Next-Gen World Language Learning

By: Tom Vander Ark and Carri Schneider
“Learning a second language is no longer a luxury,” said Angela Jackson. We agree. She adds, “It is a necessary skill that students must have in order to compete in a global economy. It broadens their opportunities in higher education, and research shows that learning a second language helps children in their overall cognitive development.”
Last week we released the second version of the Blended Learning Implementation Guide and a free ebook compilation of papers we’ve written about Navigating the Digital Shift. We believe one of the most important blended learning opportunities is improve global competence–especially language learning.
Earlier this month we outlined how schools can add blended learning strategies to expand college credit opportunities. World languages are an even bigger blended opportunity–a chance to offer a wide range of language learning opportunities to all K-12 students.
Today we released “Next-Gen World Language Learning”, a thought leadership piece developed with Rosetta Stone Education. It highlights what we see as an opportunity to improve global competence for all students by leveraging technology.
A central tenet of the paper is the assertion that world language acquisition is an important component of both global competitiveness and global competency, and therefore must become a part of the national conversation around improving college and career readiness.
“There is a growing list of reasons that world language acquisition is so important–from economic and natural security reasons to global citizenship in an interconnected world,” contributing author Winifred Kehl explains.
recent Council on Foreign Relations report cited in the paper asserts, “[T]he United States cannot be two countries–one educated and one not, one employable and one not.” It is critical that children in the United States graduate prepared for futures in a globalized world. American students’ “global competency”-or lack thereof-will have consequences for students’ future job opportunities, for American economic competitiveness and innovation more generally.
As the paper shows, there is no reason why all American students shouldn’t have access to high-quality language instruction, thanks to advances in technology and the potential of blended learning to bring new tools for language instruction to the classroom.
Moss Pike, World Language Instructor and Middle School Dean of Faculty at Harvard-Westlake Middle School, joined the project to add a teacher’s perspective and to help the team think through implications for implementation. He explains, “We hope to bring more attention to the relevance and importance of language study for students by laying out design principles that can inform the construction of next-gen world language programs.”
The design principles for next-gen world language instruction include:

  • Active Immersion
  • Mobile learning
  • Student-centered collaboration
  • Interdisciplinary work
  • Game-based learning and augmented reality
  • Standards-based grading
  • Reorganization of physical space

In addition to the paper, we also released an infographic called “Next-Gen World Language Learning” that provides a useful overview of the information. Download the full paper and learn more on Rosetta Stone’s Education page. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtags #WorldLanguage and #BlendedLearning.
Rosetta Stone is Getting Smart Advocacy Partner.

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