Teaching English to Pass or to Learn?

(Courtesy of Getty Images) Chinese test preparation company New Oriental Education & Technology Group dominates the Chinese market for preparing students to take entrance exams such as the SAT and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) to be accepted into American universities. What sets them apart from their American competitors such as Kaplan … Continue reading

No Surprise: Chinese, Japanese and Arabic on the Rise

(Photo courtesy of  U.S. DoS) The traditional foreign language offerings, Spanish and French, are still leading the numbers among high schoolers enrolled in each courses. However, some Eastern languages are slowly grabbing their bigger piece of the pie. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages reported that Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Arabic are being offered … Continue reading

Parents seek exposure of children to Chinese culture

(Photo courtesy of mLive) There are public schools. There are private schools. There are charter schools. And then there are language immersion programs, and they open up an entire other category. Language immersion programs take place at all kinds of education institutions, but instead of teaching a foreign language as a separate subject, the selected … Continue reading

The case for foreign language courses

(photo courtesy of AGAWAM Public Schools) “To remain competitive in this century this country must focus on creating a globally competent work force.” Clarissa Adams Fletcher, ACTFL‘s 2011 National Language Teacher of the Year, began her case for foreign language learning with clear reasoning. While the United States is pushing the STEM initiative subjects, science, … Continue reading

Congrats to the ACTFL video contest winners!

Back in December, we announced the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Language’s (ACTFL) video contest. February was declared “Discover Languages…Discover the World month” by ACTFL and the winners were announced. The videos show, from a student perspective, how learning a language expands horizons and opens opportunities around the world. Watch the inspiring videos from … Continue reading

Are we teaching the wrong languages?

(Image courtesy of  Marcus Koljonen) In a recent editorial in the WSJ, John McWhorter, a French major, argues that we are stuck in the past, teaching languages that are no longer useful to today’s students, who are of course the future of our nation.  Mr. McWhorter makes three points in his argument: 1. Chinese and Arabic first, … Continue reading

Sasha Obama is learning Chinese

(Photo courtesy of The WSJ) Sasha Obama is all play here with her sister Malia, but 9 year-old Sasha is serious about her future. Young Sasha is learning Chinese at her private grade school, the Sidwell Friends School, and was eager to put it into practice when Chinese President Hu Jintao was in town visiting … Continue reading