Thursday, 24 September 2015 06:30

Let's have Spanish as a second language

THE most widely spoken language in the world is Mandarin (Chinese), which is spoken by 955 million people, or the equivalent of 14.1 per cent of the Earth's population.
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Nearly 100 percent of Spanish primary school students are studying English, ranking Spain among the top European Union countries for multilingual learning.
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Mayor de Blasio’s announcement that within 10 years all New York City public school students will take computer science classes is welcome news. But Java, Python and C++ are not the only languages critical for 21st century success. Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and French are vital, too.
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Language immersion programs have been growing in Minnesota as more and more parents want their kids to learn another language. There were fewer than 30 programs in the state just ten years ago, and now there are more than 70. When you ask people on the street what second language they would want for their children, the answers range from Spanish, to Mandarin, to Russian, to even English.
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It's not often that a totally new way of learning languages comes along, especially one which isn't an app or reliant on technology. Power Play aims to make language learning realistic and interactive, and the idea is simple: All of the information that you would usually find inside a textbook is presented in bite-size chunks, on cards. The real genius of the idea is to turn the whole learning process into a game that can be played by one, two, ten, or even a whole classroom of people. A pack of Power Play cards will be a teacher or student's best friend, both inside and outside of the classroom.
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Foreign language teachers have a job that can be tedious. Going over textbook grammar lessons on infinitives, possessives, indirect and direct objects, perfect and imperfect verbs, conjugations and so on can be a struggle for both educators and students.
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