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Good News about language learning

November 4, 2019 Learning Link Blog no comments

Who doesn’t like good news?  Some very positive things have been happening in the world of “language learning” that are worth sharing.

More students are being awarded a seal of biliteracy; a teacher gives her middle-school students the opportunity to use their language learning to serve the community; and a glimpse at how some MN college students are getting a unique immersive learning experience on campus.

Seal of Biliteracy Continues to Grow

This October, Mississippi became the 37th state to establish a seal of biliteracy.Students at Vestavia Hills HS in AL receive Seal of Biliteracy

According to a recent report from the sealofbiliteracy.org, 94,433 students received the award in 2018; a tremendous increase from about 10,000 when the seal of biliteracy was established in California in 2012.  Over 50% (47,248) of the recent recipients were from California, followed by North Carolina (9,291), and then Illinois (7,601).

Pictured here from patch.com are some of the 75 students from Vestavia Hills City Schools in Alabama that recently received the Seal of Biliteracy – the first school in AL to award the seal.

Middle-School Students Learn Spanish and Compassion

Laura Lavery is a middle-school Spanish teacher in Memphis, Tennessee.  While having an “aha moment” with some inspiration from the Mr. Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Laura decided to embark on what would be a meaningful learning experience for her middle school Spanish students.  According to Laura, “I knew that in addition to guiding them through verb conjugations, I wanted to find a way to develop their social and emotional skills and offer them an opportunity to create positive change in our community.” This led to a real-life connection between her young students learning Spanish and local nursing home residents.  A win-win – you need to read Laura’s post on edutopia.org.

Immersive Learning at Macalester College Language Houses

Students at Macalester College in MN have a great opportunity to live at one of their “language houses” (Chinese, French, German, Japan, Russian, Spanish) provided by the foreign language departments. Once accepted as residents, students become immersed in the language and culture as part of their daily life.  Adding to the learning experience, residents in each house include one or two native speakers to help students improve language skills and share information about the culture in their country.  Read more about the goals of the language house program and the positive student experience in The Mac Weekly.

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