Mid-March Bilingual News Roundup

shutterstock_110715653Debates over bilingualism, reviews of new studies on benefits and the evolution of bilingual education are some of the many ongoing topics you will find in the news this past month.   In case you have missed them, we have included them here for you in our bilingual news roundup.

shutterstock_81030148CNN reporter Anna Johnson writes this short but fitting article that encourages bilingual parents to raise their children to be bilingual.  She dispels a common misconception that raising a child bilingual could delay development.  Lastly, she also encourages monolingual parents to get involved and become bilingual with their children.

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A great op-ed from the New York Times released this past weekend talks about the benefits of being exposed to more than one language in developing social skills.  The article centers on two studies that measured children’s ability to understand the perspective of other individuals.  These studies found that children exposed to multiple languages were more perceptive to other perspectives than were the monolingual children.

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An article from a New Jersey radio news station 101.5 reveals important shifts in classrooms teaching of foreign languages by moving away from traditional instruction in English toward more language immersion.  It also touches on the important point of beginning a second language in the lower grades to master fluency by the time a child reaches high school.

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While we recognize the inroads that bilingual education is having, we still have to remember that much work still remains ahead.  In this somber article from the Atlantic, we see how perverse incentives in educating  English Language Learners can have a long lasting detrimental effect on not only the lives of these individuals but also on society as a whole.

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A recent article in Newsweek raises the questions as to whether or not more benefits are conveyed if the second language spoken is a minority language and whether or not a bilingual can learn a third language more easily than a monolingual.

In this entertaining PRI podcast, The World in Words, the host Patrick Cox talks talks about the varying perspectives on what a bilingual advantage means.

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Lastly, this month in Education Week, acting Education Secretary John B. King Jr. addresses the value of English Language Learners in our education system in both Spanish and English by validating the importance of biliteracy.

 

 

Have you found interesting articles or news about bilingualism or bilingual education that you wish to share?  Feel free to include them with your comments in the comments section below.