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tv   [untitled]    May 21, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT

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is essential. it's specific to each language, not something generically global. here i defer a bit from one of the comments made today. it's specific to each language. it can be very hard to discern, especially if you've never set foot outside a greenhouse or a classroom in this country. we in the foreign language field therefore salute yours and the u.s. government's decision to raise the bar for language designated positions across agencies to level three. but the real answer for scaling up the system and delivering speakers, readers, and analysts of major world languages and culture to the new level required by the government is to begin that training as far upstream as we can take it as you have said today. with an extended sequence of k-12 in the system, periodic opportunities for full emersion in the target culture continue advanced and content-oriented study in the university and a strong language maintenance strategy for the federal and civilian workforce or employees.
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thanks to the ndea, half century ago the u.s. has been able to maintain a core capacity for foreign language and area studies for most world areas through title 6, both of which unfortunately reduced by 40% over the past two years alongside the outright elimination which you have commented on. this is movement in the wrong direction, which we hope can be addressed by the administration and the congress as soon as possible. on a more positive note, initiatives are rising from the defense foreign affairs and intelligence communities notably national security language initiative which build on title 6 specifically aim at helping address the new mandate for high-level language and culture across sectors of the economy. and here i simply want to mention programs that are making a big difference in the foreign language field right now on the ground. the program funded by nsa is running high-quality state side
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programs for 159 different programs in ten languages and 48 state and the district of columbia. it's making a big difference. the state department is investing more than 30 million a year in the cls and related teacher programs supporting critical language study for more than 1,500 american university, college, and high school students a year. that program, for example, is open to any student in the country and has a remarkable level of language achievement even for the short period it worked. similarly the cls program has done the same thing for the undergraduate students. the final point i want to make is the national security education programs flagship program because while it has some very promising k-12 pilots in place, it has totally reinvented the way that foreign languages are taught today in our universities setting three as the logical outcome for
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programs and training models that don't even require the undergraduate learner to be a major in that field. together the nestle group and those entitled are low-cost high-quality proven models that we believe are scaleable. they're working in a few places right now that could work in a lot of places with the same level of success. thank you for the opportunity to comment. >> thank you very much for your statement. mr. lawless. >> yes? >> what are some of the barriers u.s. companies face when attempting to enter overseas markets? and how does the process of localization assist companies in succeeding in these markets? >> right, so there is a difference between translation
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and localization, and it's the adaption of product or services to the target country. give you an example, buy a japanese car, you buy in the u.s., you sit on the left. even though they're produced in japan, where they have on the right, have left in traffic. so you need to adapt your product, you need to adapt your user menu, you need to adhere to local laws and regulations. so that's the part beyond just translation, although translation is the most important parts of localization. the question that you asked us, what are the challenges for u.s. companies to enter markets? and that really depends on the organization. it starts with very often they don't know how to put a document into translation. but most likely and that's
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resinates with what was said by the previous panel, it is lack of executive awareness. and if more executives understood that almost 50% of the -- the income comes from overseas, they would pay more attention. i give an example of apple computer. apple computer last year of the $108 billion of revenue, 60% of that was generated abroad. facebook's international revenue grew from 33% in 2010 to 44% in 2011. walmart's international sales in the last quarter of last year rose by almost 9% whereas the u.s. business slipped by .5%. as more executives understood that language is the key enabler for their success and for the
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ability to survive. a lot of middle managers struggle as they get the budget. >> thank you mr. lawless. dr. goodman? as you mention in your testimony, you served on a council of foreign relations staff on u.s. education reform and national security. which concluded that shortfalls in u.s. education raise national security issues. will you please explain how the task force came to that conclusion? >> thank you, mr. chairman. we began with the horrifying statistic which was 75% of our young people today are
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unqualified or disqualified from military service. that was a number that shocked really all of us. some are unqualified because of their educational background. some because of persistent health problems, and some because of obesity, which we know is a major problem in america. so we tried to zero in on the part of that population that at least we could fix. and that was through education. and what we tried to get agreement on and got a substantial amount of agreement was that america needs a core curriculum as about 20 states and 20 governors have now accepted. what surprised me the most is i thought i'd have to fight very hard for a foreign language requirement to be considered essential and to be considered core. i didn't have to at all. people on the task force really realized that is our key to
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understanding the world we shared to preparing americans for global life and global work and getting ready to enter national service whether it's in the security or diplomatic areas. we believe in core curriculum, foreign language, and also believe in a readiness audit that helps establish the dialogue and then the coordination that you're concerned about among academia, the private sector and also government. so when we know where the gaps are, we can fix them. >> yes. mr. lawless and dr. goodman, the task force's report discussed the reality of cyber espionage against business and government information systems. would you explain why foreign language is so important to
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cyber security? >> right now with this explosion of of languages on the internet, only 20% of that content is in english. so the rest is, i guess, not english. and there's -- there's also a huge increase in what we call user-generated content through blogs and other social media sites. so if you want to analyze what's out there, if you want to understand what other people say about you as a company or about us as a nation, then speaking those languages but also understanding that language in the current context and the context of the culture is absolutely crucial. >> thank you, senator. dan mentioned in his testimony
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that language conveys values and sometimes it conceals intentions. and we need people skilled at understanding both. to me the same is true in the cyber security areas. the internet is an english-speaking world, a lot not exclusively, and it's being used by people with many different values and many different intentions. and so i think part of our recommendation in the task force to focus on this is to try to understand those people who are speaking english using the internet and have intentions that are very different than the ones we associate with simply sharing more information. >> thank you. dr. davidson, the doctor notes that there is a general lack of knowledge of how to develop and
