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Canada’s New Indigenous Language Office

The Canadian government has created an Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages and is calling for applicants to fill new positions, including that of commissioner and up to three directors. Qualified candidates must have “the knowledge and understanding of Indigenous communities, cultures, and the languages and dialects associated with them, including an understanding of…

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Mexico and Spain to Promote Spanish in U.S.

The Instituto Cervantes and the Mexican government’s Cultural Diplomacy unit have begun collaborative activities for the international promotion of Spanish and its culture in 2021, following last month’s signing via videoconference of an action protocol between the two organizations. In the agreement, they committed to developing joint actions on the Spanish language (and the culture…

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Chinese Progresses as a World Language

More than 70 countries have officially incorporated Chinese language teaching into their national education systems, including the UK, Russia, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, according to Tian Xuejun, China’s vice minister of education. Speaking at last month’s opening ceremony of the International Chinese Language Education Week 2020, Tian said that over 4,000 colleges…

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English Learner Slated to Lead U.S. Education

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Connecticut Education Commissioner Dr. Miguel A. Cardona to replace Betsy DeVos as the next Education Secretary. Cardona, whose heritage is Puerto Rican, reportedly spoke very little English when he started school, but went on to earn an MA Ed. in Bilingual Bicultural Education before moving on to educational…

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Congress Approves Extra $15M for World Languages

On Monday, December 21, the U.S. Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations package, which provided $15m in new funding for the World Languages Advancement and Readiness Act (WLARA), in the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). This grant program was enacted last year, and with the appropriation, is now funded. The efforts to create…

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Transcending Monolingualism

Research shows that multilingual skills correlate with higher scores on assessments (Vogel and Garcia, 2017), and studies indicate that when those results are present, there has been a conscious and systematic use of diverse linguistic resources which has become part of the curriculum and pedagogical strategies (Madiba, 2013; Garcia, 2009). Most English learner (EL) programs…

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Multinational Call to Invest in Language Education

“Clear and precise communication is more crucial than ever before to the health and security of every nation.” For the first time in their histories, five international academies have joined together to ask for increased investment in language education, an unprecedented collaboration at a time of global uncertainty. The Importance of Languages in Global Context:…

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Education Begins with Language

At the Council of Europe’s initiative, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on September 26 with the European Commission. This year, many of the celebrations moved online, including an online conference streamed live in English and interpreted into French, German, and Italian. A new European Commission report, Education Begins…