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U.S. World/Second Language Education and Acquisition

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Lisa M. Dorner

on 3 September 2015

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Transcript of U.S. World/Second Language Education and Acquisition

What programs exist?
And how do they relate to theories of language development?

U.S. World Language Education and Acquisition
What kind of foreign language education programs exist?
: Foreign language experience (simple exposure)
: Foreign language elementary school (aim to teach listening, speaking, reading and writing)
Immersion (two-way, one-way...)
: A new target language is used to teach content material at least 50% of the day.

Fewer U.S. schools offer foreign language now, than 10 years ago
25% of Elementary Schools have language programs.
88% of these = Spanish
48% of these are FLEX; 13% are immersion.
58% Middle Schools
91% High Schools
93% offer Spanish; 46% offer French
U.S. World Language Education
check out this story about one high school in Chicago, Illinois that focuses on world languages and cultures:
People believe that we acquire language through . . .
- B.F. Skinner - by hearing, repeating, and receiving reinforcement. (But this does not explain why children create sentences they have never heard: "I go-ed to the store.")
Innate, natural process
- N.
Chomsky - by mere exposure. (But this does not explain the social and developmental nature of language learning.)
Theories about Language Acquisition
Two inspiring videos ...
Why learn languages at all?
And are we doing it the right way?
What IS clear is this: Language development is both cognitive and social. It depends upon connections in one's brain. It depends upon human connection.
This next video is by Suzanne Talhouk, and it inspires us to preserve our languages. It is in Arabic. Using this link, however, you may choose your preference for subtitles from 28 different languages.
This first video challenges us to learn another language in order to understand other cultures. It's from South Africa.
Full transcript