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Why are fewer foreign languages courses being offered in US schools?
Yes. Budget cuts are shrinking foreign language programs in the US.
Schools have cut language programs because they don’t have enough money to run them.
Tens of millions of dollars in federal funding have been cut from foreign language programs since 2011.
In today’s fast-paced global economy, knowing more than one language is a valuable skill.
More than half the people in Europe speak more than one language; just one in ten Americans knows more than English.
Schools are cutting language programs due to budget cuts.
Maggie: Hola! Bonjour! Guten Tag! Ciao! Hey there! Today, we meet some teens who are using their class time to learn other languages, and they know more than just the hellos.
It is Monday, August 19th. I am Maggie Rulli and Channel One News starts right now!
Let’s jump right in and get to today’s headlines. We begin in Syria where thousands have died in the uprising against the government. So, Shelby, what is going on?
Shelby: Maggie, we could soon find out if chemical weapons have been used in Syria’s civil war.
A twenty-member team of experts arrived yesterday in Syria’s capital. Their job is to examine several key sites and report back to the United Nations on whether evidence shows chemical weapons were used or not. The Syrian government has said it will cooperate.
Rebels have been trying to overthrow Syria’s president for two years, and more than 100,000 people have died in the fighting. Both sides have accused each other of using chemical weapons. Most chemical weapons are bombs or missiles that release toxic, often deadly, chemicals. If the team finds that these types of weapons have been used, leaders from around the world said they will likely get involved. Many view the use of chemical weapons as ‘going too far.’
The team of inspectors is expected to remain in Syria for up to two weeks.
Maggie: Thanks, Shelby.
And, Demetrius, what have you got for us?
Demetrius: Well, Maggie, a wildfire that started with a strike of lightning almost two weeks ago continues to rage in Idaho.
The wildfire that began on August 7th has burned almost 150-square miles at this point. And firefighters so far have only been able to control less than ten percent of it. Officials say high winds and extremely dry conditions are not helping.
The fire is raging near Haily, Ketchum and the Sun Valley Resort, areas that Hollywood stars visit on vacation frequently. More than 2,300 homes have already been evacuated and officials are telling residents to prepare to leave at any given moment.
More than 700 firefighters are battling it both from the air and the ground, when they can. On Saturday, heavy smoke forced helicopters and planes, used to fight the fire, to stay grounded.
And firefighters have their hands full at the moment – not just with this fire. There are nine other large wildfires in the region.
Maggie: Alright. Thanks for that, Demetrius.
Now, let’s not waste any time because your Play of the Week is about to start, and I have a feeling you are going to love it.
This week’s play takes us to the basketball court. The game has just been tied up at twenty-five with seconds left on the clock. A quick turnover, and it is the Blanchester Middle School Wildcat’s ball. They push it up the court, but the ball goes loose again! Now, eighth-grader Harbor Lovin ends up with the ball. Lovin throws it up and the circus shot goes in! Let’s see that again.
How did he do it? Crazy shot, Wildcats!
If you have an awesome shot, hit, run, block or absolutely anything that you think would make a great Play of the Week, head on over to Channelone.com to upload your play, and you might just see it on the show next Monday.
Alright. Coming up, the story of how a town bounces back after nearly being destroyed by a tornado.
In May, the town of Moore, Oklahoma was hit by a devastating EF5 tornado. That is the highest rating that a tornado can receive. But as Scott Evans shows us, in just three months, the entire community has rallied together to rebuild. And now, school is back in session.
Scott: It is a familiar sight this time of year. Yellow school busses packed with students headed back to class. But in Moore, Oklahoma, back to school means a new start.
Ian Tapscott: It’s kind of devastating how one big event can change so many people’s lives in such a short time.
Scott: That one big event was a devastating tornado that ripped through town in May. Twenty-five people died, and many of the homes and buildings in the town were destroyed, including schools.
The storm left behind over $2 billion worth of damage. The school year ended early and many students went off to live with relatives.
Moore, Oklahoma is located right in the middle of Tornado Alley, the region of the country with the most concentrated tornado activity. Now, according to the National Weather Service, 72 twisters were reported in Oklahoma during the 2013 tornado season, with 57 of those in May alone.
On Friday, students went back to school, but some had to report to different buildings while their schools are being rebuilt. The day was tough for many as they remembered the lives lost.
Kimberly Martinez: We had some of their siblings last year and in the past, so it was hard to accept that they won’t be with us. But they are just forever in our hearts. We will never forget them.
Scott: Preparation for this week has taken months of work from countless volunteers and businesses. Teachers and administration have worked together to make sure students come back to a positive environment and can feel safe.
Nikki McCurtain: It’s school, so we want them to be excited and to enjoy their day. So, we have lots of activities planned.
