Curriki Wins an Owler Award – a Top Trending Company!

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

Owler awardCurriki is delighted to announce that we have won an Owler Award – Hot in Cupertino!

Owler is a web and mobile Internet publisher of business information worldwide.  It helps business professionals from every field gauge how they stack up against their competitors, track their partners, keep abreast of what’s going in their fields and stay up on trends.

Each year, Owler recognizes the top trending companies in cities around the world. It sifted through over 15 million companies on their platform to find the most award-worthy businesses, and Curriki is proud to be one of the 4,500 award winners across the 600 most popular cities on Owler.

Recipients were chosen based on several different metrics, including their number of followers on Owler, insights collected from the community, social media followers, and blog posts.

“We’ve sorted through database of millions of contributions from our community and landed on the top trending companies from around the world,” said Jim Fowler, CEO at Owler. “Being Hot In 2016 is an accomplishment to be proud of.”

Because Cupertino is a high-tech hotbed, to win the award in this competitive community is especially rich!

See Curriki’s company profile on Owler.


Kim JonesKim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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15 Thanksgiving Activities That Integrate STEM

Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member

turkey yumIt’s November! That means this month is full of all things Thanksgiving.

The history of the first Thanksgiving meal with Native Americans, turkey crafts, and daydreaming of all of the delicious food usually top the month’s festivities.

However, this holiday can also be a great opportunity to make learning STEM concepts in math, science, technology, and design thinking incredibly fun and engaging. Here are several activities that are perfect for integrating into your classroom or homeschooling curriculum. Most involve easy-to-find materials in the household, so they are also budget-friendly!

Turkeys Involve Math?

Pattern Block Turkeys
Mrs. T’s First Grade Class takes the traditional turkey craft to the next level by using pattern blocks to create “math-friendly” turkeys.

Candy corn athCandy Corn Counting
No Time For Flash Cards has a great counting activity for young learners. Use candy corn for basic counting or to illustrate math sentences.

Thanksgiving Math and Science Activities 
Little Giraffes Teaching Ideas offers several Thanksgiving-themed math and science activities, including making food graphs from Thanksgiving foods, and popcorn or cranberry patterns.

Candy Sorting Mats
Making Learning Fun has templates for candy sorting mats for all occasions, including a turkey for Thanksgiving. Using skittles or other candies, kids can sort, count, and then eat their work!

Thanksgiving Budgeting
What the Teacher Wants offers a Thanksgiving math activity to teach kids about budgeting. Using circulars and newspaper ads for Thanksgiving, students will plan and budget for a Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving Tallying and Graphing Charts
Having a large Thanksgiving get-together? Loving 2 Learn offers fun printable tallying and graphing charts to find out what is the most and least popular pie, vegetable, and pumpkin treat of the season.

Let’s Talk Turkey: The Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner
Calculate the cost to put out that lavish spread.

The Science of Thanksgiving

How Long Do Leftovers Last?
Wonderopolis helps teach kids about refrigeration, bacteria growth and temperature by exploring how long all the parts of a Thanksgiving meal keep in the refrigerator.

dancing corn activityDancing Corn Thanksgiving Science Activity
Little Bins for Little Hands has an activity where kids can explore density, physical properties and chemical reactions with corn kernels, baking soda and vinegar.

Make Homemade Butter Thanksgiving Edible Science
Teach children about states of matter and food science by making butter from heavy cream. Then use the end product to butter rolls on Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Science Experiments
Turn ordinary pumpkins into science marvels! Kids make pumpkin slime, volcanos, car tunnels and more.

Candy Corn Catapults
Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls offers a hands-on activity in physics. Using common household items, catapults can be made with pencils, popsicle sticks, clothespins, and more to learn about trajectory, tension and force.

Study Seeds With Popcorn
Steve Spangler Science shows how you can observe seedlings and germination from popcorn.

Light Up Thanksgiving Turkey Circuit Craft 
Left Brain Craft Brain offers  a fun craft to teach children how to make a simple electrical circuit and a cute turkey at the same time.

Competition and Design

Thanksgiving STEM Challenges leftovers
Incorporate competition, design thinking, and math and science skills in these STEM challenge activities from Plans for a Better Tomorrow. Challenges include making a Mayflower boat and pumpkin catapults, and present Pilgrim building design dilemmas.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving-themed STEM activity? Please share! We hope your November is full of lots of learning!


