Advocate for Languages!
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Advocate for Languages!
Collection of articles that discuss the cognitive and social benefits of learning a second/foreign language and the preferred approaches to teaching/learning.
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Americans are losing out because so few speak a second language

Americans are losing out because so few speak a second language | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
The United States may be the single most powerful nation in the world militarily, and remains a global economic giant, but we have seen repeatedly that our influence is limited. In part, we are constrained by our inadequate understanding of other nations and peoples, and by our inability to communicate effectively with them. It is therefore disturbing, and evidence of a dangerous myopia, that we continue to neglect training and education in languages other than English. In 1979, I was a member of the President’s Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies, which found that “Americans’ incompetence in foreign languages is nothing short of scandalous.
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Rewriting the rules of language learning: Translanguaging

Rewriting the rules of language learning: Translanguaging | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
In our multicultural world, identities build on one another. A person can be born in one country but call many countries home, in the same way that they can celebrate the traditions of their home culture whilst also taking part in those of others. Growing up internationally is an exceptional experience that influences every child’s identity in a unique way.

It is a challenge but also an enormous learning opportunity. The multicultural mind-set that can be gained by learning how others communicate is something that enriches expat children’s time at school, as well as their view of themselves and the world.
What is translanguaging?

One important way to incorporate this goal into day-to-day teaching and learning is through translanguaging. This is a model of language learning which allows the student to grow their school language skills whilst at the same time accessing, developing and making connections with their mother tongue or home language.

It is a mindset that goes beyond the language classroom, integrating language learning with all school subjects and encouraging students to access their multilingual abilities to express themselves throughout their school day.
Kate Reitzenstein's insight:

What are the attitudes towards translanguaing at your school? This is an excellent article that clearly puts the case forward for why we need to change our mindset about language and learning.

I am really looking forward to an upcoming conference on 19-20 May at Curtin University which will focus on translanguaging in Aboriginal contexts: http://news.curtin.edu.au/events/translanguaging/

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Maria Fernanda Marín Gutiérrez's curator insight, August 1, 11:11 AM
As translanguaging is my line of interest, it was very useful to read this kind of articles. "Rewriting the rules of language learning" highlight the importance and innovation of translanguaging since it allows the use of both the first and the second language in the classroom, what lead students to feel confortable in their classes. Also, this model gives them more opportunities to have a great experience while learning due to the few limitatios they can find when they need to produce.  
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Grammar gripes: why do we love to complain about language? | Books | The Guardian

Grammar gripes: why do we love to complain about language? | Books | The Guardian | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it

Now that every English speaker in the world can talk to every other English speaker in the world, the virus is mutating vociferously. The modern grievance airer must keep pace. So I have compiled a list of changes for which to watch out in 2018.Hate teams ‘versing’ each other or ‘because life’? Technology and jargon are changing language whether we like it or not

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Commentary: The benefits of bilingualism go beyond knowing two languages

Commentary: The benefits of bilingualism go beyond knowing two languages | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it

Mastering a second language improves your functioning in ways not commonly discussed, says a language expert from NUS.

 

Researchers in Montreal, Canada have recently discovered that bilingual children befriend others more democratically, resisting some of the “just-like-me” social preferences often evident in children.

Recent research from the National University of Singapore shows that bilingual children demonstrate fewer racial biases than monolingual children. Bilingualism therefore opens up a child’s social world and unlocks early potential for building social connections.


Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/commentary-bilingualism-mother-tongue-language-benefits-9984098
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Words can change the world: how language learning deepens connection | Louka Parry | TEDxAdelaide - YouTube

Why learn another language? Words provide us with the ability for connection, empathy and perspective-taking. And when you learn multiple languages you improve your brain, you accelerate your capacity to learn, and you become a better communicator. Vitally, you are also able to step into the world of another human being. To truly understand them and speak to their heart. The question isn’t why should you learn a language, it’s why wouldn’t you.
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International Mother Language Day 21 February

International Mother Language Day 21 February | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it

Languages, with their complex implications for identity, communication, social integration, education and development, are of strategic importance for people and planet. Yet, due to globalization processes, they are increasingly under threat, or disappearing altogether. When languages fade, so does the world's rich tapestry of cultural diversity. Opportunities, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression — valuable resources for ensuring a better future — are also lost. (Click the title for the full article)

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‘Multilingualism is an enrichment, not a deficit’: raising bilingual kids in Germany

