For immigrant parents in the United States, lack of English-language proficiency can be a barrier to good jobs, healthcare, education and more. Family-school communication challenges, inadequate educational supports or the lack of quality programs for young, immigrant-background children who are dual language learners may also fuel educational achievement gaps. Social service organizations can support immigrant and refugee families through culturally responsive programs that build on the strengths of the home language while also helping grow English language skills.
What does it take for service organizations to grow home and English language skills with immigrant and refugee families, and what positive results can flow from those efforts? What steps can organizations take to provide accessible and inclusive services to families who speak a language other than English?
You can read this brief on Language Skills and Immigrant and Refugee Families here: https://www.migrationpolicy.org/sites/default/files/publications/CSG-Language-Brief.pdf
Image by annemcdon from Pixabay
English language teachers who want to help their students improve their core skills for the workplace can benefit from the new Employability Skills module from experts at Cambridge University Press & Assessment. The short module has been designed to help improve students’ understanding of the skills they will be expected to know in the workplace.
The module comes with realistic workplace situational videos with interactive and reflection activities and a speaking or writing task for students to complete at the end of each unit. There are also teacher notes, student worksheets, video scripts and glossaries for teachers to use in the classroom.
Read more about this employability skills module here: https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/news/view/new-cambridge-online-module-helps-english-teachers-boost-students-employability-skills/
Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay
Thanks to the European Social Fund, the ‘Bremen Integration Qualification’ (BIQ) project provides not only language lessons free of charge for young immigrants in Bremen, five days a week, but also lessons in mathematics and IT, which allow them to improve their maths and computer skills while gaining experience for an apprenticeship. Since the start of the project nearly 900 young immigrants have benefited from these opportunities. Managed by the Red Cross, BIQ is already providing support to young people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Read more about this wonderful project here: https://ec.europa.eu/european-social-fund-plus/en/projects/creating-pathways-employment-immigrants-through-language-learning
Picture: (cc) Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Europe in Bremen
The UK sees a fairly large proportion of the population speak multiple languages, with 9.2% of the country speaking a main language other than English – according to data from the Office for National Statistics. With so many languages being spoken throughout the UK, is there more benefit to adults that have the ability to speak languages other than English?
According to new research from the University of Portsmouth, students that graduate university able to speak multiple languages will have access to better job prospects than their peers, with German and French being the most highly sought-after by employers. However, with many schools opting to drop modern languages from their curriculum, this could potentially be costing future students the job opportunities that come with demand for multilingualism.
Read more here: https://www.fenews.co.uk/skills/speaking-more-than-one-language-opens-up-additional-job-opportunities-for-graduates-2/
Question from ‘Curious Kid’ Maria Júlia, aged 14, São Lourenço, Brazil in The Conversation:
Some languages seem harder than others. Does that mean that the brains of people who speak those languages are more stimulated?
Are some languages harder than others? For example, is Japanese more difficult than English?
To answer the question, the first thing we have to do is distinguish between babies learning their first language and children or adults learning a second language. For babies who learn their first language, no language is harder than another. Babies all learn their first language in about the same period of time. This is because learning a language is natural for all babies, like learning to walk.
A baby’s brain comes into the world prepared to learn any human language they hear spoken around them. The brain gets the same stimulation from exposure to any language, although it adapts to certain features of the language such as specific sounds. There is no evidence that some languages make you smarter.
In fact, babies can even acquire two (or more) languages together, if they hear them regularly. The languages can be similar, like Portuguese and Spanish, or very different, like English and Chinese – but the baby’s brain can learn them at the same time.
But that changes if you already speak a language and are learning a second one. A language that is very different to the one you already know is going to seem harder than one that’s quite similar to your first language.
Read more here: https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-are-some-languages-more-difficult-than-others-196250
Migrant people often travel to Europe through many countries before reaching their destination. Each country they enter has different cultures and customs, and language plays a major role in facilitating or hindering their journey.
Understanding and being able to communicate in a language allows us to access information and make informed decisions. For thousands of people living in transit and in refugee camps, language barriers are a difficult reality of everyday life. They often rely on information from refugees and friends who have gone through the same experience, especially because local authorities, humanitarian aid workers, and volunteers do not usually speak their languages. Refugees and displaced persons are exposed to more threats to their lives when they do not speak the local language. In some refugee camps, volunteers offer language lessons to bridge the gap left by government institutions that have failed to address the needs and rights of refugees. Generally, they can only get professional linguistic help from interpreters and translators via non-profit organisations and NGOs.