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implement language training from early childhood, and you recommendation recommended using the k-12 flagship model to build a pipeline of proficient language speakers. what key elements from this program can be emulated by schools across the nation? >> thank you, mr. chairman, for that question. i think the lessons of flagship are that best practices are out there in the field. flagship did not sort of create a bunch of mystical new ways of learning language, but rather it mobilized the best thinking in the field and stood back with a certain perspective and said how can we do all of this better? and in a consistent way. i think in terms of the federal role in the flagship model, it's
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a very clever one in the sense it doesn't attempt to purchase a turnkey shop of some kind, but looks a the the limited points of leverage along the way where a federal boost can make the difference in whether a program survives or a student is motivated or the progress in learning that language is suitably advanced. for example, never to forget the importance of the teacher. the investment in the teacher, it's maybe not as sassy as a headline. but the teacher is critical to this process. another really strong lesson we've learned is that the overseas study piece or the summer-intensive study piece can fit into a curriculum without doing damage to everything else. in fact, if you do it well, then you can actually pursue part of the major requirements later on harking back to allan's point about requirements. those requirements can actually be continued overseas in the
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setting in a direct enrollment model. so i think the key to flagship really is mobilizing the best practices, which are out there now, the standards, the outcomes, the field has its act together in that sense. and then looking at those points of leverage like the summer, like the capstone where a little boost from an external funder can make it all come together. >> thank you very much, dr. davidson. my next question is for the panel. i would like to give you all an opportunity to provide any final statements or comments you'd like to make on this -- i know you have lots to say about foreign languages. let me call on mr. loveless first on again any final
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statements or comments you'd like to make. >> yes, well, thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to testify to you and the subcommittee. we are as an industry association, we represent the majority of people that actually produce that work that generates $2.1 trillion. i have to think about $2.1 trillion in revenue. and we would really welcome the opportunity to cooperate with the previous panel and this panel because our channels -- we have all the same challenges and at this point, we are not really talking. and so, again, thanks again for the invitation and i'm looking forward to more conversation here after. thank you. >> thank you. dr. goodman? >> thank you, senator. i simply hope that this
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subcommittee in its exercise of government oversight will continue to focus on the very issues that you have identified since 9/11. the need for our country to be able to speak other languages to operate effectively in the world, the role that academia plays in that, the role that the government plays in that. i hope the spirit of these hearings will very much continue. thank you. >> thank you very much. dr. davidson? >> mr. chairman, i would like to second what allan just said about the importance of these hearings and the way you've been able to focus public attention over time to this very, very important need inside our government. i think the good news is that models are there, that we can make a difference and those models are scaleable. so that we've mentioned title 6, the state department programs, and flagship and star talk.
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these are excellent models that don't have to be reinvented. and they're operating in 150 places or in 12 places or in 24 places. it would take so little to double that number. marginal difference in the cost would enable those models to be generalized and disseminated in the country. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> i want to thank you so much for your responses and, of course, your statements. it will be helpful to this subcommittee. we look upon you as those who have been with this problem that we -- we're facing and together. we can use our information to try to improve it for our country. because we're a diverse country. we have the language, we just
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have to use it well and be sure we train our people well to serve in that capacity. so thank you very much. we appreciate your presence. >> thank you. >> and now i'd like to our third panel to please come forward. >> i want to welcome the third panel.
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i want to welcome shawna kaplan. shawna, a fifth grade student at providence elementary school in fairfax county, virginia. ms. paula patrick. this is a coordinator of world languages for fairfax county public schools. michelle dresdner the 2012 participant in the national security language initiative for youth program. mr. jeffrey wood was also a 2010 participate in the national security language initiative for youth program. and major gregory mitchell, a
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1995 fellow over the david l.baron fellowship program. as you know, it is a custom of this committee to swear in all witnesses. so i ask you to please stand and raise your right hand. do you swear this testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you god? thank you. let it be noted that the record -- in the record that the witnesses answered in the affirmative. before we start, i wanted you to
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know that your full statement will be made part of the record. and i'd like to remind you to please limit your remarks to three minutes. so shawna, will you please proceed with your statement? [ speaking foreign language ] i just said in chinese, hello, everyone, my name is shawna, i'm 11 years old, i'm in fifth grade. i like chinese class very much because chinese class is fun. i have been taking chinese since the first grade which was the first grade it was taunt at my school. my teacher has been my teacher all five years. there's a second chinese teacher at my school who is teaching my
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little sister. i really like learning chinese, class is a lot of fun because we started using a lot of games and activity that include everyone in the class. and teaches me things. my regular teacher mrs. pratt told me sometimes they're teaching the same things at the same time. this year when we learned about ancient civilizations, she taught us that ancient china and different dynasties while we were learning chinese. i like that they go together. sometimes we even do math in chinese class. i want to keep learning chinese, i want to be fluent in chinese. i would like to visit china and i want to be able to talk to people there. i also like showing people in virginia how i have learned chinese like when i count in chinese the number of things. the people working there were very surprised i could count in chinese. thank you for helping with chinese classes, and thank you to my teacher and all the people
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who help her and my mom and dad who encourage me to learn chinese and work hard in school. i'm very excited to be here representing them. all the providence elementary school in fairfax city. [ speaking in chinese ] that means, thank you, everyone, i am happy to speak some chinese today. learning chinese is not hard. you can also learn chinese. [ applause ] >> ms. patrick, will you please proceed with your statement. >> yes, chairman. fairfax county public schools is the 11th largest district in the country with approximately 175,000 students.