LaniLani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.

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Teaching the Elections: One Week to Go!

Trump and CLintonBy Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki

With U.S. Presidential Elections coming into the home stretch, many Americans are heaving a sigh of relief that one of the most acrimonious election seasons in memory is finally almost over.

But for teachers and homeschoolers, that means just one week remains to use active elections as an exciting real-time teaching tool for US history and social studies.

Curriki’s elections page includes a collection of helpful, interactive election teaching resources for kids of all ages. They include:

  • Mock Election, a three-day simulation lesson in which students explain the steps taken from party formation to national election.
  • Win the White House, in which students to manage their very own presidential campaign.
  • Electoral Process, a peek into the electoral process, from party primaries to the general election.
  • Poster PLanHow to Become President of the U.S. Poster Lesson Plan, in which students go from Constitutional qualifications for becoming President of the United States, through background research on a candidate, through campaign analysis, and finally participate in a mock election.
  • Scholastic Election, created by the expert editors of Scholastic News magazines, is designed to inform and engage kids in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Curriki also offers “Participation Presidential Elections in Government, a half-year course that aims to make students appreciate their voice in American politics. The course explores the foundations of Democracy, the American dream, social issues, and of course the presidential election.

You’ll also find links to the platforms for the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties and much, much more.

Other Election Resources

Election centralHere are some other election resources to use during this final week of the US Presidential campaign:

  • Because this campaigning cycle has been unusually contentious, Teaching Tolerance offers and promoting civility in times of conflict. The lesson plan Civil Discourse in the Classroom teaches students how to developed reasoned arguments from unsubstantiated claims. You’ll find more tips on its Election 2016 Resources page.
  • PBS Learning Media offers Election Central, a collection of election news, history, and ideas for facilitating classroom debates.

Share Your Successes!

What has been working best for you? Please share your most successful strategies on Curriki’s Facebook page and enter a drawing for an Amazon gift card!


Photo of Janet Pinto

Janet Pinto

Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.

Sign up for Curriki’s enewsletter!

Trick or Treat! Sneak in Teaching With Halloween Fun

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki

Happy HalloweenHalloween is a great time to bring fun into school, as well as at home. Kids of all ages are captivated by costume days, school parades, Trick or Treat Street-type community service events, and of course, candy galore.

But while your students will probably be hyped up on sugar for a few weeks, Halloween also presents some terrific opportunities for learning.

Start with a video history lesson about Halloween from the History Channel, which explains the origins of the elements of this odd holiday – masks, bonfires, jack-o-lanterns, witches, bonfires, cemeteries and begging for treats.

Then check out the other lessons and activities in Curriki’s Halloween Collection. They include:

  • Celebrate Halloween – Students research information on Halloween, create masks or costumes from a text they are reading, or write a narrative essay describing their best Halloween ever.
  • Halloween Story Starters – A list from Scholastic of Halloween Story Starters.
  • Halloween Logic Puzzles – students use a Halloween scenario to think logically.
  • Salem Witch TrialsLearn about the Salem Witch Trials, either in a history lesson or through an examination of Arthur Miller’s classic play The Crucible.

Last but not least, embrace the spookiness and spend some class time haunting your students by reading Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Raven. Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Trick or Treat!


Photo of Janet Pinto

Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience, and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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Habla Español? Curriki que sirve ahora

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

Curriki' Spanish website

Curriki’s Spanish website

In response to growing interest in Open Educational Resources by educators, parents and student who speak Spanish, Curriki has created a Spanish-language version of its website.

The new, BETA Spanish-language Curriki site recently went live, and you can access it by simply clicking on the “Español” link on the upper right of the Curriki.org homepage, or by going directly to www.curriki.org/es/.  You’ll discover a collection of hundreds of Spanish-language OER resources in   language arts, mathematicsscience,  social studies and history and even more in English: writing, computer science, engineering!

It’s a great start, but Curriki needs to expand the library with more Spanish-language resources. We are encouraging educators and homeschoolers who teach in Spanish to upload your curricula and share what works for you.

