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The challenges and rewards of raising bilingual children

Source: 1843magazine
Story flagged by: Alejandro Cavalitto

Everyone who has learned a language in adulthood knows how hard it is, with the grammar books and the flash cards, the pronunciation problems and the awkward rhythm, never quite getting to fluency. How much better to raise a genuine bilingual.

A century ago, bilingualism was blamed for lower IQ scores among the children of non-English-speaking parents. The culprit was poverty, not bilingualism. Today, the prevailing wisdom has been flipped on its head: researchers now propose a “bilingual advantage”.

The research is contested. Some studies have proved hard to replicate and researchers have, in one study, found bilinguals actually performing worse on a single task. But in today’s distracted world, parents are inclined to latch onto anything that might keep the child focused on that calculus problem and ignoring the nearby smartphone.

See: https://www.1843magazine.com/features/bringing-up-babel

Woman found her passion as sign language interpreter

Source: The Hutchinson News
Story flagged by: Alejandro Cavalitto

For more than 25 years, Teresa Schoch has immersed herself in American Sign Language as an interpreter. “I sleep, eat and breathe it,” Schoch said.

Schoch works as a community interpreter, serving wherever the service is needed, while the other main variety of interpreter works in education, in the same classroom with the same people day after day. She said she prefers community interpreting, because of the great variety of experiences it provides.

Being a community interpreter has its occasional downsides, though. Interpreters aren’t only needed in happy and stress-free situations. Medical settings, mental health crises, jails and courtrooms are all situations that sometimes call for an American Sign Language interpreter.

See: http://www.hutchnews.com/news/local_state_news/video-teresa-schoch-sign-language-interpreter/article_8fec4951-5109-51b4-9880-77f320b696b6.html

Volkswagen is changing its official language from German to English

Source: Quartz
Story flagged by: Balasubramaniam L.

Volkswagen announced last month that English, not German, would be the official language spoken at the company. VW has instructed bosses to begin exchanging in English, whatever their native language, although factory staff may speak in whatever tongue they choose among themselves.

The move away from German is fitting in that the company really isn’t just German anymore. It owns controlling shares of automakers in France, England, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, and Sweden; its manufacturing reach is even broader. Realistically, any gathering of workers from these disparate nations would take place in English anyway, whatever the company’s official language, so the shift is sensible from a practical perspective.

Volkswagen is not the first major automaker to make the switch to English. For example, last year Honda announced that it would abandon Japanese as its official language by 2020, replacing it with English.

See: http://qz.com/875425/volkswagen-is-changing-its-official-language-from-german-to-english/



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