports of progress are wrong.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Cutting-edge programs like those at the immersion charter school Yu Ying in Washington, D.C., and reports of Chinese-language courses popping up in heartland America would all seem to suggest that Americans are on the fast track to learning Chinese—and ultimately understanding China. Indeed, it’s a thesis that just feels right. After all, with the recent economic crisis, Americans must appreciate better than anyone else our frightening loss of a competitive edge to the Chinese. You’ll be hard-pressed, the reasoning goes, to find anyone who doesn’t think grasping the language of the world’s fastest-growing economy is a good idea.

Read the rest of the article online.


Bilingual Mandate Challenges Chicago's Public Preschools
Education Week

Monday, November 29, 2010

Administrators in the Chicago public schools are seeking to strike the right balance between providing guidance and permitting flexibility as they put in place the nation’s first state mandate for providing bilingual education to preschoolers.

Read the rest of the article online.


As Erie High expands Mandarin program, principal heading to China
St. Vrain schools part of national trend toward training Chinese speakers
Boulder Daily Camera

Sunday, November 28, 2010

ERIE -- High school junior Nate Coyle is only 16, but he's pretty sure he can divine the future of global geopolitics.

"The Spanish language is a good language to learn, but it's better to take Chinese," he said at the end of a recent 90-minute class of Mandarin Chinese at Erie High School. "Because China is taking over."

Read the rest of the article online.


Education's language gap

Saturday, November 27, 2010

CHICAGO — Education policy has rarely garnered our collective attention as it does now. With debates raging across the country about how to boost student learning and evaluate and pay teachers, and whether Superman will show up to save the most poorly performing schools, education is a hot topic.

Read the rest of the article online.


Unique Bilingual Education Program Spreading Across New Jersey
Dual-language system benefits both Spanish and English-speaking students
NJ Spotlight

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Amanda Castaño’s classroom in a Long Branch public preschool, the four-year-olds get ready for reading circle with a song: "A leer, a leer, todos calladitos!" The native English speakers in the group join in as enthusiastically as the Spanish speakers, and when Castaño begins reading the story – in Spanish – the entire class is rapt.

Read the rest of the article online.


Chicago-based language immersion company expanding throughout the Washington region
Washington Business Journal

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teachers at Language Stars LLC are asked to meet one criteria: Act silly for a long time.

Teachers at Language Stars LLC are asked to meet one criteria: Act silly for a long time.

A mid-October scene at the new classroom in Alexandria fit the bill. “Chalaju, chalaju ...” a Chinese teacher, Xiaoxi Zhang, crooned playfully, dancing around the room to get the kids’ rapt attention. She fills the classroom space — dancing and playing around with the children, funny facial expressions flitting across her animated face. She urges the children to shake a rattler and sing along. She even makes parents, like Melissa Penado and Edwin Chavez join in, ignoring their bewilderment.

Read the rest of the article online.


Grant supports research and outreach on foreign language teaching
Penn State Live

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

University Park, Pa. — Government, business and community leaders agree that for the U.S. to remain competitive in a global economy, more Americans must be proficient in foreign languages and be knowledgeable about diverse cultures. Penn State’s Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research (CALPER) in the College of the Liberal Arts has received a new four-year federal grant of more than $1.2 million to continue to develop innovative approaches to language teaching, research and outreach that improves instruction in foreign languages in our nation’s high schools and universities.

Read the rest of the article online.


It's not Greek to us
Foreign language instruction should be required - even at young ages. Local school boards should think creatively.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Monday, October 25, 2010

When it comes to foreign language instruction in America, there is a lot we don't seem to understand.

As school budgets grew tighter, the share of elementary schools offering language classes fell from 31% to 25% in the 11 years ending in 2008; the share of middle schools dropped from 75% to 58%. The percentage of high schools offering language classes was about the same. The numbers come from a survey published this year by the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C.

Read the rest of the article online.


Strapped schools ax foreign languages
Class cutbacks are inverse of global rivals' strategies
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The central Wisconsin village of Marathon City (population 1,085) knows something about global competition that eludes many Americans: In a world of global trade, a second language can be a surefire ticket to a career.

Read the rest of the article online.


A Chinese immersion school may become a first in Boston
Sampan Newspaper

Friday, October 22, 2010

Language immersion programs have become increasingly popular in cities and towns across the country. If approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Boston Chinese Immersion Charter School (BCICS) will launch in the Fall of 2011 and become Boston’s first Chinese immersion school program.

Read the rest of the article online.