At its heart, Curriki is about ensuring that all children—no matter where they come from, where they live or what language they speak—receive a world-class education, which means access to the Curriki OER Library is critical to their success as students. Offering Spanish-language curricula through Curriki is a good step toward providing teachers, schools and parents the support they need to reach every child and for students to access resources in their native language.

How You Can Contribute

  1. Become a Volunteer Translator!Currently, there are 377 resources written in Spanish in the Library, and we are asking the Curriki community to lend their services to help translate its more than 84,000 teaching and learning resources from English to Spanish. If you are fluent in English and Spanish and familiar with education resources, or you can refer someone to us, please contact jpinto@curriki.org
  2. Contribute Your Spanish Teaching and Learning Materials!Educators are encouraged to contribute their lessons, videos, activities, assessments, ebooks, curriculum, units, worksheets, and more to the Curriki Library. Contributors must first join Curriki (it is free) and login to the site.

Please check out the site and send us feedback.  

We also have a survey we would love for you to take,  here


Por Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

En respuesta por crecer el interés en Recursos Abiertos de Educación por los maestros, padres y estudiantes que hablan español, Curriki ha creado una versión de lenguaje en español de su sitio web.

La nueva versión BETA del sitio Curriki en lenguaje español acaba de abrirse para todos, y para entrar simplemente de un click en el link de “Español” en la esquina derecha del sitio Curriki.org en la página de inicio, o yendo directo a www.curriki.org/es/. Encontrará una colección de miles de recursos OER en lenguaje español en artes del lenguaje, matemáticas, ciencia, estudios sociales e historia, y ¡de igual manera en inglés: escritura, ciencia de la computadora e ingeniería!

Es un gran comienzo, pero Curruki necesita expandir su biblioteca con más recursos en lenguaje español. Estamos retando a los papas que dan escuela en casa que enseñan en español para que suban más recursos en español que nos sirvan como recurso para ellos.

Curriki quiere asegurarse que todos los niños de donde quiera que vengan, en donde quiera que vivan o en que lenguaje hablen, reciban una educación mundial adecuada, eso significa que tengan acceso a la librería de Curriki OER es crítico para el éxito de los estudiantes. Ofrecer este tipo de recursos en lenguaje español es un gran paso para proveer a todos los maestros, escuelas y padres que necesiten de este soporte para criar y enseñar a sus hijos o estudiantes en su lenguaje nativo.

¿Cómo puedo contribuir?

  1. ¡Conviértete en un traductor voluntario!: Actualmente, hay 377 recursos escritos en español en la biblioteca, y estamos preguntando a la comunidad de Curriki para pedir su ayuda y traducir sus más de 84,000 recursos para enseñar y aprender del inglés al español. Si usted puede traducir de inglés a español o sabe de alguien que lo pueda hacer, háganoslo saber, por favor. Contáctenos al correo jpinto@curriki.org
  2. ¡Puede contribuir con sus materiales de enseñanza y aprendizaje de lenguaje español!: Estamos invitando a los educadores para que contribuyan con sus lecciones, videos, actividades, asentamientos, libros en línea, currículums, unidades, hojas de trabajo y más en la biblioteca de Curriki. Los contribuyentes primero se tienen que unir al sitio Curriki (es gratis) y entrar al sitio.

Por favor, cheque el sitio y envíenos un mensaje de vuelta:

http://curriki.org/es/acercade-curriki/contact-us/.

¡De igual manera tenemos recursos que le podrían ayudar aquí!:

https://www.recursomono.com/r/EspanolCurriki


Kim JonesKim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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Amgen Foundation Donates $25K to Curriki

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

2000px-amgen-svgI am delighted to announce that Amgen Foundation, the primary philanthropic vehicle of the biotech leader Amgen, has pledged $25,000 to help Curriki further its mission to provide quality Open Educational Resources (OER) to students worldwide.

The Amgen Foundation’s generous grant will help Curriki offer even more innovative science education options to teachers and students. This kind of corporate support makes a huge difference in creating a community of learners who will be able to use their education to go out and have an impact on the world.

Eduardo Cetlin, president of Amgen Foundation, told us that he feels “Curriki is clearly making a difference for students and teachers across the globe. We are proud to support Curriki to strengthen access to quality science content for its growing community of learners.”

