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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Online tool aims to provide English lessons in China

A new online video tool is aimed at improving the way individuals in China learn English. WeblishPal, which was created by two Canadian entrepreneurs, connects Chinese users with native English speakers for live video chats. Lessons are personalized for each student. The company targets young students, those who wish to study in English speaking countries and employees in international business who need to communicate with English speaking colleagues.

Chinese instruction continues to proliferate in U.S. schools

More public schools are incorporating programs in Chinese language and culture into the curriculum as China continues to grow as an economic power. One Massachusetts school district has created an extensive exchange program with the Chinese city of Bengbu. Students and teachers participate in the program, which is aimed at preparing U.S. students to compete in a more diverse and internationally focused workplace.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity differ, study says

A study published in BMC Medicine said researchers have found a molecular-level difference between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. The University of Maryland team said both are part of a spectrum of gluten-related disorders but the two vary in terms of intestinal complications and genes that regulate immune responses in the digestive system.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hot dogs, pies and math: Happy Pi Day

Students and teachers across the country are celebrating Pi day today -- March 14 or 3.14. The mathematical constant that represents the ratio of a circle's circumference over its diameter was first calculated in ancient times. Read more

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Researchers find a link between celiac disease and asthma

Swedish patients with celiac disease had a 60% increased risk of developing asthma compared with those without the condition, while those who had asthma also had an increased risk of developing celiac disease, according to a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson, the lead researcher, said vitamin D deficiency and immunological factors might play a role. Read more

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chloe see China as No. 2 market in 2 years

ChloƩ, owned by Swiss luxury goods group Richemont, sees China becoming its number two market by revenue after Japan in two years, according to Reuters. Read more

Arabic, Hindi and Mandarin not so scary to kids

Languages are different, but they're also a pathway to mutual understanding. Is your child studying the right foreign language?

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Why language study is key to global competitiveness

Language learning is essential to ensuring global competence and national security, writes Clarissa Adams Fletcher, the 2011 National Language Teacher of the Year for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Fletcher advocates in this article for early and consistent access to sequenced language study for K-12 students to prepare them for a professional world that will require them to communicate in languages other than English. Language study also can help develop students' 21st century skills and offer them a better understanding of other cultures, she writes.

Dual immersion programs thrive in Utah schools

Utah schools are leading the nation in the expansion of dual language immersion programs for students. The state's leaders are behind the push, which includes a goal to quadruple enrollment in immersion programs, and a federal grant will allow some Chinese programs to continue through the summer. Educators say the language learning is giving students an academic boost. "You can actually see that those [students] are performing at and above their peer[s] that aren't in the immersion program," principal McKay Robinson said.