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February 21, 2013
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The latest news on language-learning trends and innovation

  Corporate & Government Spotlight 
  • Cultural competency can help small businesses extend global reach
    Small businesses in the U.S. export their products less frequently than occurs in EU nations, possibly because fewer U.S. business owners travel abroad or speak a second language, Jeff Cornwall writes. Cornwall suggests that owners engage in such activities, because small businesses that trade internationally tend to have more success. The Entrepreneurial Mind (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Find a fixer to help you navigate new cultures
    Bosses hoping to give useful feedback to workers from other cultures, or to lead foreign workforces effectively, need to learn the local rules of social behavior, writes Andy Molinsky. One way to do that is to find a guide or fixer who can help avoid cultural misunderstandings. "A mentor who appreciates your position as well as the expectations of the new culture can help you craft a new style that fits where you are and that feels authentic to you," Molinsky writes. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Language Education Update 
  • Why the U.K. must break the "vicious circle of monolingualism"
    The countries of Great Britain must do more to promote second-language learning in schools to help businesses interact in global markets, writes Nigel Vincent of The British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences. "In short, we need a new strategic approach to stimulate both demand and supply," Vincent writes. "We must find better ways of identifying and expressing the need for languages." The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network blog (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Training & Technology 
  • What to consider when presenting to multilingual audiences
    Bob Pike writes about how he navigated language barriers during a presentation to a group that included English, French, Spanish and Japanese speakers. A key challenge, he writes, was that interpreters had difficulty standardizing translations across languages, especially as he began using more business jargon. To help ensure nothing was lost in translation, Pike restructured the audience into small groups. (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New technology unlocks the origins of modern languages
    Researchers have developed new software that can identify the origin of modern languages. For example, the computer program analyzed 637 Asian languages to generate the common language that would have been their linguistic ancestor. Linguists traditionally have carried out such work, but experts say the program will help speed the process. "It would take hundreds of lifetimes to pore over all those languages, cross-referencing all the different changes that happened across such an expanse of space -- and of time. But this is where computers shine," said Dan Klein, associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley. BBC (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed."
--Maria Montessori,
Italian physician and educator

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