May 13, 2011
Saving the planet Re "The flood this time," Opinion, May 10 Many thanks to Bill McKibben for his persistent attempts to be heard above the irrational squabbling that defines our national dialogue. It is agonizing to watch our country stand by as the Earth warms and some of the grim effects — droughts, wildfires and floods — become apparent. Congress is consumed by a faction that seeks to shrink government at all costs, supposedly because the federal debt threatens our children.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2011 |
In a Glendale public school classroom, the immigrant's daughter uses no English as she conjugates verbs and writes sentences about cats. More than a decade after California voters eliminated most bilingual programs, first-grader Sofia Checchi is taught in Italian nearly all day — as she and her 20 classmates at Franklin Elementary School have been since kindergarten. Yet in just a year, Sofia has jumped a grade level in reading English. In the view of her mother — an Italian immigrant — Sofia's achievement validates a growing body of research indicating that learning to read in students' primary languages helps them become more fluent in English.
February 26, 2011 |
Does being bilingual give young children a mental edge, or does it delay their learning? It depends on who you ask. Bilingual education is regarded by some in education policy circles as little more than a half-baked technique of teaching students whose native language is not English. Though it takes many forms, bilingual education programs usually involve teaching students in both their native languages and in English. How much each language is used, and in which academic contexts, varies by program.
February 21, 2011 |
Does being bilingual help children learn to prioritize information, provide a defense against some effects of Alzheimer's or just provide a great workout for the brain? All of the above, according to studies discussed Friday at the 2011 American Assn. for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington D.C., where a number of researchers presented on the benefits of being bilingual. Among the findings: that infants raised in bilingual households can tell unfamiliar foreign languages apart and that bilingual speakers who rapidly switch between languages are better mental multitaskers than their monolingual counterparts.
October 14, 2010
Should parents raise their children bilingually – teaching them two languages from a very young age? It’s a thorny subject, but as UCLA linguist Jared Diamond writes in an editorial in the journal Science , knowing more than one language could improve your multitasking skills from infancy and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s in old age. Here’s how it works, according to the editorial published online Thursday: When a...
July 17, 2010
Editor's note: This edition of Blowback offers four responses to the package of three Op-Eds about bilingual education that The Times ran on July 11. The opinion pieces — "The Spanish road to English" by Bruce Fuller, "A skill, not a weakness" by Laurie Olsen and Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, and "Quality Counts" by Alice Callaghan — generated a lot of feedback from readers, and much of the "Letters to the editor" section on...