Raising a child in 5 languages

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Despite the financial controversies mentioned at the end of the article, this is fascinating. The Seagram’s heiresses are investing in multilingual education and funding a project to have a 3 year old boy be raised by nannies speaking to him in five different languages. I always knew alcohol could help people loosen their tongues and speak other languages better:) Secret mission: A child By JAMES M. ODATO in the Times Union Quote from article: The boy has become part of a unique program begun by self-improvement organization NXIVM founder Keith Raniere called the “Rainbow Cultural Garden” aimed at helping youngsters master several languages. As a result, the child has been under the care of a number of different nannies, some from foreign nations, each using one of five different languages.

Computer programs replace foreign language teachers in N.J. classrooms after budget cuts

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For parents whose childrens’ schools have cut foreign language education, it’s imperative to use foreign language music, movies, TV and radio at home to keep their kids learning. A software program WON’T be enough. See this article from the Star Ledger in New Jersey: Computer programs replace foreign language teachers in N.J. classrooms after budget cuts

Low creativity in education is bringing the country down

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Is America Experiencing a Creativity Bust? This is a great article from Newsweek about how too much standardization and rote memorization in school is bringing down our ability to think creatively. Foreign languages classes are often based on boring rote memorization. Maybe this is why kids don’t get creative with learning languages. Time to add in some much needed music and media to language learning!

Support a reality show on learning languages and cultures!

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Support a reality show on learning languages and cultures! Jose Ricardo-Osorio, has submitted a reality show idea to the “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star” contest and needs your vote!  The submission is for a show featuring a group of individuals competing to learn the language and culture of a country they don’t know; watch the video (listed as Jos’s audition) for full details.  The winning ideas will compete in “Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star” on the OWN network in 2011. Jose needs you to vote for his show to ensure he makes it to the next round!  Voting closes July 3, 2010!

Technology for language learning

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After seeing Prof. Rachel Shively’s paper, From the Virtual World to the Real World: A Model of Pragmatics Instruction for Study Abroad about the importance of using online communities and technology even for students studying abroad, I saw on her website that she and her colleagues have made a wiki wiki is to collect language teaching resources. Look here for technological resources for language learning: Technology and Language Teaching

Learning Chinese doesn't make you a Communist!

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This Daily Show clip is hilarious! There is controversy at Hacienda Middle School in California. Some adults are afraid that having kids learn Mandarin will indoctrinate them into being Communists. It’s sad to see that people are actually scared about this. McCarthyism all over again?

Thanks Aasif Mandvi of the Daily Show for pointing out their idiocy.

How memory helps you learn language

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However, when we are learning our second language, we rely more on declarative memory to learn grammar rules and structure rather than only by procedural memory. (In my words, we are like parrots than copy when we hear native speakers say.) This doesn’t mean that we can learn a language well without learning grammar and structure, but it shows that listening and repeating serve a real purpose in how we can learn the syntax and structure of a language. Listening to and repeating song lyrics CAN help us learn grammar!

How To Use Your Spanish To Learn Portuguese

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This is a short and informative blog post on how to learn Portuguese if you already know Spanish. Written by Jared Romey: How To Use Your Spanish To Learn Portuguese I agree with Jared’s approach as I taught myself Portuguese when I already spoke Spanish, Italian, and French by using an EXCELLENT book called, “Com Licença!: Brazilian Portuguese for Spanish Speakers_“. Its written in English and explains the differences between Spanish and Portuguese for those who speak Spanish already and want to learn Portuguese. Using that book and listening to my local Portuguese immigrant radio station in Silicon Valley, California, I could understand almost everything in Portuguese. When I went to Brazil and Portugal, I could communicate better than other people I met who had formally studied Portuguese.