Katina Sawyers


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Why is Language Learning Crucial for American Students? A presentation by Katina Sawyers

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Katina Sawyers

  1. 1. Advocacy for Foreign Language: Why is Language Learning Crucial for American Students?<br />Katina Sawyers <br />M445 <br />IUPUI<br />
  2. 2. How does an American Education Without Foreign Language Neglect its Students?<br /><ul><li>* The United States “…ignores the importance of communication in languages other than English” (Met, 2001, p. 36).
  3. 3. * “Even schools in third-world countries are more effective than U.S. schools at producing students who demonstrate foreign language proficiency” (Met, 2001, p. 36).
  4. 4. * In the United States, “The unwritten policy in our schools fosters monolingualism…Research shows that multilingual societies have a competitive advantage over monolingual societies…” (Met, 2001, p. 38).
  5. 5. * “Not only does the omission of language and cultural education leave U.S. students behind their peers in other countries, but also it exacerbates the achievement gap within the United States” (Met, 2001, p. 37).</li></li></ul><li>What can Foreign Language Instruction do for American Students ?<br />*Narrow Achievement Gaps<br />*Give Higher Order/Creative Thinking Skills<br />*Promote Social Justice for a Diverse Society<br />*Promote Academic Progress in English and Other Subjects<br />*Enhance Career Opportunities<br />
  6. 6. Narrow Achievement Gaps<br /> Regardless of race, gender, cultural background and other factors, foreign language study has been proven to increase the skills of its learners and narrow achievement gaps. <br />
  7. 7. Narrow Achievement Gaps<br /> According to Garfinkel and Tabor 1991, foreign language study narrows “…the achievement gap” (as cited in The Benefits of Second Language Study, 2007).<br />
  8. 8. Give Higher Order/Creative Thinking Skills <br /> Those students who learn a foreign language receive the gift of more abstract thought.<br /> It often requires its learners to think beyond the classroom and utilize higher order thinking skills and creativity. <br />
  9. 9. Give Higher Order/Creative Thinking Skills <br />Hakuta 1986 found that “Language learners show greater cognitive flexibility, better problem solving and higher order thinking skills” (as cited in The Benefits of Second Language Study, 2007). <br />
  10. 10. Promote Social Justice for a Diverse Society<br /> Learning different languages and cultures promotes the understanding and acceptance of humanity. <br /> It can help give students the tools they need to form more socially just societies, by helping them to build tolerance. <br />
  11. 11. Promote Social Justice for a Diverse Society<br /> According to Curtain and Dahlberg 2004, “In an age of global interdependence and an increasingly multicultural and multiethnic society, early foreign language study gives children unique insight into other cultures and builds their cultural competency skills in a way that no other discipline is able to do” (as cited in The Benefits of Second Language Study, 2007). <br />
  12. 12. Promote Academic Progress in English and Other Subjects<br /> Learning a foreign language will teach native English speakers about the English language. <br /> Students come to recognize grammar structures in English that they may not have understood before. <br /> It has also been proven to benefit many other disciplines. <br /> Because of this, those students who study foreign languages outperform their monolingual peers.<br />
  13. 13. Promote Academic Progress in English and Other Subjects<br />Armstrong et al., 1997, stated that “Strong evidence shows that time spent on foreign language study strongly reinforces the core subject areas of reading, English language literacy, social studies and math. Foreign language learners consistently outperform control groups in core subject areas on standardized tests, often significantly” (as cited in The Benefits of Second Language Study, 2007).<br />
  14. 14. Enhance Career Opportunities<br /> Foreign Language classes build skills for future careers. <br /> As the United states is currently becoming even more diverse with other cultures and languages, many career opportunities are now requiring employees to be multilingual. <br /> Many employers want employees with global communication and language skills. <br />
  15. 15. Enhance Career Opportunities<br /> According to The National Research Council 2007, “Beyond the intellectual benefits, knowledge of a foreign language facilitates travel, enhances career opportunities, and enables one to learn more about different peoples and cultures” (as cited in The Benefits of Second Language Study, 2007).<br />
  16. 16. Who Should Learn a Foreign Language in America?<br />Every student in America should have some foreign language training. Most other countries require at least one foreign language for their students. Where does that leave us? <br /> “It is critical that foreign language instruction be available to all students throughout their PK-12 academic experience” (Cognitive Benefits of Learning Language, 2007).<br />
  17. 17. Is it Really that Important?<br /> “Language and communication are the heart of the human experience. The United States must educate students who are equipped linguistically and culturally to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad. This imperative envisions a future in which ALL students will develop and maintain proficiency in English and at least one other language…” (National Standards for Language Education, n.d.).<br />
  18. 18. Foreign Languages are Keys for Success<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZprtPat1Vk&NR=1<br />
  19. 19. “What we can’t say can hurt us…” A Rationale for Foreign Language Education: A Position Paper of The National Council of State Supervisors of Foreign Languages, n.d.) <br />
  20. 20. References<br />A Rationale For Foreign Language Education: A Position Paper of The National Council of State Supervisors of Foreign Languages (NCSSFL). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ncssfl.org/papers/index.php?rationale<br />Cognitive Benefits of Learning Language. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.discoverlanguages.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4724<br />Met, M. (2001). Why Language Learning Matters. Educational Leadership, pp. 36-39.<br />National Standards for Language Education. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.discoverlanguages.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3652<br />The Benefits of Second Language Learning. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.ncssfl.org/papers/BenefitsSecondLa nguageStudyNEA.pdf<br />All images borrowed from Google.com/images. Retrieved from www.google.com/images<br />Youtube video retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZprtPat1Vk&N R=1<br />