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the school division prepares students with the necessary skills that are desperately needed in the federal workforce national security and on the economic front by providing a variety of language offerings to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. funding provided by the federal government allowed fairfax to implement chinese and arabic programs that would not have been implemented otherwise. some policy makers simply felt these languages were too challenging for elementary students. federal start-up funding made it possible to implement chinese and arabic where district funds were not available. once policy makers could see the success of the language programs, they gladly provided funding to ensure students could continue the languages through high school and have since expanded chinese and arabic to additional sites. the foreign language assistance program grant addressed the need of studying the critical needs languages. the funding provided a firm foundation for language studies that ultimately increased the number of students learning
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chinese and arabic and provides them the opportunity to become proficient in these critical needs languages prior to the grant in 2005, we had 125 high school students learning chinese. and we had 162 students learning arabic. today we have a little over 5,000 students in elementary, middle, and high school learning chinese, and we have over 1,000 students learning arabic. our fifth grade students are now connecting sentences to convey meaning orally as well as in writing using characters and arabic script. the grant awarded in 2006 funded at every level. we created an online course for the virginia department of education which allows more students the opportunity to learn chinese, no the just in fairfax county but throughout the commonwealth of virginia. we developed an electronic classroom that broadcasts arabic courses to fairfax county high school students attending
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schools that do not have sufficient enrollment to offer arabic. we also develop chinese programs in the fairfax high school pyramid which gives students in grade 1 through 12 a study. and we support chinese and arabic programs at eight additional elementary schools and four high schools by providing professional development and materials. we also partner with georgetown university and george mason university for student mentoring, seminars, guest speakers, and summer language camps. we now have ample research that proves what all other countries have known for a long time. we must start language learning at an early age when the brain is most receptive to language. it takes time, sequential study, and practice. when language supervisors propose starting a language program, they are often denied due to already stretched district and state budgets. policymakers view them as a want
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and not a need for students. federal funding is the only way we can initiate programs that will prove to the taxpayers and policymakers that the money is well spent once people can see what these children can do with a second language. we don't know what the world would be like in 20 years, but we do know we cannot say that we are educating our students for the 21st century if we're not giving them the tools they need to protect the country and to keep america the superpower it is today. and in closing, i'd like to say fairfax county public schools is thankful for the federal funding we receive and 6,000 fairfax students studying chinese and arabic are thankful too. >> thank you very much. ms. dresdner, please proceed with your statement. >> i have always been an adventurer. i enjoyed puzzles, exploring, and learning new things. these qualities led me to apply for the national security language initiative for youth.
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or nsli as we call it. i decided the ideal way to get to the next level in russian language was through immersion. so in my senior year of high school, i applied for a scholarship funded by the u.s. department of state through the bureau of educational and cultural affairs and administered by international education. when i won the scholarship to study in russia, i was ecstatic. however, i had no idea how significantly this experience would change my perception of culture and language as well as shape my educational and career aspirations. during my time in russia, i lived in a host family. on my first day, they were unsure of how to behave around me, how to speak to me, and even how to feed me. bread, pancakes, soda, what do
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americans eat for breakfast? unfortunately, my ability to communicate was limited to prepared phrases i learned in high school and at my program orientation. i knew how to say hello, good-bye, please, thank you and very tasty. well, very tasty was helpful with the food issue, however, i felt unable to communicate my emotions and learned more about the family kind enough to keep me as their guest. i wanted so badly to speak to them and tell them how grateful i was for their generosity and hospitality. my host family made my reason for language learning personal and emotional. my goal to communicate in russian was achieved through practice speaking with my family, practice around the city, and my study at a linguistics university. there our professor natasha put
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an extraordinary amount of effort into teaching us russian. through their teaching, i quickly became able to express myself. my host mom was delighted when i asked her about her day and told her about the poem i was reading all in russian. my new russian friends, professors, and host family inspired me. after returning from russia, i was confident not only that i wanted to study russian in college, but also that i wanted to pursue a career involving russia and international relations. in 2014, i will graduate from smith college with a double major, economics and russian civilization. i hope to work in public service for either the u.s. department of state, a sector of the federal government, or a nonprofit organization. by pursuing a career involving public service and russia, i know that i will be working in a field that i am passionate

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