Curriki, a non-profit organization, hosts a free library of 83,000+ educator-vetted learning materials in all K-12 subject areas and in many formats—from individual lesson plans, instructional videos and units, to games and simulations. All content contributed by educators and select partners is available to others to use, adapt and share at no cost. In addition, Curriki curates resources into course-sequenced, standards-aligned units to enable educators to easily find materials.

Curriki recently released a new High School Physics Collection and launched a new array of custom services to give educators access to Curriki’s curriculum resources on their school’s own websites.

About Curriki

A 2016 SIIA CODiE Award finalist, Curriki’s mission is to eliminate the gap between those who have access to high-quality education and those who do not. Curriki’s online community of educators, learners and committed education experts works together to create quality materials that benefit teachers, parents and students globally. A Computerworld Honors Laureate for 2012, Curriki was selected as the 21st Century Achievement Award winner for Digital Access. With more than 485,000 members and 83,000+ learning assets, Curriki has reached more than 12 million users worldwide. Join today www.curriki.org.

About the Amgen Foundation

The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators, and to invest in strengthening communities where Amgen staff members live and work. To date, the Foundation has donated over $250 million to local, regional and international nonprofit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. The Amgen Foundation brings the excitement of discovery to the scientists of tomorrow through several signature programs, including Amgen Scholars, Amgen Biotech Experience and Amgen Teach. For more information, visit www.amgeninspires.com.


Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki.Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world. Learn more at Curriki.org.

Sign up for Curriki’s enewsletter!

Open Educational Resources:  A Powerful Means for Educational Equity

By Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member

OER logoEducation provides families and communities the opportunity to thrive. However, educational systems and curricula differ across communities, states and even nations. These inequities can prevent many children from having adequate opportunities to learn.

According to the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, almost one-third of the U.S. population is living in poverty. Coupled with additional barriers such as under-resourced schools, societal and cultural expectations, teacher shortages, illiteracy and lack of access, gaps in education are severely challenging to address. As a consequence, generations of young people are slipping through the cracks and their potential for contributing to society is diminished or lost. The impact of inequality is even heavier on gender and minorities. We simply cannot sit back and wait, perhaps for decades, for these inequities to be resolved.

OER to the Rescue!

With the exponential growth of technology and the Internet, Open Educational Resources (OER) give communities around the world the ability to meet their educational needs. UNESCO coined the term “OER” in 2002, describing it as teaching, learning and research resources in the public domain or with license that permits free use and re-purposing.

Curriki seeks to fill in instruction gaps by providing a free global OER platform for educators, parents, and students to access and share courses, curriculum, textbooks, videos, assessments, lesson plans, simulations and a multitude of other teaching and learning resources.

Computer learningHere are some ways that OERs can foster educational equity:

  • Access to Free Quality Resources. OER resources exist in the public domain or are released with intellectual property licensing that allows the public to use them for free for educational and personal purposes.  Therefore, anyone can access these resources, use them in their classrooms and disseminate among staff and educational peers.
  • Ease of Accessibility. OERs are readily available wherever there is internet access, via computers, laptops, mobile devices and cell phones. This can happen at school, at home, or even at a library, restaurant, or even a mall where public Wi-fi is available. Public domain and permissible content can be downloaded onto USB drives and continue to be shared.
  • Provide Personalized Learning Experiences. Differentiated instruction to meet individual needs of students is a cornerstone of effective teaching. In addition to the unique qualities and interests of every student, legislation requires the customization of instruction to meet the needs or defined groups such as gifted and talented and special needs students.
    OERs allow educators, homeschooling educators, parents, and students to search for topics and complementary teaching materials. Imagine being able to find engaging videos, simulations, units, and activities targeting unique interests ranging from NASCAR to Harry Potter and the Hunger Games.
  • Curated collections of resources also help provide targeted materials at all levels. Curriki offers standards-aligned collections on Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Physics, Computational Thinking and more.
  • Fostering a Diversified Curriculum. Effective education is no longer viewed as a “sage on stage” scenario where teachers lecture and students rely on textbooks for learning. But challenges for adequate curriculum development and limited planning time make it difficult to meet the needs for 21st century learning. The Framework for 21st Century Learning emphasizes creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration. Research and investigation are the prime vehicles for learning, and OERs hone in on this with valuable resources on problem-based learning, flipped classrooms, technology integration and inquiry.
  • Collaboration on Successful Practices. Curriki’s large repository of high-quality materials — shared by educators, parents and students — can be linked or uploaded to share around the world. Teachers have shared their personally developed units, lesson plans, videos and more to create an abundance of classroom-tested instructional materials.  Curriki makes it easy to find these resources by keyword searches, subjects, grade level, resource type (unit, lesson plan, video, assessment, etc.), and even by standard (Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards).

