International company moves to area with more bilingual speakers.- USA

Many people argue that there is no point in keeping the learners first langauge alive as “they are in our country so they should use our language”.  There has not really been a  good reply, but this story shows how keeping the language alive allows companies to grow and become successful, and also regionally it can keep jobs in a certain area. Thinking of the amount of money it costs councils etc to attract companies the last thing they want to do is lose them.

It all stems from Chiquita Brands moving it headquarters from Cincinnati to Charlotte as they have more bilingual speakers. Cincinnati are fighting back by creating a database of Bilingual speakers.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/29baffe64a8542b086fa94c0ac314855/OH–Cincinnati-Hispanics

CINCINNATI — A Cincinnati business group has launched a searchable database of the region’s multilingual students and professionals.

The Cincinnati USA Hispanic Chamber said it will spend the next few months building the database. Chamber president Alfonso Cornejo told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the goal is to connect those with language skills with companies and organizations who work with diverse domestic markets or operate internationally.         It’s meant as a development tool, and also to showcase the Cincinnati region’s resources. It’s expected to be available for searching by next February. He hopes to have 5,000 people registered within three years.

The database is being developed in partnership with Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. The chamber’s corporate partner members, universities and churches will have unlimited access, while others will have limited access, Cornejo said.

The project was triggered partly as a response to the decision by Chiquita Brands International last year to move its headquarters from Cincinnati to Charlotte, N.C., which has more bilingual people. The banana company cited that as among the reasons it made its move.

Some 5 percent of Cincinnati residents speak a language other than English. While the database can’t increase Cincinnati’s bilingual rate, it will help businesses like Chiquita locate those with language abilities.

“We were very frustrated that we lost Chiquita brands,” Cornejo said. “In the opinion of (Chiquita chief executive officer Fernando Aguirre), there was not enough bilingual talent in Cincinnati compared to Charlotte. Up to a point, he’s right. But we intend to overcome that.”

Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

Studying through the medium of Welsh will mean students will have mastered important transferable skills in both languages which are beneficial in an increasingly competitive employment market.

Businesses are increasingly beginning to see the benefit of bilingual education for their future employers, hence the importance of the ability to study bilingually at the University of Glamorgan.

http://www.caerphillyobserver.co.uk/news/681861/welsh-medium-provision-at-glamorgan-business-school/

Business students at the University of Glamorgan’s Business School will able to study bilingually for the first time this year.

From September, students will have the opportunity to study some modules through the medium of Welsh.

Glamorgan Business School has a dedicated Welsh-medium lecturer who is tasked with developing this provision in South East Wales.

The post, held by Heledd Bebb, is one of the first lecturing posts funded by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to raise demand and develop Welsh medium provision.

Further Welsh medium provision will be developed at Glamorgan over the next few years and by 2014, a third of the business course each year will be available through the medium of Welsh.

Students studying two modules a year in business through the medium of Welsh are eligible for the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s incentive scholarships – worth £1,500 over three years.

Ms Bebb said: “Studying business through the medium of Welsh brings a whole host of benefits to the student. In both the private and public sector in Wales, demand for Welsh-medium skills in areas such as marketing, human resources and management is increasing.

“The recent Welsh Language Measure, passed in 2012,  by the Welsh Government, will only increase the need for businesses to provide services through the medium of Welsh. Studying part of their course through the medium of Welsh will mean that students will have mastered important transferable skills in both languages which could prove beneficial in an increasingly competitive employment market.”

” renewed focus on language skills at school is needed” John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce

Sometimes when engaged purely in Education it is easier to forget the wider world and the wider implications of why were are teaching a particular subject.  I was always aware being a secondary teacher that my students would possibly be working in Design, Programming,Engineering or Architectural type areas, not least because as well as teaching GCSE, A Level there was always NVQ teaching of skills that was part of my teaching role.  However for some they never think beyond the next exam and in primary often thought only about primary tests and not about the whole child and their future prospects.

With that in mind I thought that this information may be of use for those looking outside the box for reasons that languages should be taught and bilingualism and multilingualism should be embraced.

This is current from the Norfolk Chamber of Trade and shares the benefits to businesses about the importance of communicating with exporters in their language. Here is the link to the article:

http://www.norfolkchamber.co.uk/export/export-news/boost-exports-further-improving-businesses-language-skills-and-international

I am pleased that the Primary Languages Classroom Awards supports language developement to enable or children to be able to function on the world’s stage. Below is the article in full.

