Did You Know…
- There are thirteen languages spoken by more than 100 million people. They are: Mandarin Chinese, English, Hindi, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Bengali, Portuguese, Malay-Indonesian, French, Japanese, German, and Urdu.
- China has more English speakers than the United States.
- By the time a child is 5 years old, he/she will on average have spent 9,100 hours learning its native language.
Tough Choices/Tough Times A summary of the report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce published in 2007that makes the case for preparing students for the global economy. Former Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts, David Driscoll, was a member of this commission.
21stCentury Skills The concept of 21st Century Skills originated at the national level. This website maintains ongoing information regarding the progress of the initiative.
The Benefits of Second Language Study – This NEA research, published in December 2007 is a compendium of findings on the benefits of language learning.
National Capital Language Resource Centers series of interviews to help students see how foreign language is helpful in certain careers. The transcripts of written interviews for such shanghai jobs as linguist, police lieutenant, public health worker and arms inspector can be downloaded.
Career Info at OSU Foreign Language Center Considering a career that makes use of foreign language abilities is divided into three steps: First Steps, Career Options, Finding a Job in Shanghai. An A to Z guide helps students to understand how to develop language and cultural skills and conduct job searches.
RESOURCES FOR EARLY LANGUAGE PROGRAMS
A handy resource: A few quotes and some well-chosen articles make Research-Based Answers to Common Administrator Concerns a good short handout for your administrator when discussing the expansion of the foreign language program in your district.
CAL Resources for parents considering early language study for their child:
Raising Children Bilingually - The site offers a series of articles that answer parental concerns about learning two languages at once. It includes a guide for starting an elementary foreign language program, advice on tapping heritage languages, and addresses fallacies about bilingual education. The page also contains a bibliography of reference works on the topic.
Raising Bilingual Children: Common Parental Concerns and Current Research, Kendall King and Lynn Fogle -This digest was written to help those who work with children understand parental concerns about bilingual childraising, providing research information to help answer common questions.
Research showing that early foreign language study improves language and cognitive skills across a variety of disciplines:
Teri Caccavale’s Foreign Language Instruction: The Great Equalizer explains how foreign language study enhances students’ language skills and reading abilities in English and performance across the curriculum.
Benefits of Being Bilingual, July 2008 – This site provides a series of links to articles that detail the benefits of early language acquisition and bilingualism.
GENERAL FOREIGN LANGUAGE ADVOCACY
For some good talking points on the importance of foreign language programming, listen to the Presidential Address of Catherine Porter at the 2009 MLA Conference.
ACTFLs Discover Languages website has a series of pages that connect to research on the topics named below. The work is comprehensive and worth a look -
- What the Research Shows – Organized as a series of statements about the benefits of second language learning, the page sends the reader to specific sites that document each statement.
- Research on foreign language programs for the elementary school – A notated reference list to research on elementary foreign and immersion programs.
- Benefits of Bilingualism – A good site for parents who would like to explore the benefits of second language acquistion.
- National Standards for Language Education – A very brief history of the philosophical and historical underpinnings of the National Standards for foreign languages.
- Guidelines for Starting a Program – A primer written by Marcia Rosenbusch that details the planning process and cautions that should be observed by those planning new elementary programs.
- Characteristics of Effective Programs – Lists important factors for elementary programs such as goals, sequence, articulation, assessment, frequency, support and staffing.
- Foreign Language Advocacy – Eight easy steps from JNCL for being an effective foreign language advocate.
Brochures produced by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)
- Why Start and Maintain and SNS Program – This brochure explains the benefits of supporting a Spanish for Native Speakers program
- Working Together to Build a Multilingual Society – Colorful brochure outlining how all of the stakeholders – parents, administrators, policymakers – can foster multilingualism.
- How, Why, and When Should My Child Learn a Second Language - Good brochure for parents who want to understand why and when children should study a second language.
MLA Brochures promoting Language Study
- Knowing other languages brings opportunities
- Language Study in the Age of Globalization: The College Level Experience
Second Language Learning: Everyone can Benefit, Kathleen M. Marcos, Fall 1998 – Outlines the personal, academic, cognitive, and societal benefits of language study.
Brain Research: Implications for Second Language Learning, Fred Genesee, December 2000 – Explores the findings of brain research.
The Whole Child The ASCD recommends that each graduate is challenged by a well-balanced curriculum and is prepared for success in college or further study and for employment in a global environment including a well-rounded curriculum for all students, flexible graduation requirements, and access to rigorous programs in arts, foreign languages, and social studies
Planning a new program? Download a free guide chock full of information, Starting with the End in Mind: Planning and Evaluating Highly Effective Programs, available through Pearson.
AATF Promotional Materials for purchase
Information for promoting German
CLASS offers advice a list of benefits in studying Chinese.
One individual’s reasons for studying Latin and a good list of web resources for the same.
Ten reasons for studying Arabic.
Studi Mazziotti is in the pink when discussing reasons for studying Italian.
AATSP gives reasons for studying Spanish and Portuguese.
Why study a less commonly taught language? – The website of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages discusses reasons for studying LCTLs, including language-specific documents and other useful information.
Ideas to Celebrate Languages and Cultures - Ideas from the California Language Teachers Association
MLA Language Map Data Center – Find the location and density of populations of speakers of other languages in the US.