Classrooms blazing the trail in Australia for bilingual education

Language Immersion helps all subjects

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Source: smh.com.au

Campsie Public School was an early adopter of Australia's 2010 plan to emphasise Asian languages through immersion programmes. Campsie has focused on Korean, and recent research by the University of Sydney suggests the investment in language immersion is paying off for students. Students at the school spend at least one hour a day learning a regular school subject in a foreign language.

Language Immersion has other benefits

The great side benefit, is that students in this program are improving their results across all subjects. It is too early to track academic performance through NAPLAN results. But internal school data from Campsie shows the students involved in the language program have improved in other areas of the curriculum.

http://www.lingojingo.com/learn/korean

Read more: here

Spring Break is Around the Corner...Get Set and Get Wet - In Spanish!

It's Spring fever – get yourself ready for a great Spring break! We're slowly coming out of the winter doldrums – finally. Pretty much everyone has had to deal with some brutal winter conditions this year that has included freezing temperatures and snow, snow, snow. Time to get some sun and fun!

Lingo Jingo has Spanish lessons that cover many of the activities that you'll want to participate in while spending some time in a sunnier climate – like getting in the pool! Take a lesson now and be fluent in soaking in the warm water.

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 10.49.15 AM

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 10.49.15 AM

Want to make Lingo Jingo even more fun? When you finish a lesson, invite a friend or family member via Facebook, email, or Twitter to try to beat your score – or even better – have a conversation with them with your new language skills!

27th annual Foreign Language Bowl - Students compete to see who has best skills!

No matter what skill it is, competition is a fun and great way to see how you stack up against others in the same area of interest. Last week that's exactly what students from 17 high schools across Indiana did forming 30 different teams did at the 27th annual Foreign Language Academic Bowl held at Souther Illinois University (http://goo.gl/IcXHF). The competition consisted of teams taking a 20 question test consisting of cultural questions about a particular language, ability to fix grammar mistakes, and translate English sentences - what a great evaluation of skill! There was also a song competition where students were judged on songs originality, pronunciation and cultural content.

The languages most represented were Spanish, German, Latin and French and the students not only had a great time but also seem to really appreciate the idea of learning a second language - as by Sylvia Rode, a classical language professor and emcee of the event said, "It's so important now to learn languages," she said. "We live in a global environment and language learning makes you sensitive to other cultures that you are facing at home and makes you learn about those cultures abroad."

Couldn't agree more!

If you're interested in learning Spanish, German or French, follow the links to lessons on Lingo Jingo and take a first step on your own cultural journey. Also, because Lingo Jingo scores your progress throughout your lessons you can have your own competition with friends and family!

Should you learn Mandarin or Spanish if you are in the US?

In the past five years jobs requiring Mandarin have grown 75%. Here at Lingo Jingo we see strong demand for Mandarin; nearly 3 times as many people want to learn Mandarin as Spanish. In Asian countries such as Thailand, Chinese is now nearly as important a second language as English.

Living in the US we think of how important it is to learn Spanish (and it remains very important), but on the international stage over half a decade the need for Spanish for a job has not grown, but for Mandarin it has grown over 75%.

"It is obvious why Chinese is becoming more popular," said Li Quan, a professor of Chinese at Renmin university in Beijing. "We are now a major economy. The West has started to realise that if you want to get to know China and understand how the country works, it is important to learn Mandarin. And the world now understands that China is going to be a force for a long time, so learning the language is essential". (quoted from The Telegraph)

The US has thrived and has made English the language of business throughout the world. While its position is not being threatened, Chinese will continue to become ever increasingly important. From an education standpoint Will the US get left behind?

Countries like Australia are proposing mandatory Asian Language Learning, which makes sense given their economic ties to the region. Even the UK is having the debate.

Here in the US Spanish is still the most required non-english language, so don’t throw it out yet. Also, with the rise of Latin America Spanish and Portuguese remain great languages to know.

However, learning some basic Chinese could well open up the door to more employment opportunities.

spanish, mandarin Job Trends graph

Learning a language - a lot like going to the gym

It's very interesting looking at the data from learners on Lingo Jingo. The data confirms what we've long suspected - learning a language is a lot like going to the gym; the intention is there, but it's hard to self-motivate to keep it going. 

At Lingo Jingo we are working on ways to encourage you to keep going on your language learning journey. Over time we'll be baking more incentives into the application and adding functionality to challenge friends, see how they are progress, and making language-learning more game-like. In the meantime I will be sending out emails to our subscribers to encourage them to come back and retake lessons or learn a few more words by taking some new lessons.

We are using the data we are collecting to help make it easier to learn a language. This is a huge step forward from the traditional approaches or audio books and programs like Rosetta Stone, which, once you're out of the store having parted with your money, you are really on your own. That's very similar to the stats on gym membership - out of 10 people with a membership only 2 go regularly.