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The bountiful benefits of being bilingual

Linguistics expert, Professor Ingrid Piller joins the desk to discuss the many benefits of teaching our children more than one language For more Breakfast vi...
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Latino English Language Learners: Bridging Achievement and Cultural Gaps Between Schools and Families

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Apple picking gives ESL students a window into American culture

Apple picking gives ESL students a window into American culture | ESOL Students | Scoop.it
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series profiling Tamara Johnson’s second-grade class at Hatfield Elementary School. The Reporter will be following the class through the end of the school year.
Rebecca Hanley's insight:

This article is very insightful because it does not focus on the language barrier that ESOL students face.  Instead, it highlights another struggle these students face, immersion into the culture.  Through these field trips students are able to not only learn and read about American culture, but also experience it first hand and apply the knowledge they have learned in the classroom.   I also enjoyed and agreed with the statement made about ESOL parents being "supportive" of their children's education.  Many believe ESOL parents are uninvolved because of the language barrier. But, it is the complete opposite as said in this article.  

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The Benefits of Being Bilingual - Univision Noticias

Can Speaking More Than One Language Make You Smarter In Other Ways? New research indicates that the brains of bilinguals can adapt more quickly to change sti...
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Susan Volinski's curator insight, December 20, 2013 1:18 PM

     This witty video from the Univision Noticias Company is not only about the benefits of being bilingual, but it also explains some harsh truths about the overall American view of bilingualism. I am not suggesting that I feel that every American feels this way, but this is what the speaker of the video proposes. The speaker starts off with a joke, “What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual. What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone who speaks just one? An American.” This was a very bold statement for her to make, considering she just accused the whole country of being monolingual, and I felt as though she implied this in a negative way. She does back up her joke by stating that statistically only 18% of Americans can speak more than one language, while 53% of Europeans can speak more than one language. The video goes on to say that the reason for this is because Americans believed that learning a language too young can interfere with intellectual development, which is one of the reasons that many traditional schools don’t start teaching a foreign language until they are in middle school. Contrary to that belief, it is now proven that learning a language at a younger age actually has many benefits rather than limitations. Interestingly, it is much harder to learn a language after puberty because students’ brains do not develop or absorb as much information as they do when they were younger. So, if that is the case, shouldn’t all schools start teaching foreign languages in elementary school, instead of middle school, since most children hit puberty in middle school?

     Being bilingual in Russian and English, I found it interesting when the narrator mentioned that an old belief of learning two languages simultaneously will make you bad at both languages instead of strong in just one. But this is actually not true because your brain actually works harder to be able to differentiate between the two languages.

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Hatfield Elementary School’s ESL students have a Thanksgiving feast

Hatfield Elementary School’s ESL students have a Thanksgiving feast | ESOL Students | Scoop.it
HATFIELD — As students who are enrolled in the English as a Second Language program at Hatfield Elementary School enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast Monday — some for the first time — teaching assistant Madhavi Rizzio recalled her first Thanksgiving after...
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Hadley ESL students become published authors through Research Labs program | Suburban Life Media

Hadley ESL students become published authors through Research Labs program | Suburban Life Media | ESOL Students | Scoop.it
Rebecca Hanley's insight:

I enjoyed this article because instead of focusing on the struggles ESOL students endure, it highlighted their successes.  These ESOL students were judged by the same criteria as native English speakers were.  Still, they were able to excel and be recognized for their achievements.  

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