Proficiency in a world language is a core skill for 21st Century Readiness. It is imperative that parents can effectively prepare their children to communicate as global citizens. Not only does knowledge of a second language coincide with high academic achievement, students of world languages tend to also score higher on the SAT and ACT. Middlebury Interactive Languages (MIL), the academic leader in world language instruction, recognizes the importance of multilingualism as a vital tool in the evolving world of faster communication and colliding cultures.
Here are the most important language strategies to help parents adequately prepare their children and increase their competitiveness in a globalized workforce:
- Cultural relevance is key—the ability to understand norms and customs of other cultures, in addition to the native language, will greatly enhance a student’s capacity to be an effective global citizen. These skills are valued by colleges and employers alike.
- Seek options for a fully immersive language learning environment. Keep in mind that there are options within the U.S. to gain this experience without sending your children abroad at a young age.
- Language programs should offer a variety of language tracks, and all activities and coursework should be taught in the selected language.
- Engage in out-of-classroom learning tactics, such as cultural presentations and special events, which can be approached as a fun and educational family outing. Parents should attempt to engage their children in the target language and ask questions and solicit feedback as they would with other subjects, such as math and science.
- Students should pursue a language in which they are genuinely interested. Career opportunities are important, but interest in the language and culture ensure a lasting dedication to the language.
About Middlebury Interactive Languages (MIL)
As CEO, Dave Benoit is leading the charge to establish Middlebury Interactive Languages (MIL) as a premier academic language learning provider. A seasoned industry veteran with more than 20 years’ experience in education technology and publishing, Benoit has spent the good part of his career focusing on improving learning and education systems while helping to build companies’ profitability. MIL is a new company forged from a unique and powerful combination of Middlebury College, with nearly 100 years of academic world language learning excellence, and K12 Inc., the nation’s largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs for K-12 students. MIL offers a rich portfolio of world language products, both online and in brick-and-mortar schools, with varying levels of immersion methodology to accommodate different learning styles. For more information on MMLA’s open enrollment, please visit http://mmla.middlebury.edu/. Working within MIL’s rigorous academic teaching methods and ACTFL standards, Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy (MMLA), is an intensive four-week, residency summer language program for college-bound students in grades 8-12, available at college campuses across the country.