In addition, Curriki’s platform allows its community of users to rate and review each resource. Teachers, parents and students can also create their own groups, public or private, and participate in forums on a variety of topics to advance collaboration.

Education for All

Educators, parents, and students don’t have to be restricted from limited resources, geography or their current learning environment. The global community is working through OERs to help provide quality education for all. Curriki is proud to be a prime facilitator of this educational progress!


LaniLani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.

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Help Stop Bullying During Bullying Prevention Month

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki

bullying-tactics

Bullying is one of the most pervasive – and damaging – aspects of life in middle and high school.

It’s linked to problems with mental health, poor grades, low self-esteem, substance abuse and even suicide. It can be blatant – a group of kids pushing a smaller one up against his locker – or insidious – a whispered lie spread around the school.

Either way, bullying can hurt and it can kill. It has no place in school – or in society.

Let’s take advantage of Bullying Prevention Month to shine a spotlight on bullying and brainstorm ways to make it stop in our schools!

What is Bullying?

Bullying is when a person or group repeatedly tries to harm someone who is weaker. It can involve direct attacks such as hitting, name calling and teasing, or indirect attacks, such as spreading rumors or trying to make others reject someone.

People often dismiss bullying as a normal part of growing up, but it is harmful, and its effects can last a lifetime. In severe cases, its victims bullied may feel they need to take drastic measures or react violently – as we have all seen in the stories behind some school shootings – and some even commit suicide.

Here are some grim stats about bullying, from the Stop Bullying Now Foundation: http://stopbullyingnowfoundation.org/main/

  • 60% of middle school students say that they have been bullied, while only 16% of staff believes that students are bullied.
  • 160,000 students stay home from school every day due to bullying.
  • 30% of students who reported they had been bullied said they had at times brought weapons to school.
  • A bully is 6 times more likely to be incarcerated by the age of 24.
  • A bully is 5 times more likely to have a serious criminal record when he grows up.
  • Two-thirds of students who are targets become bullies.
  • 20% of high school students say they have seriously considered suicide within the last 12 months.
  • 25% of students say that teachers intervened in bullying incidents, while 71% of teachers say they intervened.
  • Bullying was a factor in 2/3 of the 37 school shootings reviewed by the US Secret Service.
  • In schools where there are anti-bullying programs, bullying is reduced by 50%.

Cyber Bullying

bullying-infographicIn the 21st Century, the Internet has become a bullying weapon of choice, so parents and teacher must be vigilant to help prevent cyberbullying. Here are some tips from Curriki on how to stop it and how you can use technology to battle its effects.

How Can You Help?

It’s clear that educators need to step up and be more vigilant about preventing and stopping bullying – because that can truly make a difference in children’s lives and long-term outcomes.

Curriki’s course Kindness, School Climate and Bullying Prevention offers a number of resources for educators to promote awareness of bullying behaviors among students and prevent bullying behavior in schools. It includes tips on how to respond to bullying, whether you’re a parent, a teacher or a bystander.

Here are some other anti-bullying resources offered by Curriki:

Make a Difference!

Parents and educators – step up and make a difference during Bullying Prevention Month. Share this blog post with your friends on social media and spread the word on how to stop bullying!


Janet Pinto - Curriki CAO/CMOJanet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience, and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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Curriki Unveils New Personalized Services

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

OER logoCurriki has created a new array of custom services to give educators direct and personalized access to its high-quality curriculum resources on your school’s own website.

I’m really excited about these tools, because they will make a huge difference for educators by putting Curriki’s curriculum directly into their hands so much more conveniently than before! But the real beneficiaries will be your students, who will have more direct access to Curriki’s wealth of high-quality educational materials.