A survey of over 8,000 businesses released by the British Chambers of Commerce, shows that exporting activity continues to increase. However, the findings also suggest that providing firms with more training in foreign languages, and increasing their exposure to international companies would encourage more business owners to export. Economic growth relies upon British businesses being able to export more, so the British Chambers of Commerce is calling for more support for firms to help them trade internationally.

Language skills are vital to exporting

Knowledge of other languages is an important skill for exporters. 61% of non-exporters that are likely to consider trading internationally consider a lack of language skills as a barrier to doing so.

However, of those business owners that claim some language knowledge, very few can speak well enough to conduct deals in international markets. French is the most commonly spoken language, with 73% of business owners claiming some knowledge. However, only four percent are able to converse fluently enough in French to conduct business deals. This number drops significantly for those languages spoken in the fastest growing markets. In 2012, the IMF projects that the Chinese economy will grow by 9.5%, but just four percent of business owners claim any knowledge of the language, with less than one percent confident they could converse fluently.

Re-establishing foreign languages as core subjects within the UK national curriculum and in workplace training would mean that the next generation of business owners are ‘born global’ with language skills. The BCC is calling for the National Curriculum to be revised so that studying a foreign language is compulsory until AS level. Businesses could also be helped in training staff in new languages, if the government offered additional financial incentives such as tax credits for small and medium-sized businesses that make a significant investment in language training.

Businesses with stronger international connections are more likely to export

Businesses that do export are more likely to have stronger social connections with overseas markets. When asked what led them to export, the top three reasons cited by current exporters were:  collaboration with overseas partners (71%); a chance enquiry from outside the UK (57%); and previous work experience abroad (52%). Those business owners that have lived abroad are more likely to export. 11% of current exporters have lived aboard for five years or more.

The BCC believes that creating opportunities for employees to work in overseas companies could help expose firms to more international opportunities. For example, an international business exchange programme, perhaps modeled on the well-known academic Erasmus scheme would allow employees to complete placements in companies abroad, and bring back their experience to their employer. A scheme that covered BRIC economies, as well as Europe, would mean that businesses could take advantage of fast growing markets as well as the eurozone.

Commenting on the findings of the report, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Exporting is good for Britain, so it is right that we should encourage current and future business owners to develop the necessary skills to trade overseas. We’re encouraged to see the percentage of firms exporting in our survey has increased from 22% in January 2011 to 32% in January 2012. Exports are equivalent to nearly 30% of UK GDP[1], but more can be done to help businesses take the first step to exporting. Encouraging companies to boost foreign language skills with incentives like tax credits is just one way of making sure we continue to export best of British products and services around the world. A renewed focus on language skills at school, as well as helping companies forge new connections overseas, could help ensure that current and future business owners are pre-disposed to thinking internationally.

“We are already the sixth largest trading nation on earth, and the third largest service exporter, but to really secure our future as a leading exporter we need to help companies take advantage of new markets. Giving businesses the opportunity to forge links with international firms, develop employees’ language skills, and providing compulsory education in languages for young people will transform many of the great businesses we have in the UK into success stories overseas.”

 

ICT Resource for Migrants – Worldwide

Has anyone seen this resource?

EMASUK – EMASUK.com have a range of resources to support English as an additional language from a resource vault which teachers can download from 24/7, to talking technologies including Talking Tutor, Text Tutor and the award winning Two Can Talk. Their most recent offering is a hand held unit which can be carried around easily and speaks out in a choice of 25 langauges.  See a video here to show their award winning bilingual book called Pip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-ybfuUHbWg&feature=related

They also do bilingual books that support the first days in a new school, Maths and exam preparation. I found it at www.emasuk.com

Retailers to employ bilingual staff – USA

Being bilingual can have its advantages when in competition for retail jobs. This news story tells how stores are maximising their profits by employing bilingual staff.

In a hypercompetitive retail environment, more national stores and some local chains are emphasizing that many of their employees are bilingual and can help customers whose first language is not English…..read the rest below at:

http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/localnews/ci_20639490/retailers-reach-out-bilingual-clerks

Benefits of being Bilingual – USA

An indepth scientific study into bilingualism which ends with the following conclusion. There is one very important advantage of learning other languages that I think beats any gains in cognitive control or delays in the onset of dementia. When you learn other languages you can then actually speak those languages, read those literatures, talk to new people in their native language, eaves-drop on their conversations on the bus, order off the menu, pick up that gorgeous stranger in the piazza.

In a recent paper published in Psychological Science, a team of psychologists led by Boaz Keysar at the University of Chicago found that forcing people to rely on a second language systematically reduced human biases, allowing the subjects to escape from the usual blind spots of cognition. In a sense, they were better able to think without style.

Read more at:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/05/the-benefits-of-being-bilingual/