PSMLA Alerts


 
November 4, 2013
Hottest Job Skill: Foreign Language

October 30, 2012
Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad Program

Sent from JNCL-NCLIS:

Please find below an announcement from ED/IFLE on a Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program opportunity for a four week seminar to China in summer 2013. The application deadline is December 10. 

U.S. K-12 educators, administrators, and media resource specialists who have responsibility for curriculum and instruction in the social sciences, humanities, foreign languages and area studies may apply.

See  http://www2.ed.gov/programs/iegpssap/elsecseminars.html

Sci-News.Com

Published: Oct 10th, 2012

Anthropology | By Enrico de Lazaro

 

Swedish Researchers Suggest Learning Foreign Language Can Make Your Brain Grow

A team of Lund University scientists has discovered that the accelerated learning of foreign languages can lead to the growth of language-related regions of the brain...

Read entire article at: http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/anthropology/article00642.html

9/2/2012
America's Foreign Language Deficit
Forbes
David Skorton and Glenn Altschuler
 
When elementary and secondary schools and colleges around the country open for the fall semester, millions of students will not be studying a foreign language. Not necessarily for lack of interest. They won’t be able to... 

7/29/2012

A “Languages for Jobs” Initiative

Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 24

Authors: Terrence G. Wiley, President, Center for Applied Linguistics, Sarah Catherine Moore, Language Policy Research Network, Center for Applied Linguistics, and Margaret S. Fee, Language Policy Research Network, Center for Applied Linguistics
Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press, Release Date June 2012      

The promotion of foreign language instruction should be a national priority. In an increasingly competitive international economy, a workforce with more market-relevant foreign language skills is a strategic economic asset for the United States. Yet foreign language education is on the decline, particularly at the primary level when foreign languages are best learned. Federal policy is not stepping up. Recent federal efforts to promote foreign language instruction are not designed to have a broad-based impact and have been focused almost exclusively on achieving national security goals. U.S. economic competitiveness goals are equally important, but there are no comprehensive efforts to promote the instruction of languages, including Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, German, and Hindi, in local school districts where foreign language education must occur to improve proficiency more broadly...

Read complete article:

http://www.cfr.org/united-states/languages-jobs-initiative/p28396#cid=soc-facebook-at-other_report-a_languages_for_jobs_initiativ-060112


6/21/2012

Top defense intelligence official says foreign language critical to national security

The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center

Story by Natela Cutter

Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System

...Vickers has been recognized as a man who was instrumental in the planning, finding, and killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama Bin Ladin.

But Vickers says that it was technology and a combination of human intelligence that really contributed to the catch. “Human intelligence, signals intelligence and geo-spatial intelligence all played very important roles. A major part of the challenge of that operation was locating him in the first place, and that was a long time coming – a very patient intelligence operation,” he explained.

In response to the question of whether or not the knowledge of language and culture contributed to the success of the operation, Vickers said, “Language and culture were very important in that hunt at various levels. And, I can’t go into more detail – but, in each of those disciplines, the ability to have officers or translators who were fluent or very professionally competent in a language made all the difference.” ...

Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/90248/top-defense-intelligence-official-says-foreign-language-critical-national-security#ixzz1yMSsmhpY


Educators once opposed raising bilingual children. Experts now say it’s beneficial.

..Yet a mass of research has emerged to suggest that speaking two languages while growing up may profoundly affect the way I think.

Cognitive enhancement is just the start. According to some studies, my memories, my values, even my personality may change depending on which language I happen to be speaking. It is almost as though the bilingual brain houses two separate minds. All of which highlights the fundamental role of language in human thought. “Bilingualism is quite an extraordinary microscope into the human brain,” says cognitive neuroscientist Laura Ann Petitto of Gallaudet University...

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/educators-once-opposed-raising-bilingual-children-experts-now-say-its-beneficial/2012/06/08/gJQAdz9gUV_story.htm


April 30, 2012, 5:01 PM

Wall Street Journal Blog / Health Blog 

The Bilingual Brain Is Sharper and More Focused, Study Says

By Robert Lee Hotz

The ability to speak two languages can make bilingual people better able to pay attention than those who can only speak one language, a new study suggests.

...Through this fine-tuning of the nervous system, people who can master more than one language are building a more resilient brain, one more proficient at multitasking, setting priorities, and, perhaps, better able to withstand the ravages of age, a range of recent studies suggest.

Indeed, some preliminary research suggests that people who speak a second language may have enhanced defenses against the onset of dementia and delay Alzheimer’s disease by an average of four years, as WSJ reported in 2010.

The ability to speak more than one language also may help protect memory, researchers from the Center for Health Studies in Luxembourg reported at last year. ...

 See: http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2012/04/30/the-bilingual-brain-is-sharper-and-more-focused-study-says/?mod=dist_smartbrief


Dear PSMLA Members:

I recently received word that the University of Pittsburgh is eliminating its graduate program in German. (If you want to sign a petition for reinstatement see http://www.change.org/petitions/university-of-pittsburgh-dean-of-graduate-studies-reinstate-the-department-of-german-s-graduate-program ).

The NY Times article below addressess the problem from a national perspective. Thanks to Carol Schneider for sending this along.

Thekla

German in a Multicultural World

New York Times

By SAM DILLON

Published: April 13, 2012

 …The United States was turning its attention to Asia and the Mideast; Arabic and especially Chinese began displacing German and several other European languages once at the core of the American curriculum.

Ever since, the precarious future of the German language in North America has been a concern for the Berlin government, which has turned to Dr. Legutke and Daniel S. Hamilton, a Johns Hopkins professor, to strategize on how to bolster German instruction here.

“In the U.S., German is on the defensive,”…


How Immersion Helps to Learn a Language

By SINDYA N. BHANOO

Published: April 2, 2012

Learning a foreign language is never easy, but contrary to common wisdom, it is possible for adults to process a language the same way a native speaker does. And over time, the processing improves even when the skill goes unused, researchers are reporting. ..

For the entire article, see:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/how-immersion-helps-to-learn-a-new-language.html?_r=1