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Do Bilingual Homes Raise Better Communicators?




Young children who hear more than one language spoken at home become better communicators, a new study finds. Effective communication requires the ability to take others’ perspectives.

Researchers discovered that children from multilingual environments are better at interpreting a speaker’s meaning than children who are exposed only to their native tongue.

The most novel finding is that the children don’t even have to be bilingual themselves — it’s the exposure to more than one language that is the key for building effective social communication skills.

Previous studies have examined the effects of being bilingual on cognitive development. This study, published online in Psychological Science, is the first to demonstrate the social benefits of just being exposed to multiple languages.

“Children in multilingual environments have extensive social practice in monitoring who speaks what to whom, and observing the social patterns and allegiances that are formed based on …

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Coast Guard Academy Graduate Helps Open Door To College For Others

Chris Soto

Chris Soto created the ‘Higher Edge” program to prepare others for college

higher edge logo
Bill Sarno

He originally came to Connecticut to attend the Coast Guard Academy, and now Chris Soto has returned to New London to launch and  direct a program that is brightening the college attendance outlook for dozens of Latinos and other students  in the Southeastern Connecticut city.

Higher Edge, the nonprofit endeavor that Soto, a 2003 graduate of the New London service academy started four years ago, has been helping lower income students of all races, as well as  those who represent the first generation of their families, to attend college, develop the skills and acquire the resources they need to not only navigate through the college admissions process but also to graduate.

“We are trying to change the thought that college is a dream, to that it is a given for which these students have the …

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Spanish-language Spelling Bees Gaining In Popularity In The U.S. And They Are Not Just For Hispanics

The 4th Annual National Spanish Spelling Bee in New Mexico. Photo: New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education

The 4th Annual National Spanish Spelling Bee in New Mexico. Photo: New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education

How do you spell success? At the mini-national spelling bee in Foxboro, Massachusetts, students spelled it en Español.

A growing number of schools, like the Foxborough Regional Charter School, are holding Spanish spelling bees, where students compete in much the same way as a traditional bee but they spell Spanish words (which can be translated for them into English if they need clarification) using the alphabet in Spanish, denoting a y as “y griega” or a v as “b corta,” for example.

“I believe you will be seeing more of these,” said David Briseño, executive director of the New Mexico Association for Bilingual Educators.

The association launched New Mexico’s state Spanish spelling bee in 1994. The spelling bee became so popular that the association began including other states into its fold. …

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