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.
——————————————————————————————————————————
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.

Contact us today to get started!

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.

Minimum Language Requirements Are Not Enough to Keep Our Skies Safe!

stock-photo-two-male-pilots-in-the-cockpit-during-a-commercial-flight

A terrifying mid-air collision in 2017 was caused by two international pilot trainees who both lacked basic English language proficiency. One of the pilots was severely injured, the other pilot died.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released a report on the crash that occurred between two flight school airplanes near St-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec. The report clearly states that lack of language proficiency in English and French on the student’s part muddled the complex aeronautical environment that caused the accident.

The investigation states that both pilots “deviated from the altitude restrictions provided by air traffic control before colliding in mid-air.” According to the report, the pilots involved in the crash were international flight students enrolled in training in Canada.

Both of the pilots in the crash were tested and met the minimum English-language proficiency requirements to fly, however, neither pilot’s first language was English or French. According to the TSB report, improper and insufficient language proficiency testing, which allowed these student pilots with low English-language proficiency to pass, is likely a key factor in the cause of the crash.

The investigation found that it’s not possible to ensure the validity, reliability or nation-wide standardization of the aviation language proficiency testing (ALPT) given by Transport Canada, as there is little to no oversight of the examiners. Even though pilots must be at operational or expert level in English or French (or both), “operational,” meaning they met a minimum international proficiency level to be able to communicate with air traffic control, it wasn’t enough.  A Civil Aviation Safety Alert was published, citing the risks created by improper validity, reliability and standardization in language testing.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada concluded with the recommendation that all international student pilots should be tested through private language proficiency testing programs, and be required to meet stringent English-language standards to obtain personal licensing prior to their first solo flight.

Assess with Confidence

Language Testing International (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.

The OPIc Arrives in China

The Oral Proficiency Interview computer system (OPIc), developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), was recently introduced in Shanghai to assist those seeking employment with international companies to demonstrate their proficiency. Currently, the OPIc covers 13 languages and five of them, English, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish, are now available in China.

“The system was introduced in China because it contains evaluation tests for multiple languages, rather than a single language like other tests,” said Li Peize, President of the Beijing-based Chinese Testing International of the Confucius Institute. “It was designed by more than 10,000 language experts around the world.”
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.

Talking Toys: Helping or Hurting Young Language Learners?

A new and very interesting study in JAMA Pediatrics discovered that toys marketed as language promoters don’t prove to be so in most cases. In fact, the study found that these toys in fact, hindered the language learning process in young children.

Professor Anna Sosa, of Northern Arizona University, led the study and provided participating families three different types of toys: books, traditional toys like stacking blocks and a shape sorter, and electronic toys.

We had a talking farm — animal names and things,” Sosa says of the electronic toys. “We had a baby cellphone. And we had a baby laptop. So you actually open the cover and start pushing buttons, and it tells you things.”
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.