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Teach children to be linguists

November 11, 2012

From the Asia Society Chinese Language Initiative newsletter.

by Chris Livaccari

I’ve visited many language programs across the country in recent years, and have—for better or for worse—instinctively divided them into two categories. The first are programs that leave me with the distinct impression that they are fundamentally classes that happen in a room in a school building—there’s not a lot of dynamism, authentic or experiential learning, and rarely a connection to something outside the textbook.

The second kind is far more rare, but it represents the programs that keep me engaged and invested in the language education field. These are programs where the classroom is a mere microcosm of the wider world, a jumping off point into a rich, diverse, and exciting set of experiences, interactions, and insights. In these programs, students feel a constant connection to the world around them, recognize the connections between their own lives and what is happening in school, and have a sense that the teaching and learning that they and the entire school community are engaged in matter deeply for their futures.

Please read more here.

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