Americans suffer from inadequate foreign language education | The Daily Texan

“The United States is largely monolingual. In fact, only about 15-20 percent of Americans consider themselves bilingual, compared to 56 percent of Europeans surveyed in 2006 by the European Commission. […]

The United States used to take a much friendlier view toward bilingualism. In the 19th century, immigrant communities maintained — and even published in — their native languages, and educational policies were generally tolerant of this linguistic diversity. However, ideologies began to change in the 1880s, with a huge influx of non-English-speaking immigrants and developing reactionary nationalist movements. Eventually, this change in ideology led to a movement of “Americanization,” which adopted a push for English as a linguistic identifier of the “American.” As World War I raged, English monolingualism became synonymous with support for the U.S. Eventually, legislation removed foreign language instruction from most elementary schools.

This lack of foreign language education for children persists to this day, despite much research suggesting that bilingualism has a significant positive effect on children’s linguistic, cognitive and educational development. The benefits of bilingualism are not just cognitive: Hebrew professor Adi Raz said that knowledge of a foreign language provides huge cultural benefits.

“We don’t just teach language but also culture. By doing so we emphasize the importance of understanding the ‘other,’” Raz said.

[…] Although there may be no quick fix for the poor motivation and lack of interest in foreign language courses on campus, we are the future leaders, legislators and teachers who can make a difference in the way language is taught in the United States.”

[Lauren] Franklin is a Plan II, linguistics and Middle Eastern languages and cultures senior from Sugar Land. 

Source: Americans suffer from inadequate foreign language education by Lauren Franklin | The Daily Texan.

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Photo Shoot with Sarah Prescott, Owner of Dog Coach

Sarah, who happens to also be my mom, asked me for a good picture to display on the website of her up and coming business, Dog Coach. Her website (currently under construction) explains her theory: “A positive attitude and patience are key when it comes to dog coaching. I’ll work with you and provide the tools to achieve a calm existence for your dog and a loving companion for you and your family.” 

One Thing After The Other

Tag der deutschen Einheit under the Brandenburger Gate

I have drafts and I have drafts of things I would like to post and tell about. The issue is that it takes time and mental space do to that. In the past two weeks I have given a final presentation for my Smith Orientation Program, been to Berlin, and now am in the midst of orientation at the university. Boy do I have great things to talk about, but I am going to let you go see for yourself and hope that I will have a window to tell you a bit about all of this soon. It has been just about six weeks and I can’t even believe that. I miss New England fall, among other things, but I put that aside and enjoy my time here.