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Articles: World Language

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the National Council for the Social Studies will be holding annual conferences this fall.

Margaret Petkiewicz says the adoption of Common Core State Standards in California created a need for a support program for teachers in kindergarten through second grade who instruct in Spanish for the San José Unified School District. 

When done right, international travel exposes students to a diversity of people and perspectives, teaching them to communicate and relate with others.

For common communications, such as early dismissal notices, some schools create generic translated versions in key languages.

CIOs can play a key role in their district’s efforts to increase parent engagement as part of wider initiatives to advance equity.

Districts faced with hard-to-fill vacancies—in math, science and bilingual education, among other subjects—look for candidates abroad, often with help from recruiting agencies

WIDER WORLDVIEWS—At Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies in Washington, students Skype with their partner class in Brazil as part of UNESCO International’s Youth Virtual Town Hall on Global Citizenship. They worked on projects focused on sustainability, human rights and other topics.

In rural eastern Kentucky, teacher Jill Armstrong connects her high school students not just with towering historical figures, but also with real-live teens from schools on the other side of the world.

There is an increased demand nationally for dual-language programs in Portuguese, German, French and Mandarin. (Gettyimages.com: nito100)

Foreign language instruction is moving toward a proficiency-based approach. Today’s students need to develop interpretive, presentational and interpersonal skills, moving beyond conjugating verbs and memorizing vocabulary.

Students in a Spanish 3 class at Bethlehem Central High School may live in upstate New York, but they look for new homes in Spanish-speaking countries around the globe.

After discovering her students were fans of HGTV’s ‘House Hunters International,’ Bethlehem Central School District Spanish teacher Jessica Westervelt developed a lesson in which her class searches Spanish-speaking countries online for vacation homes.

Guthrie Virtual School provides state-mandated Spanish instruction to about a half-dozen remote Texas towns that couldn’t afford to hire a full-time certified teacher.

Preparing students for an increasingly global workforce means teaching them not only how to speak a second language, but how to think critically in that language and have a deep understanding of the culture and geography that are embedded in it.

Increases in rigor and depth are a focus of this year’s American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) conference, which will be held Nov. 20 to 22 in San Diego.

Rosetta Stone

English-language learners now comprise more than five percent of Cincinnati’s school population—which has grown more than 500 percent in the past five years.

Superintendent Debbi C. Burdick has brought her Arizona district's state ranking up to fifth out of 227.

Immersing students at Cave Creek USD with foreign language catapulted them above state average test scores. Superintendent Debbi C. Burdick and the governing board launched a world language program that included Spanish and Chinese programs beginning in elementary school.

St. Paul Public Schools has a large population of Hmong students, many of whom participate in a dual-language immersion program to learn their heritage language.

The term “dual language” makes most educators think of Spanish. But dual-language programs taught in less-common tongues can help families preserve their cultural identities as new generations are born in the United States.

Houston ISD’s new Arabic language immersion school will join the district’s Spanish and Mandarin programs.

Next fall, Houston ISD students will be the first in the nation with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Arabic language.

In November, the Houston board of education unanimously voted to open the Arabic Language Immersion Magnet School in fall 2015, with two pre-K and two kindergarten classes. A new grade level will be added each year as students progress through grade 5.

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