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  • Penelope Vos

    Have you considered teaching Esperanto as a first foreign language?
    Here's some reasons why you might:
    1. You might not have a foreign language to offer*
    2. You might not have time (Esperanto is designed for quick mastery so takes 6 times less time than most European languages and 22 times less time than Mandarin or Japanese).
    3. You might want to encourage interest in, and communication with, children in dozens of different cultures.
    4. You might want to leave the choice of language identity to the child, when s/he is old enough to choose.
    5. Success breeds success- subsequent languages are easier and more likely when you are already bilingual.

    * "Talking to the Whole Wide World" is designed for monolingual teachers. At the end of about 100 hours of games, songs and learning everyone knows Esperanto.

  • Carla Isidoro

    Interesting and relevant project. Learning a different language besides our mother tongue is vital: to become aware of other language singularities; to rise our QI; to become interested in other cultures and to potencially have more oppportunities to work and live abroad. At least in theory. I'm sure speaking two languages is an advantage for everybody, but I believe providing kids with other tools besides languages, has more benefits. I'm Portuguese and I live in Portugal. Here, everybody has to learn at least two languages besides Portuguese in school. We all speak Portuguese, English and a third one: French, German or Spanish. Although, in Portugal it is almost imposible for a common citizen to afford living or studying abroad. I believe that teaching kids how to be more competitive, proactive, how to discuss general topics in school and with friends, are key elements for rising their opportunities to become more successful professionals in the future. That's great to speak 2 or 3 languages and feel confortable when traveling to the US, England or other country (because English is the trade language everywhere), or going to Brazil and speak Portuguese there, but if people don't have other social and professional tools to complement languages, opportunities won't happen just like that.

  • lds230

    Hello,
    I was recommended to read this article by my tutor because it encourages a project that I'm working on in London.
    After studying abroad, I realised the sheer vitality and benefit to knowing or learning another language. On my return to the UK and the new government legislation, there have not been, nor any set intent, for any foreign languages taught in Primary Education across the UK.
    What I am working on is a campaign to raise awareness of this matter, as well as trying to encourage a demand for the government to put languages in place.
    Do you have any suggestions of thoughts about this?

    Lauren

  • Laura Patterson

    I'm an American teaching English to low-income students from Turkey in France. Thanks for the encouragement! Learning a second language has changed my life. I hope to provide a few building blocks for them.

    • Angela Jackson

      Hi Laura, Thank you for commenting. When I founded Global Language Project...I believed and still do that learning a second language could be a form of empowerment for students around the globe. I conceptualized GLP while living in France, when I met students on the outskirts of Paris who had never seen the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations on your work. Hopefully we will have a distance project in France soon!

      • Laura Patterson

        I just looked at the GLP website. Really inspiring to discover the organization. One of my greatest disappointments in the US was my lack of education regarding language, so I paid for it myself, working twice as hard as I should have had to (if I'd started as a young student). I went to policy school with the idea of working in foreign language education policy. But I think you've got the better idea! Create the demand and demonstrate the benefits, and policy will change. And if it doesn't, you've put something into effect already!
        While the program in France is run by the Ministry of Education, its not as effective as it could be due to a lack of training and oversight. It makes me reconsider my desire for a different curriculum in the States, seeing as NGOs perhaps would perform better. What are your thoughts on this?

        • Angela Jackson

          My experience at GLP has shown me that grassroots efforts really do lead to policy changes. All of our programs have been sustained by parent support. It's is challenging when programs are mandated by and tied to government funding. What happens when leadership changes or funds dry up? Many time programs go away. The difference when you have parent and community buy-in is that when funds go away they are committed to finding a way to keep the programs going. We literally have had parents launch bake sales, go to their jobs to look for sponsorships and support for schools. It is powerful to hear directly from parent why they deem language learning critical. A the end of the day we are hoping that our NGO support will garner the attention of the government--Federal, State and Local but at the end of the day it will take our constituents at the grassroots level to keep our leaders accountable!

          Please continue to follow up. It is people like you who we need as we continue to advocate for languages for all students!

  • Liz F

    My 5 year old son is at a public school with Mandarin immersion. He loves it, and I have quickly become completely convinced that every elementary school everywhere should be doing this. It's one thing, as a parent, to see your own kid succeeding in this kind of environment, because every parent thinks her own kid is exceptional, right? But it's another thing entirely to volunteer in the classroom and realize ... wow... they are ALL getting this!

    What can I do to help, Global Language Project folks??

    • Angela Jackson

      Liz, Thank you for your message. It is great to hear about your son's experience with learning Mandarin. It really is a testament to the benefit of starting early!

      You can help GLP by helping to spread the word about our work through Facebook and Twitter. It cost only $250 to send a student through our program for an entire year. You may have people in your network who might want to take up our cause! Thank you again for your support!

  • Rosalie Murphy

    100%. I didn't start learning a second language until I started high school, and I wish I'd started so much earlier -- for the sake of my cognitive skills and cultural awareness too.

    • GOOD HQ

      Agreed. And given how beneficial second language acquisition is, I don't know why all K-12 schools don't have dual immersion programs.