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Home2021 IssuesFeb 2021Dual-language learning gets a lift

Dual-language learning gets a lift

Chris Reykdal, State Superintendent for Washington State in the USA’s northwest, is keen to roll out dual-language learning to elementary students (ages 5-10). Rather than dictate which second language children should learn, he wants it to be determined by whichever language will be of most use to the children in their local area, “When you do it at a young age they’re sponges,” he says. ”They just take this up in a way that none of us could in high school or college.

“We will be a stronger country economically when our young people are as global in the way they see the world as their counterparts in Europe and Asia,” he says. “I want to be the first state where the country says, ‘Washington made this a priority and every kid in that state has an opportunity to be multilingual.’ That is where we’re going.”

“The more that we can teach with a dual-language approach, the more we can embrace bilingualism, the more we can teach the value of being aware that cultural diversity is wonderful,” says culture instructor Misty Kalama-Archer at Washington State’s Wa He Lut Indian School.

Image courtesy of CDC on Unsplash
Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
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