Posts Tagged foreign language

Bilingual Literacy

This article in the Santa Rosa Democrat brought to mind the notion of bilingual literacy. What is bilingual literacy?  Bilingual literacy or biliteracy is the notion of going beyond being orally proficient in two language to becoming highly fluent in speaking, reading, and writing and learning about other cultures. It also emphasizes strong skills in both the majority language– English and a foreign language. In the context of the “bilingual path” that the Windsor schools are going to recognize it’s about cultural, spoken, and written knowledge in two (or more) languages.

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Not Mastering English (Yet)

Do graduates of American high schools need to master English before they finish High School? A decision by the Oregon Board of Education says no. What is this about? What is mastery of a language anyway? Read the rest of this entry »

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Use of the term “foreign languages”

Good morning and a happy Thanksgiving to everyone. This post is to discuss the use of the term “foreign languages”. I must confess that it is becoming a peeve of mine to read references, policy documents, and position papers containing the term “foreign languages”. What are those? Aren’t all languages foreign to someone, depending on who’s using the term?  I advocate that we use the terms “diverse languages”, “non-English languages”, or use descriptors of language families (e.g. Indo-European or more specifically Germanic, Slavic, etc). To refer to English as English and other languages as foreign seems just a wee bit Anglocentric to me and perhaps facilitates the perception that the “foreign language” is somehow a distant idea or an uncommon notion.  The truth is we in the United States represent a diverse and rich linguistic tapestry and many non-English languages are no longer foreign here.

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I almost feel sorry for this guy

So, this guy is managing a dilapidated hotel in Taos, NM. He’s trying to turn it around. The employees speak Spanish for the most part and they speak English too. The manager wants them to speak English and to use the Anglicized versions of their names because he claims they’ll be easier to understand on the phone. The interviewers verbally beat this poor guy up! But is he right? Read the rest of this entry »

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How much time?

Ran across this article in the Washington Post on learning a second language. In this story, the report states that children are getting foreign language lessons 30 minutes a week; they contrast this with a program in which children learn by having contact with the foreign language every day across a number of subjects. But, I got to thinking. Read the rest of this entry »

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