Saturday, September 24, 2005

Multilingual Greeks

Fifty percent of Greeks can communicate in a foreign language, but in Britain and Italy the figures are much lower. Only a third of Britons and Italians can speak a second language. The data comes from the Eurobarometer survey, conducted by the European Commission. Greeks are in line with the EU average as 50 percent of the bloc’s citizens can communicate in a foreign language. Some 44 percent of Greeks speak English, and 8 percent speak French or German. The most gifted linguists are Luxembourg’s citizens. Almost 99 percent of them know at least one foreign language. But then for citizen of Luxembourg the second language is in some ways their first since Luxembourgeois is spoken by a small segment of the world’s population. Speaking only Luxembourgeois would limit one's opportunities in the world economy.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bilingualism at the LA Times

The new Op-Ed editor at the Los Angeles Times is bilingual and values languages skills (free subscription).

Monday, September 19, 2005

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bilingual Oregon

Dual-Language School in Oregon.

Monday, September 12, 2005

California: The Bilingual State?

Although California, Arizona, and Massachusetts virtually eliminated their bilingual education programs, dual-immersion programs are alive and well. Dual-immersion schools focus on developing skills in two languages and create bilingual and bicultural individuals. It’s happening in California. Whittier, San Bernardino, San Diego, Porterville.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Reading: Not Only in English

The increase of Spanish-speaking people in the US is also affecting libraries. In order to serve all patrons many libraries across the country are increasing their holdings in Spanish. The Denver public libraries are no different. They are restructuring to serve the population they serve. Changes are occurring in libraries across the country, both big and small. Some libraries offer reading materials in English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Russian, Korean, and Chinese. Some people, however, object to money being spent for Spanish language materials because it might undermine the English language. Do these people also object to books in Braille because it also undermines the English language? Efforts to accommodate readers of a language other than English aren't new in Denver. "In 1913, we had a branch library with Dutch and English," said Diane Lapierre, director of strategic initiatives for the Denver Public Library. Janet Cox, adult-services supervisor at the Pueblo Library District, in Colorado, said it best as she defined the role of libraries. She stated that libraries "provide material to meet the needs of the people in the area, whether that be in English or Spanish or another language." Read on.