Don't let cuts hit Foreign Service, retired diplomats urge | Analysis: English is still language of business, but bilingualism is an asset | Learning Chinese must be taken seriously, director says
November 1, 2012
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Corporate & Government Spotlight
Military looks to immigrants to fill interpreter jobs
The U.S. military hopes to fill its need for bilingual speakers by allowing legal immigrants, even those on temporary visas, to join the armed forces. The program, which gives participants the chance to become citizens, is open to people able to speak one of 44 languages of critical need, including Portuguese and Persian Dari. Because of the need for interpreters, military officials have spent the past two years convincing the Pentagon to reopen the program, which was suspended in 2010. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (10/28)
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Don't let cuts hit Foreign Service, retired diplomats urge
A group of retired State Department personnel have authored a study that recommends that the federal government avoid cutting Foreign Service and language-training positions. It is critical to U.S. interests that funding be maintained in these areas despite looming budget cuts, the diplomats say. The report suggests creating 490 new language-training positions by fiscal 2014. Government Executive (10/26)
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Language Education Update
Learning Chinese must be taken seriously, director says
The director of the University of Alberta's China Institute writes that he's concerned by a finding that fewer than one-third of Alberta residents said in a poll that the Chinese language is important to their future. "We need to motivate young Albertans to better prepare themselves for the 21st century, to ensure that sufficient Chinese language teaching capacity is in place, and that enhanced study of China is not a luxury for Albertan students," Gordon Holden writes. The Edmonton Journal (Alberta) (10/29)
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Early-learning language programs gain popularity
More schools are offering students the opportunity to begin learning a language at younger ages, and many parents are gravitating toward those programs, including celebrities such as Katy Holmes and Gwyneth Paltrow. Experts believe this method has many benefits, particularly with cognitive development. "Learning foreign languages helps you to be more open and interact more effectively with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds," said Helena Buffery, a professor at University College Cork in Ireland. Irish Examiner (10/28)
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Training & Technology
Professor: Asian-language program is worth the price
The Australian government has unveiled a plan to give all students access to learning an Asian language, including Mandarin, Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese. Professor Ken Chern said recently at Swinburne University that the effort will cost billions of dollars, but that it is necessary given Asia's growing importance in the global economy. "The government will have to move powerfully to implement what I think is a very important program," Chern said. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (10/29)
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Learning a new language can help any career
Learning a second language will help college students in almost any major, Melissa Woodson writes. Communications fields increasingly prefer applicants with the ability to communicate with Latinos in the U.S., and translation skills can help liberal-arts majors land jobs in publishing. (10/26)
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Rosetta Stone News
Free webinar: Speak the Language: How to drive value through your college ESL workforce programs
Rosetta Stone and the American Association of Community Colleges invites you to join the nation's leading education and ESL experts to discuss the essential elements of an effective, high-value ESL and workforce training program. Event Date: Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, at 2 p.m. EST. Learn more.
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Recorded webinar: Making Sense of Blended Learning
Personalized digital learning is gaining traction throughout the country, and one of the fastest growing ways to use digital learning in the classroom is by using blended learning. For many administrators, however, there remain many questions about what blended learning actually means and how best to implement this model. This recorded webinar covers key issues to consider when implementing blended learning in your district. Learn more.
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Nature does not equally distribute energy. Some people are born old and tired while others are going strong at 70."
-- Dorothy Thompson,
American journalist and radio broadcaster
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