Mi casa es su casa

stock-photo-hispanic-couple-outside-home-with-sold-signThe American Dream, a key piece of which is home ownership, is flourishing in Latinx communities all across the nation. By every economic measure, buying power on the part of Spanish-speaking Americans is skyrocketing to the tune of over $2 trillion. One of the most important areas where that buying power is manifesting itself is in home ownership. Over 6 million new homes will be purchased by Latinx consumers within the next few years. As a prominent executive with the National Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) put it, “With a growing Hispanic population and the highest rate of workforce participation, Hispanics are expected to drive growth in the housing market for decades”. While this is certainly good news for the real estate business, it also presents a series of challenges that will need to be met in terms of adapting to a Spanish-speaking customer base.

NAHREP says the first step would be “to address the incredible shortage of Spanish-language speaking, culturally competent real estate agents (7%) and mortgage professionals (4%)”. The lack of bilingual professionals in this key area- is a drag on the market. Many Latinx homebuyers express preferences for agents who can explain complicated transactions in a readily understandable format. Also, cultural sensitivity is important in terms of introducing upwardly mobile people into neighborhoods that might not reflect their ethnic identities and helping people select areas where they would feel at home. As one homebuyer put it, “The (Spanish-speaking) agent was able to tell us if we would feel comfortable around the neighborhood.”

Given the economic projections for the future, improved language skills and cultural sensibilities will play important roles in the world of real estate for some time to come. There will be an increased need for multilingual professionals in both real estate and financial services. These will create ripple effects in the banking and insurance sectors as well. Local government officials and educators will need to respond as demographic changes alter the social landscape of communities. The need for people certified in Spanish has never been greater and will only continue to grow as the future of our country unfolds.
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Since 1992, Language Testing International (LTI) a Samsung Company, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), have been offering valid and reliable reading, writing, speaking, and listening tests in more than 120 languages, in more than 60 countries.

LTI administers language assessments to hundreds of thousands of candidates every year and is one of the largest and most respected foreign language proficiency test providers in the world. We offer the highest level of client service as well as convenient online test scheduling and reporting over secure client networks.

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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

You May Have to Remain Silent, If You Don’t Understand the Language of Your Arrest

police-officer-talking-to-a-student

Interactions between police and citizens can either be friendly, community building events, or frightening, emotion-laden, traumatic crises fraught with peril and fear. In either case, communication and process are facilitated when both sides speak the same language. However, given the growing multilingual makeup of U.S. society, there are often differences of language between the police and those they are sworn to protect and serve.

These differences can create environments of distrust, misunderstanding and xenophobia. Value systems, cultural identities and socio-economic class disparities create barriers to communication, respect and confidence towards police in non-English speaking communities. The nuances of behavior, reliable chains of evidence, and comprehension of the law depend on the abilities of officers and citizens to comprehend situations as they occur. Commonality of language can diminish distrust of police, reduce unnecessary arrests and lawsuits, and enhance community policing efforts.

To this end, police departments all over the country are encouraging their members to learn one or more languages to better serve their communities. Monetary and promotion incentives are being offered to support these efforts (Foreign Language Incentive Pay). The importance of translators fluent in the many languages spoken in large cities, as well as the presence of a “beat cop” who can speak the neighborhood language are increasingly necessary if 21st century policing is to reflect the remarkably diverse melting pot that is our ever-changing society.

With over 25 years of experience providing language assessments to the academic, government and corporate sectors, Language Testing International (LTI) has tested candidates in over 60 countries and in over 120 languages. In partnership with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), we proudly offer our clients valid and reliable reading, writing, speaking, and listening tests.

LTI works closely hiring managers  to identify the appropriate level of language proficiency required for the position you are looking to fill. Once your needs have been identified, we help you qualify the right candidates with the language skills needed to be successful.

Assess with Confidence

LTI administers language assessments to hundreds of thousands of candidates every year and is one of the largest and most respected foreign language proficiency test providers in the world. We offer the highest level of client service as well as convenient online test scheduling and reporting over secure client networks.

Contact us today to learn more

Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

Plan Now for AAPPL

group-of-diverse-high-school-students-studying-in-class-with-female-teacher

The beginning of the school year provides teachers and students alike, a fresh perspective and endless possibilities for changing the way things “have been done.” The AAPPL offers teachers an external measurement as their student move towards proficiency, which can be used for a multitude of different reasons.

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James Wildman is the head teacher for the Glastonbury Public Schools’ Foreign Language Department and a Spanish teacher at Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury, CT. Mr. Wildman is the Past President of the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers; during his presidency the state passed legislation and implemented the Seal of Biliteracy. Mr. Wildman currently serves on the Northeast Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) board of directors, and the CT COLT conference committee. Additionally, he has served as Program Director and Program Coordinator for twelve years for the Glastonbury Public Schools’ STARTALK Summer Programs, in both Chinese and Russian. He is the recipient of the CT COLT Pegasus Pride Award, Distinguished Service Award, and a NECTFL Mead Leadership Fellow.

Getting Ahead in the Infotech World

developing programming and coding technologies website design cyber-space concept woman manInformation technology is the study, design, and development of computer systems and networks, and it’s one of the most important fields of the future. Millions of jobs have been created by IT, as it plays a vital role in every aspect of modern-day life.

The tech world is full of different languages – JavaScript, Ruby and Python are just a few of them. With so many programming languages out there, it’s essential for tech workers to have one common language to communicate in and in most cases, that common language is English. Many IT professionals who are non-native English speakers may be technology experts but lack the English language proficiency needed for communicating effectively. The ability to communicate in English is a huge asset to many companies and organizations. Companies that conduct business internationally are likely to be engaging with people who speak English as a first or second language on a regular basis, making the ability to use English in the workplace a very valuable skill. Most global IT teams work and communicate on a day-to-day basis in English. Continue reading

Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.