School leaders in New York City, the nation’s largest district, are expanding their dual-language offerings beyond Spanish and Mandarin to include Russian, Hebrew, Japanese, and Haitian Creole.
The Houston school district opened an Arabic-language school this year, in part because the metropolitan region has seen its Arabic-speaking population spike in recent years.
And in the Westminster, Calif., schools, the state’s first Vietnamese dual-language program opened in Little Saigon, a Vietnamese enclave in Orange County.
A global perspective on why the U.S. should invest in language learning:
…Not everyone is on the English bandwagon—by some estimates, 75% of the world does not speak English.
Let’s explore some of the policies other countries have regarding English—and why they matter to the U.S.
Representatives Price (D-NC-4), Lance (R-NJ-7), Crowley (D-NY-14) and Young (R-AK-at large) have introduced the World Language Advancement Act (WLAA), a bipartisan piece of legislation that retains a vitally important, cost-effective program to ensure access to high-quality and innovative world language programming in America’s schools.
The amendment retains a vitally important, cost-effective program to ensure access to high-quality world language programming in America’s schools. The ECAA does not provide for world language programming, depriving the Federal Government of its programmatic ability to signal the importance of world languages to SEAs and LEAs.
American youth deserve to be globally competitive. Knowledge of another language, in addition to English, confers a wide range of benefits on the individual:
- improved literacy in English, as evidenced by achievement test scores;
- a greater likelihood of attending and finishing college, across all groups but especially for ELLs and lower SES groups;
- higher lifelong earnings;
- lifetime cognitive benefits, such as delaying the onset of symptoms of dementia.
Please write to your Representative asking for support for this important legislation. Your support and action are vital to our collective efforts to ensure that World Language programs remain funded by the US Department of Education. See the American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages website: http://capwiz.com/actfl/issues/alert/?alertid=67181626#sthash.nNWhHKbW.dpuf
There are at least 7,102 known languages alive in the world today. Twenty-three of these languages are a mother tongue for more than 50 million people. The 23 languages make up the native tongue of 4.1 billion people. We represent each language within black borders and then provide the numbers of native speakers (in millions) by country. The colour of these countries shows how languages have taken root in many different regions. Infographic from the South China Morning Post.