Bringing language to life at Hebrew Day School

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Hebrew Day School is unique among Ann Arbor’s elementary schools for providing a second language immersion program. As the name implies, this method of teaching immerses students in the second language for half the school day.

Read the rest of the article online.


Learning how to speak ‘American’
SnoValley Star

Thursday, October 21, 2010

They are teenagers in mind, body and attitude. But they struggle with their teachers’ request as if they were just starting their schooling.

Sharp, aware and studious, they speak one, two, sometimes even three languages other than English.

Read the rest of the article online.


At Sugarland Elementary, language lessons are key to all learning
Washinton Post

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On a Thursday morning at Sugarland Elementary School in Sterling, fourth-graders watched as their teacher pointed to an illuminated smart board in the darkened classroom. Together, they recited their lesson objective:

"The students will be able to discover artifacts that were used by the original Virginians!"

Read the rest of the article online.


Schools lag in language education
Jackson County schools, like those across the U.S., lag behind other nations in learning second languages
Mail Tribune

Sunday, Ocotober 17, 2010

As soon as eighth-grader Breanna Cwiklinski heard Mandarin Chinese would be offered at Central Point's Scenic Middle School this year, she was eager to sign up for the class.

"There was nothing else like it," Breanna says. "It's the first time ever there was another language to learn (at school), and it was a good opportunity."

Read the rest of the article online.


New teaching model aims to help English language learners

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Glen Ellyn, IL — Glen Ellyn School District 41 is implementing a new instructional model to address the educational and linguistic needs of English language learners while simultaneously teaching other students in the classroom.

Teachers districtwide began training this summer on the research-based model known as Sheltered Instruction Observed Protocol.

Read the rest of the article online.


Kindergarten kids learn in two languages
Des Moines Register

Friday, September 10, 2010

One kindergarten class at St. Anthony School has a teacher and boys and girls.

In the other, there's a maestra who teaches little niños and niñas.

They're part of a new Spanish-immersion program that the south-side Catholic school launched this year. The goal is to spend 90 percent of each kindergarten day learning in Spanish so that the students will eventually be fluent in two languages.

Read the rest of the article online.


DEA wants to hire Ebonics translators

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration: Ebonics translators.

It might sound like a punch line, as "Ebonics" -- the common name for what linguists call African-American English -- has long been the butt of jokes, as well as the subject of controversy.

But the agency is serious about needing nine people to translate conversations picked up on wiretaps during investigations, Special Agent Michael Sanders said Tuesday. A solicitation was sent to contractors as part of a request to companies to provide hundreds of translators in 114 languages.

Read the rest of the article online.


What if 'English Only' Isn't Wrong?
Foreigners learn our language; we don't learn theirs.
Wall Street Journal

Friday, August 20, 2010

On the campaign trail in 2008, Barack Obama was asked about foreign-language education. He responded emphatically, calling it "embarrassing" that most Americans are monolingual. Being able to speak a foreign language makes you "so much more employable," he said. "We should be emphasizing foreign languages in our schools from an early age."

Read the rest of the article online.


School language programs thriving
They don't require additional funding
Ventura County Star

Friday, August 6, 2010

In the midst of a budget crisis and deep cuts, a specialized language program has continued to thrive in local public schools.

Dual-language or two-way immersion programs generally don’t require any additional funding, and some local districts have received grants to help, officials said. The programs’ popularity among local families also has given them a boost.

Read the rest of the article online.


Au revoir for study of French, German?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Jaclyn Davis, of Akron, Ohio, may be as American as apple pie, but when she answers the phone at La Gourmandine bakery in Lawrenceville, her accent is as rich, fruity and authentically French as the tarte aux fraises sold there.

Read the rest of the article online.


Let’s Stop Being the Butt of the Foreign Language Joke

May 18, 2010

We’ve all heard the old joke that someone who speaks two languages is called “bilingual,” and someone who speaks one language is called “American.” The shame is that so few of us Americans are bothered by that.

Read the rest of the article online.


U.S. Students Hurting in Foreign Languages
American public education continues to give short shrift to serious teaching of foreign languages, especially those harder tongues that promise to be prominent in the future.

May 17, 2010

All you need to know about the study of foreign languages in the United States is that many more middle and high school students are studying the dead language spoken by Caesar and Nero than such critically important tongues as Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Farsi, Japanese, Russian and Urdu combined.

Read the rest of the article online.


Foreign Languages Fade in Class — Except Chinese
New York Times

January 20, 2010

Thousands of public schools stopped teaching foreign languages in the last decade, according to a government-financed survey — dismal news for a nation that needs more linguists to conduct its global business and diplomacy.

Read the rest of the article online.

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