Friday, March 3, 2017

Online Language Learning Tools for Elementary Students

Online learning resources for elementary aged students: send out to parents!


National Commission Supports Prioritizing Language Acquistion

Support for Prioritizing Language Acquisition in Schools

Text from the article below:

In 2014, a bipartisan group of members of Congress asked the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to undertake a new study of the nation’s language education needs. Four members of the United States Senate—Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)—and four members of the House of Representatives—Rush Holt (D-New Jersey), Leonard Lance (R-New Jersey), David Price (D-North Carolina), and Don Young (R-Alaska)—signed two letters requesting that the Academy provide answers to the following questions:

How does language learning influence economic growth, cultural diplomacy, the productivity of future generations, and the fulfillment of all Americans? What actions should the nation take to ensure excellence in all languages as well as international education and research, including how we may more effectively use current resources to advance language attainment?
In response to this request, the Academy created the Commission on Language Learning. The Commission’s final report, America’s Languages: Investing in Language Learning for the 21st Century, offers concrete recommendations to improve access to as many languages as possible, for people of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.

Support for the Commission was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and resources from the Academy’s New Initiatives Fund.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

More on: Why learn another language! Data from the Middlebury Interactive Languages Program

Bozeman's Friends of World Language is committed to helping parents and kids in our community have greater access to World Language learning opportunities.

Many of us are parents ourselves, so we know that often it is hard to justify the cost of language enrichment over other enrichment activities. 
But! There are definite reasons WHY it is important and good for your child. Pulling from the Middlebury Interactive Languages Program, here are just a few reminders!
  1. In a Florida study, kids who knew two languages scored an average of 23 to 34 points higher on both math and language arts standardized tests than kids who only spoke one language.
  2. Babies raised in bilingual homes demonstrated superior cognitive ability—specifically the ability to seek new stimuli more quickly—as early as seven months old. (And according to the National Academy of Sciences, that’s an early indicator of a high IQ.)
  3. Fifty-four percent of preschool-age bilingual children are able to easily distinguish the meanings of words. (Most children aren’t able to do this until elementary school.)
  4. People who know more than one language are able to pay attention for 20% longer on average than their one-language-speaking friends. (Now that certainly would come in handy during a long class period, wouldn’t it?)
  5. Bilingual people have 0.05 cubic millimeters of gray matter in the parietal regions of their brains. (In plain English, people who speak more than one language have more dense gray matter in their brains, making them smarter.)