Here’s what we are offering:

Customized OER Collections

Curriki’s Custom OER Collection Curation team, comprised of curriculum development and subject matter experts, now offers the ability to curate vetted Open Educational Resources into customized collections tailored to meet the needs of any organization. Curriki can even develop Sponsored Collections with the branding of its educational partners, providing personalized, collaborative instructional materials that empower teachers to make a greater impact on student success. Learn more or email partners@curriki.org.

Custom Search Widget

With the Curriki Custom Search widget, organizations can add a Curriki Advanced Search box to their Learning Management System (LMS) or school support site to make it easy for staff to find high quality Open Educational Resources in the Curriki library without leaving their school website. Learn more or email api@curriki.org.

Search API

Curriki-logoCurriki is now offering a Search API (Application Program Interface) that can be integrated into any organization’s application to search Curriki’s library of open educational resources (OER). Searches can be conducted by text-based query, type, subject, subject category, grade level, review rating or standard. To learn more about Curriki’s API, visit www.curriki.org or email api@curriki.org.

Curriki, a 2016 SIIA CODiE Award finalist, hosts a free library of 83,000+ educator-vetted learning materials in all K-12 subject areas and in many formats—from individual lesson plans, instructional videos and units, to games and simulations. All content contributed by educators and select partners is available to others for use, adapt and share at no cost. In addition, Curriki curates resources into course-sequenced, standards-aligned units to enable educators to easily find materials. Curriki recently released a new High School Physics Collection.

The mission of Curriki, a nonprofit organization, is to eliminate the gap between those who have access to high-quality education and those who do not. Its online community of educators, learners and committed education experts works together to create quality materials that benefit teachers, parents and students globally. A Computerworld Honors Laureate for 2012, Curriki was selected as the 21st Century Achievement Award winner for Digital Access. With more than 470,000 members and 83,000+ learning assets, Curriki has reached nearly 12 million users worldwide. Join today at www.curriki.org.


Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki.Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world.

Sign up for Curriki’s enewsletter!

The Value of a Foreign Language – C’est Formidable!

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki

European langaugesEuropean Day of Languages is this month, a timely reminder of the immeasurable value of foreign language study in education and in life.

The first day  – or rather, year – celebrating language diversity was European Year of Languages 2001. Organized by the Council of Europe and the European Union, it involved millions of people across 45 countries in activities that celebrated linguistic diversity in Europe and promoted language learning.

After that inaugural celebration, the Council of Europe declared a European Day of Languages to be celebrated each Sept. 26. The EDL website has a host of fun activities, quizzes, trivia and more to celebrate foreign language study.

In the United States, language learning is less of a priority. Less than 10 percent of Americans are bilingual, while well over half of Europeans speak two languages fluently, according to the California State University, Fullerton.

Benefits of Learning Languages

Hello bonjourSpeaking a foreign language has countless benefits for personal development. Here are just a few:

  • It increases understanding of other cultures.
  • It encourages lifelong learning.
  • It improves employment potential, since many businesses are marketing their products and services in other countries. A second language is now becoming a crucial element for an increasing spectrum of careers.
  • It helps businesses compete in a global economy, by giving them a better understanding of the cultures with which they are dealing.
  • It improves chances of entry into college or graduate school, as most colleges and universities require a minimum of two years of high school foreign language instruction for admission.
  • It helps you better appreciate international literature, music, art and film.
  • It makes travel easier and more enjoyable.
  • For college students, it expands study abroad options.
  • It increases your potential pool of friends.

(Sources: OurEverydayLife.com and VistaWide.com.)

The list goes on and on. The College Board has even found that students who have taken 4-5 years of a foreign language have higher verbal scores on the SAT.

Children who excel at a foreign language at a young age usually have better musical skills, according to a study conducted by professors at the University of Turku, Finland.

Teaching young children how to speak a second language is good for their minds, report two Cornell linguistic researchers. They say learning a second language does not cause language confusion, language delay or cognitive deficit, as feared, but rather makes it easier for them to maintain attention and be ready for school.

Convinced Yet?

Visit the European Day of Languages website. Take the languages quiz, learn some trivia, try some activities and find out why languages are important.

Curriki Language Resources

Au revoir. Adios. Auf Wiedersehen. Arrivederci. Good bye!


Photo of Janet Pinto

Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.

Sign up for Curriki’s enewsletter!