Scott: Students like Austin say they have seen people pull together in the community like never before through the worst of the tragedy.
Austin Bright: It’s just the Oklahoma way. Like we’ve been saying lately, ‘We’re Oklahoma strong.’
Scott: Doing their best to get back to normal.
Scott Evans, Channel One News.
Maggie: Thanks, Scott.
Coming up, is learning a foreign language as important as studying things like science and math? We are going to meet some students who say sí or oui or ja!
Ok, so the rest of the show is pretty much all about you! In our You Tell It segment, students like you do the reporting.
Today, Channel One intern Chelsey D’Adesky takes us inside the classroom to find out just how important learning a second, or third, language really is.
Students: Hello, we study French.
Students: Hello, we study Italian.
Student: Hello, my name is Jake. I study Chinese.
Chelsey: Like most students, the ones at Jericho High School have to take a foreign language. Jake Blumencranz is studying Mandarin, the main language spoken in China.
Jake Blumencranz: It’s just becoming more of a closed world, and it’s better to know more than one language than to know just one.
Chelsey: In today’s global economy, students are competing for jobs with others from around the world, and knowing a second language can provide a leg up on the competition.
Dr. Elaine Margaritas: The world is becoming a smaller place, and knowing languages gives you the opportunity to communicate better, to negotiate better.
Chelsey: Dr. Margaritas is in charge of the World Language Program in Jericho School District. She says Americans are falling behind their global peers when it comes to communication.
Dr. Margaritas: There’s a joke that says, ‘If you speak three languages, you’re trilingual; if you speak two languages, you’re bilingual; if you speak one language, you’re American.’
Chelsey: Currently only 10% of Americans can speak a second language. Compare that with Europe, where more than half its population can speak multiple languages.
Most industrialized countries begin learning a second language in elementary school. Although here in the U.S., many students don’t begin learning a world language until their freshman year in high school. And to make matters worse, nationwide budget cuts are shrinking foreign language programs.
Dr. Margaritas: We’ve had to do some cutting here. In New York State, the 2% tax cap has affected many school districts, many programs.
Student: Ni hao.
Jake: I think it’s vital to keep language programs over other subjects. They target a different part of, like, your thought process and you’re really thinking in a way that math and science and history and English, they can’t target those areas. It makes you think outside of the box more, which I think is what learning’s all about really.
Student: People have fought so hard for arts to not be taken out of school programs, and foreign language is an art. People can express themselves through foreign language.
Student: Language is just as important as math and science and English and social studies. And if you’re not cutting out those, then why would you cut out foreign language?
Chelsey: Chelsey D’Adesky, Channel One News.
Maggie: If you have got a story to tell, we want to see it! All you have got to do is upload it to Channelone.com, and it might just end up on the show.
Now, I did promise you that the rest of the show was all yours, right? And when I promise, I deliver.
Last week, we told you that your emails might not be as private as you think. They can be scanned by companies, like Google, and used to target you with ads. So we asked you, do you think Gmail users have a right to expect privacy?
An overwhelming majority of you – ninety-two percent – said, ‘Yes, you have a right to expect privacy,” while only eight percent of you said, ‘No.’
Let’s see what you had to say.
Thalia wrote, ‘When you provide a service such as email, your customers expect privacy. If Google isn’t going to provide that simple courtesy, they should state it expressly during sign-up.’
And I guess it is no surprise that most of you who left comments agreed with Thalia.
Mariah added, ‘People need their privacy when talking to family and friends!’
Well, you guys did a great job wrapping up the show for us. You make my job easy! I am Maggie Rulli. Go have an awesome Monday and we can’t wait to see you tomorrow!
Channel One Teacher Notes
Story: Foreign Languages
Activity: Language Learning Facts
Subjects: Social Studies, ELA
Recommended Grade Bands: 6-12
Learning Objectives: Students will identify facts about the demographics and significance of foreign language learning.
Extension/Small Group (10-15 minutes): Split off into groups of no more than six. Each group identifies a recording secretary. The assignment: in what languages other than English can you say hello, goodbye and thank you? Prompt groups to use their own knowledge and whatever books or Internet sites you have available to identify these words in another language. Look for word similarities across languages. Each group member shares/practices. Each group should try to learn these three words in as many languages as time allows. Five minutes before closing, each recording secretary shares with whole class their new vocabulary. Ask class to reflect on/share as time allows what the experience of using a new language is like.
NCSS Social Studies
Concepts such as: mores, norms, ritual, status, role, socialization, ethnocentrism, cultural diffusion, competition, cooperation, conflict, assimilation, race, ethnicity, and gender. (5.1.2.)
That language, behaviors, and beliefs of different cultures can both contribute to and pose barriers to cross–cultural understanding.(1.1.8.)
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not. (RI.6-8.8)