It might not surprise you to hear that the United States is behind many other countries in the world when it comes to preparing its students to compete in the multilingual global economy. Many countries require students to speak two or three languages other than their primary tongue by the time they have concluded their education. As you probably know, no such requirement exists in the US.
Preparing our students to participate in the 21st century economy should be a national priority. After all, that is the primary purpose of the Common Core State Standards. But language learning doesn’t appear on that radar, either.
The Role ELL Students Can Play
The good news is that the US has been given a great resource to help turn the tide in the race to equip our students for communicating in the world; the fastest-growing segment of our student population is the 4.6 millions students who are learning English.
These students come to our schools already speaking languages that are in demand around the world, like Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Arabic. When they reach proficiency in English, they immediately become marketable in the world economy.
How to Make Progress
The best way to accomplish that goal is through creativity. The growing implementation of dual-language classrooms across the county is showing promise in speeding up the language acquisition process, not just for English Language Learners but also for their English-speaking counterparts.
Another area to explore is the role our technology can play in language learning. In other subject areas, teachers are turning to blended-learning models that provide differentiation for a student’s skills while fostering creativity and critical thinking skills. These programs are made available on any device for students to work on anywhere.
Rosetta Stone Can Help
The same strategies are made possible for language learning by solutions like those from Rosetta Stone. Through an engaging, individualized interface that is available wherever and whenever a student is available, students make more progress in a more efficient way.
Reading and the STEM subjects are important for maintaining American economic competitiveness, but so is making sure that students can communicate in the languages that the world speaks. Every school can make that possible for their students.
The Next Level
How is your school preparing students to meet the language-learning challenges of the 21st century? Share your ideas in the comments section below.
For more information about how the Rosetta Stone solution is used to prepare teachers for ELL students, click here to visit our ELL resource page.
And to find out more about how Rosetta Stone solutions fit in today’s language-learning classrooms, please visit our K-12 website.