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March 7, 2013
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Corporate & Government Spotlight
Poll: Employers prefer workers versed in other cultures
Almost two-thirds of companies surveyed for a recent poll said they want to hire employees who bring an international perspective to the table. Specifically, employers desire applicants who understand foreign languages and grasp the differences between distinct cultural norms. BusinessNewsDaily.com (3/6)
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Health care reform presents unique language challenges for states
Some states like California and Illinois are developing plans to communicate with the immigrant communities about available services under the Affordable Care Act. Informing communities who speak languages other than English has proved challenging for many states, but some nonprofits and health clinics are stepping up to meet the need. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (3/4)
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Other News
Language Education Update
Flipped instruction can be applied to language learning
Tom Vander Ark in this blog post writes about how Harvard-Westlake School in California is using technology to enhance its students' experience with learning foreign languages. Students blog about their reading assignments in Latin, and four different language programs use digital storytelling applications to communicate in their second languages. Other strategies, including implementing Google apps and video and voice recording, allow for smoother collaboration and instant feedback. Education Week/Vander Ark on Innovation blog (2/26)
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European official: Language learning is key to economic revival
Europe could improve its citizens' job prospects if more emphasis were placed on learning foreign languages, language and culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said during a recent conference. "If we want more mobile students and workers, and businesses that can operate on a European and world scale, we need better language competences -- and these must be better targeted to the current and future needs of the labor market," she said. EurActiv.com (3/7)
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Other News
Training & Technology
McWhorter: "Fingered speech" is a miracle of modern language
Linguist John McWhorter argues in a TED talk that texting acronyms, such as LOL, are not the ruination of language that many teachers and parents believe them to be. He says they have actually come to imply shades of meaning and levels of subtlety distinct from spoken words. "Emergent complexity, this is what we're seeing in this fingered speech," he said. Fast Company online (2/28)
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New health site reaches out to Latino audience
Vida Vibrante -- Vibrant Life -- aims to become a health and wellness guide for the Latin American community. Among other issues, the site will address health issues affecting Latinos, such as diabetes, and offer tips geared toward the culture of its readers. To make the content relevant to Latinos, "you have to talk about tamales, you have to talk about rice and beans," said founder Lonnie Jones. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Media Decoder blog (2/28)
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Rosetta Stone News
Digital language learning
Personalized digital learning is gaining traction throughout the country. Education Secretary Duncan said recently, "It's no exaggeration to say that technology is the new platform for learning. Technology isn't an option that schools may or may not choose for their kids. Technological competency is a requirement for entry into the global economy -- and the faster we embrace it, the more we maintain and secure our economic leadership in the 21st century." Digital technology can help expand language programs while addressing the learning styles of a tech-savvy student body. The discussion on how technology can enhance education continues online. Visit the Digital Learning Resource Site.
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SmartQuote
Scientific progress makes moral progress a necessity; for if man's power is increased, the checks that restrain him from abusing it must be strengthened."
-- Anne Louise Germaine de Staël,
Swiss author
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