‘Multilingualism is an enrichment, not a deficit’: raising bilingual kids in Germany | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
There was a time when bilingualism was regarded suspiciously. But experts point out far more benefits than disadvantages for children raised with more than one language.
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Language classes for Year 3 students in all WA schools from next year

Language classes for Year 3 students in all WA schools from next year | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
A momentous change in the education curriculum will see all Year 3 students learning a language from 2018, which educators say will make it easier for children to retain information and improve their concentration.
Kate Reitzenstein's insight:

Change not necessarily 'momentous' as most schools already offer quality language programs. But the new policy is clear that for schools that do not yet offer languages, they must, as a minimum offer in Year 3 in 2018, Years 3-4 in 2019, Years 3-5 in 2020, Years 3-6 in 2021, Years 3-7 in 2022 and Years 3-8 in 2023.

Click onto the title to read the full article.  Congratulations to Margot, her school and students for featuring in the article.

AISWA is helping to prepare schools to build their language teaching capacity through the Many Languages - One Methodology course. Registrations are open for this course until 9 February.

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SBS National Languages Competition 2017 winners

SBS National Languages Competition 2017 winners | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
Students nationwide, aged 4 to 18 years, entered the SBS National Languages Competition which aims to encourage and celebrate a love of learning languages in Australia. SBS today announced four national winners across four age categories.
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No entiendo: Our kids and languages

No entiendo: Our kids and languages | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it

We pride ourselves on being a longstanding multi-cultural nation, we’re closer to our Asian neighbours than we’ve ever been and know a lot more about them and their culture.

We just can’t speak their language. 

With the world becoming increasingly interconnected why aren’t our language skills increasing? 

One critic calls it Australia's “spectacular failure” at languages

Language learning by Australia's year 12 students has plummeted to just 10 percent

Kate Reitzenstein's insight:

Counterpoint Podcast: Interview with Tim Mayfield, Executive Director of the Asia Education Foundation

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Languages Week 2017

WA Languages Week takes place 7-14 August, 2017!

It's your chance to challenge the monolingual mindset and raise awareness in the community about the cognitive, social, health and economic benefits of language learning and being multilingual. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the rich diversity of languages spoken and learnt in our society.

Let us know what your family, school, workplace or community is doing for Languages Week 2017 on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitmWA/

To advertise your Languages Week event, register it with the Office of Multicultural Interests at https://www.omi.wa.gov.au/EventsIniti...

For great ideas on how to celebrate Languages Week visit http://mltawa.asn.au/litm/2017languag... and for fast facts about languages in Western Australia visit https://www.omi.wa.gov.au/Languages/P...

Languages Week is being promoted as part of Languages in Mainstream – a 12-month partnership project between the Modern Language Teachers' Association of Western Australia Inc (MLTAWA) and the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI). The project promotes the benefits of language learning in mainstream and community schools and the broader community.

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Census 2016: Second-language learning in Australia 'needs urgent attention'

Census 2016: Second-language learning in Australia 'needs urgent attention' | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
Australia is falling behind in the proficiency of second-language education at a time when it's needed the most, one expert says following the release of new census data on languages.
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Meet One Family That Speaks Greek, Swedish And English At Home | Here & Now

Meet One Family That Speaks Greek, Swedish And English At Home | Here & Now | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
Erik Anderlind said teaching their children to be multilingual came naturally because he is from Sweden and his wife is from Greece.

"It's very important to maintain the language and so, we heard somewhere that speaking around five hours per week is a good way of maintaining the language," he said. "If you speak a lot less, then you tend to forget."

And it helps that there are other parents to bounce ideas off of. Erik Anderlin said about 20 to 30 other families at the Newton school his daughter attends are also teaching their children a language in addition to English.

"It's very important for kids to learn a language because I see it as a gateway to learning a culture better — understanding people much deeper than you can if you're just talking to someone in English," he said.

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Deaf heart - Earshot - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Deaf heart - Earshot - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
Jodee Mundy is the only person in her family who can hear. Ever since she was little, she has moved between the Deaf community and mainstream society, feeling a little out of place in both.
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Language-learning apps don't capture how long it takes to actually learn a language - ABC News

Language-learning apps don't capture how long it takes to actually learn a language - ABC News | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
According to the ads for some language learning apps, you can have a conversation in a new language in three weeks. But the time it takes to learn a language depends on what you're using it for, writes Ingrid Piller.
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Multilingualism must be celebrated as a resource, not a problem

Multilingualism must be celebrated as a resource, not a problem | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
Part of South Africa’s challenge is that language, and in particular multilingualism, is generally seen as a problem rather than as a rich resource. Several other African countries view their indigenous languages as resources: Kiswahili in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and Afan-Oromo in Ethiopia are all good examples of this. And some small corners of South Africa are getting it right; isiXhosa is used to teach maths and science in the Cofimvaba district of the Eastern Cape province.
Kate Reitzenstein's insight:

South African context but many similarities with Australia.

