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Why study languages? Christine Brown, Assistant Superintendent, Glastonbury Public Schools.

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Presentation on theme: "Why study languages? Christine Brown, Assistant Superintendent, Glastonbury Public Schools."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why study languages? Christine Brown, Assistant Superintendent, Glastonbury Public Schools

2 “English is simply not enough. We cannot understand the world in English…

3 The ability to communicate in several languages is a great benefit for individuals, organizations and companies. It enhances creativity, breaks cultural stereotypes, encourages thinking “outside the box,” and can help develop innovative products and services. These are all qualities and activities that have real economic value.

4 Language and creativity are mental faculties which form part of the natural skills of human beings. In business, multicultural and multilingual teams are often created to solve problems, find innovative solutions and develop new goods and services. This approach is based on the idea that those who speak several languages have a broader perspective which can lead to fresh and innovative approaches. Study on the Contribution of Multilingualism to Creativity, European Commission 16 July 2009

5 It’s a multilingual world… Did you know there are 6,912 known living languages in the world? Test your knowledge, part 1…

6 It’s a multilingual world… How many people in the world speak these languages as their mother tongue? FrenchArabic (all varieties) a) 64,850,000 b) 640,860,000 c) 25,000,000 a) 150,000,000 b) 206,000,000 c) 1,156,000,000 a) 64,850,000 b) 640,860,000 c) 25,000,000 a) 150,000,000 b) 206,000,000 c) 1,156,000,000

7 It’s a multilingual world… How many people in the world speak these languages as their mother tongue? EnglishChinese (Mandarin) a) 309,350,000 b) 55,000,000 c) 187,000,000 a) 1,052,000,000 b) 358,000,000 c) 876,000,000 a) 309,350,000 b) 55,000,000 c) 187,000,000 a) 1,052,000,000 b) 358,000,000 c) 876,000, ,000,000 including second language speakers 1,052,000,000 including second language speakers

8 It’s a multilingual world… How many people in the world speak these languages as their mother tongue? SpanishHausa a) 102,000,000 b) 61,700,000 c) 322,300,000 a) 60,000 b) 24,162,000 c) 10,300,000 a) 102,000,000 b) 61,700,000 c) 322,300,000 a) 60,000 b) 24,162,000 c) 10,300,000

9 It’s a multilingual world… What do all of these languages have in common? They are all spoken in more than one country and often used as additional languages to communicate across borders

10 It’s a multilingual world… Test your knowledge, part 2 - Languages of the European Union Match the language to the percentage of its native speakers in the EU 24% 16% 11% 6% Français Deutsch Español English Italiano Nederlands All others Deutsch Français Italiano English All othersEspañol Nederlands

11 It’s a multilingual world… Test your knowledge, part 3 – Closer to home Do you know how many languages are spoken by young people in 8? 19? 39? 49? 98? 104? 144? 251? 380? United States… Glastonbury… 380 languages 49 languages

12 It’s a multilingual world… Test your knowledge, part 3 – Closer to home A recent survey shows that over 49 languages are spoken in Glastonbury schools: Arabic Albanian Amharic Armenian Bassa Bengali Bulgarian Burmese Cantonese Chinese Dutch Farsi English French German Greek Gujerati Guyanese Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Italian Japanese Kannada Konkani Korean Lao Latvian Lithuanian Malayalam M arathi Nepali Polish Portuguese Rumanian Russian Serbo-Croat Spanish Swedish Tagalog Tamil Telugu Thai Tibetan Twi/Fante Ukrainian Urdu Vietnamese

13 English is not enough Still need convincing? Skills in Demand for Business: Over half of top executives say a rising level of skills needed to maintain a competitive edge is outpacing their workers. Skills they find most lacking in men and women: Foreign Language: Men 31% Women 27% Interpersonal: Men 14% Women 7% Administrative: Men 31% Women 7% Management: Men 8% Women 8% Technical: Men 8% Women 15% Problem Solving: Men 5% Women 6% Source: USA Today, The WATS House

14 Employability: give yourself the edge This is what a top employer said he is looking for in a new employee: social skills ability to work in a team communication skills problem-solving skills confidence experience open mindedness flexibility Learning languages gives you these skills Speaking another language makes you stand out from the crowd

15 Employability: give yourself the edge The top employer also said: Business is global today English is important but not enough You need to get noticed overseas Foreign languages are vital He gave some tips on the social side of business: Listening is a skill Cultural awareness pays off Relationships make a difference Networking is easier in the local language

16 Continuing with languages you can… Join in – it’s a multilingual world Connect with other cultures Give yourself the edge – you need to in the global job market of the 21st century Keep your options open Still need convincing?

17 National Standards: Communication

18 Culture

19 Connections

20 Comparisons

21 Community

22 Why study languages? This is what Glastonbury students said: “Foreign language classes have made me think about culture - how traditions carry through generations and what it means to be part of a culture” “Studying new languages has taught me patience for the learning process” “Studying Latin has made it far easier for me to understand the way grammar works and the patterns that develop in other languages”

23 Why study languages? This is what Glastonbury students said: “Studying foreign languages has helped me feel more confident around people of different backgrounds and my exchange to Madrid broadened my world view and international perspective” “Throughout my learning of foreign languages, my skills in other areas such as reading, writing and social skills have increased” “Learning a foreign language has helped me discover my own language”

24 English is not enough The two countries noted the importance of people-to-people and cultural exchanges in fostering closer U.S.-China bilateral relations and therefore agreed in principle to establish a new bilateral mechanism to facilitate these exchanges. The two sides are pleased to note the continued increase in the number of students studying in each other’s country in recent years. Nearly 100,000 Chinese are now studying in the United States, and the U.S. side will receive more Chinese students and facilitate visa issuance for them. The United States has approximately 20,000 students in China. The United States seeks to encourage more Americans to study in China by launching a new initiative to send 100,000 students to China over the coming four years. China welcomed this decision by the United States. The two sides agreed to expedite negotiations to renew in 2010 the Implementing Accord for Cultural Exchange for the Period Through under the Cultural Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China. The United States and China agreed to jointly hold the Second U.S.-China Cultural Forum in the United States at an appropriate time. New York Times November 18, 2009 Bilateral Agreement Signed by President Barack Obama in Beijing, China


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