The Health Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

Learning a Foreign Language Can Reduce the Risk of Age Related Symptoms such as Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer's

"You don't have to master it. Just the attempt to learn a language is like running different software through the brain. You're exercising more communication channels in the brain."

Healthy Aging, Dr. Andrew Weil

Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

Seven Steps to Genius Every Day
by Michael J. Gelb

Curiosity (p.9)
An insatiable curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.

Learn a New Language (70-73)

Learning a new language is a popular ideal hobby and a wonderful way to cultivate Curiosita. Like Leonardo, you can learn a new language at any age. We all know that babies are the best learners. Their openness, energy, and playfulness allow them to learn languages with ease. A baby raised in a home where three languages are spoken will learn all three without difficulty. The good news is that if you re willing to adopt key aspects of the baby's learning strategy, you can progress with similar ease and delight. And as an adult, you can take advantage of resources that can help you learn even faster than a baby.

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The Demand for Multilingual Workers is Growing

by Davis Bushnell

Amanda Carneiro, assistant manager of the Citizens Bank branch office in Framingham, speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Carneiro confers with dozens of immigrants every week.

Some area companies are accenting efforts to hire workers fluent in more than one language as they grapple with the challenges of dealing with customers from widely different cultures.

The corporate demand for workers with language skills other than English is driven by a variety of trends including the globalization of business and the growth of immigrant communities in states like Massachusete, which gained more than 200,000 foreign-born residents between 1995 and 2000.

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FACT: In the United States, only 9% of Americans speak both their native language and another language fluently.

We have met the other 91%. Most of them say, as they take the seat next to us on the plane, “I took Spanish (or French or German) in high school, but I can’t speak a word.” They tell us they aren’t good at languages. They tell us they have always wanted to learn, to travel a little, to whip it out in business situations and to meet new people.

FACT: 30% of Spanish words are cognates, that is, they sound similar to English.

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Spanish-speaking Population to Jump 55% in Austin Area

Austin Business Journal - July 21, 2005

Spanish-speaking residents in the Austin area is expected to soar by 55 percent within the next 20 years, according to study released Wednesday.

Austin joins Boston, Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla., as major Hispanic markets in the United States that are projected to see 55 percent growth in their Spanish-speaking populations by 2025, according to a study released by Hispanic USA Inc. Those are the highest percentages in the study.

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Career Services

The possibilities are endless...

℗ State University of New York at Oswego - Personnel with language skills are needed in many different types and places of work. The demand is apparent in seven major areas:

  1. Business, Industry & Commerce
    Import-Export, Advertising, Banking & Finance, Engineering, Research, Translation

  2. Government & International Intelligence & Law Enforcement
    Foreign Service, Translation, Aid Agencies, Overseas Dependents' Schools, Radio, U. S. Armed Forces

  3. Teaching
    Elementary & Secondary Schools, Colleges & Universities, Commercial & Government-Operated Schools, Overseas Dependents' Schools, Peace Corps Locations

  4. Interpreting & Translation
    Free-Lance, Escort, Courtroom, Conference, Simultaneous & Consecutive

  5. Media
    Journalism, Radio & Television, Film, Publishing

  6. Travel & Tourism
    Transportation, Hotels & Motels, Excursions & Tours

  7. Services
    Health Professions, Social Work, Library Science, Service Organizations, Law & Law Enforcement, Volunteer Agencies

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The Need for Foreign Language Competence in the United States

Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics Washington DC.
"The Need for Foreign Language Competence in the United States" ERIC Digest.

In the words of Senator Paul Simon, the United States is a "linguistically malnourished" country compared with many other nations. Despite the large number of individuals from other language and cultural backgrounds who live in various communities throughout the United States, relatively few Americans can boast proficiency in a language other than English. While ample opportunities exist in many other countries to develop proficiency in a second language, exposure to foreign languages in the United States is far from adequate.


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Personal Benefits of Foreign Language Study

Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics Washington DC

"Personal Benefits of Foreign Language Study" from ERIC Digests

For a long time Americans tended to think that knowing English was sufficient for all their needs. As a result, Americans developed an image as the people who cannot say even the most rudimentary phrase in any other language. Fortunately, however, many business, political, and educational leaders are belatedly realizing that the whole world does not speak English, and that even many of those who have learned English as a second language prefer to converse, to do business, and to negotiate in their native tongue.

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Why You Need a Foreign Language

Edward Trimnell on the Myth of Global English and the Costs of Americans' Monolingualism

Like many Americans, Edward Trimnell studied a foreign language in high school only because it was required. In his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio there had been no sizeable immigrant population since the 19th century, and he didn't see the point of conjugating verbs and memorizing vocabulary. He certainly never thought he'd use a foreign language in his future career.

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Why Study Arabic?

Boston University Arts & Sciences Modern Languages & Comparative Literature

A Critical Language. Arabic speakers are in greater demand than ever before. The U.S. State Department has named Arabic a “critical language,” creating scholarships for language study in the U.S. and overseas. At BU, Arabic language enrollment has risen by 68 percent just since 2005. Practical as well as curious about the world, BU students feel that knowing Arabic will give them a career edge in such fields as diplomacy, intelligence, business, engineering, international development, and academia.

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Education: The Future Doesn't Speak French

Aware of the challenges ahead, American students are rushing to learn Chinese.
By William Lee Adams

Newsweek May 9 issue - At Dulles High School in Sugar Land, Texas, the roster for Advanced Chinese V begins with Jason Chao and ends with Kathy Zhang. In between comes an unexpected name: Elizabeth Hoffman. Hoffman, now a 12th grader, began studying Chinese in the eighth grade, has spent a summer studying in Nanjing and plans to perfect her Mandarin when she starts college next fall. When asked by her peers?who typically take Spanish?why she is learning Chinese, she responds with a question: "Why aren't you?"

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Bilingualism Retards Senility: Canadian study

From Yahoo News:

Speaking one or more languages can stall the onset of dementia, according to a new Canadian study. "Our study found that speaking two languages throughout one's life appears to be associated with a delay in the onset of symptoms of dementia by four years compared to those who speak only one language," Ellen Bialystok, lead researcher and professor at York University in Toronto, said in a statement.

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