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Cultural heritage is a child's right, so let's celebrate International Mother Language Day - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Cultural heritage is a child's right, so let's celebrate International Mother Language Day - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
Kids of migrants and Indigenous people have a right to speak, grow up with, and celebrate their own heritage languages, wherever they reside. On International Mother Language Day, let's celebrate that right and the benefits it brings to us all.

Click the title for the full fabulous article.

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Power of language

Power of language | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
The greatest harm we are doing to our people, at least in my view, is that by not respecting their languages we insult their authentic beings; their identity as members of linguistic groups and carriers of tradition. The languages of our people become marks of shame which they cannot use in formal settings. They are punished when they speak them in school and, of course, they are shut out of jobs if they carry the accent of their mother-tongue
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Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education brochure

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education brochure | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it

Click on the title for the link to the brochure.

Kate Reitzenstein's insight:

Click the title for access to a great brochure about the importance of mother tongue maintenance and role in education. Despite all the research that supports children continuing to speak and develop their first language, I occasionally come across educators who discourage the use of a language other than English in school. "To forbid learners from using their first language is to deprive them of the greatest tool they have" (He, 2012)

 

21st February 2018 is International Mother Language Day.

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Supporting language development in the early years

Supporting language development in the early years | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it

Language fulfils animportant function: language and culture are inseparable expressions of each other. Encouraging parents whose first language is not English to speak that language consistently with their child gives their child many advantages: they will become bilingual, they will learn about the culture embedded in that language by sharing with family and friends, and their ability for language learning will be stronger, thus helping them learn English more easily at play school or school, according to Dr Priscilla Clarke.

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Ireland seeks five-fold rise in students studying languages

Ireland seeks five-fold rise in students studying languages | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it

As Brexit nears, Dublin plans to upgrade the country's language skills. The Republic of Ireland has set out plans to quintuple the number of higher education students learning a foreign language over the next decade as it prepares for Brexit.

Just 4 per cent of higher education students currently study a foreign language, but by 2026, the government wants to increase that proportion to a fifth.

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Just speaking English won’t get us very far in the world | Letters

Just speaking English won’t get us very far in the world | Letters | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it

Simon Jenkins is accurate in nReadoting the falling numbers studying languages in the UK (Ignore the panic. There is little point learning languages at school, 25 August, theguardian.com). Almost everything else in his article flies in the face of the evidence. Reports from the British Academy, CBI, UK Trade and Investment and the British Council demonstrate not only the UK’s deficit in terms of language skills relative to its competitors, but also the clear benefits of learning languages across a whole range of domains such as health, security, business, diplomacy and intercultural understanding.

All the evidence shows clearly that speaking English is not enough in the contemporary world. The concept of “global English” is based on the very high numbers of people internationally who have learned English as a second language and who are therefore, by definition, bilingual or multilingual, benefiting from all the well-attested advantages – cognitive and other – of speaking more than one language.

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Busted! Myths and Misconceptions About Language Learning - Lead with Languages

Busted! Myths and Misconceptions About Language Learning - Lead with Languages | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
Contrary to popular belief, the demand for language skills is on an upward trend. Not only are languages ranked eighth among the most in-demand skills across all occupations, but research shows job postings directed at bilinguals more than doubled between 2010 and 2015.[2] With companies of all sizes increasingly reliant on foreign markets to be competitive, as well as selling to and serving millions of non-native English-speaking people in the United States, languages are an essential skill in today’s increasingly interconnected world. Businesses, NGOs, and local, state, and federal government agencies are all seeking employees proficient in other languages. Whatever one’s career interests, knowing another language can provide a huge competitive advantage.
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The hits and misses of teaching your children a second language

The hits and misses of teaching your children a second language | Advocate for Languages! | Scoop.it
How do you teach your babies your parents’ mother tongue when own linguistic skills leave a lot to be desired? Dilvin Yasa details her struggle.
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