by Cathy Cavanaugh Director of Teaching and Learning, Microsoft in Education What is a human language? As a symbol system for encoding and communicating ideas, our languages are varied and dynamic, each reflective of its own cultures and ways of knowing. Thus, each language has intrinsic value to influence thought and interaction. Additionally, each language has practical value in the 21st century. Recognizing the many benefits of learning multiple languages, schools around the world require native language fluency and a minimum of competence in a second language. Thus, world language standards have been developed by professional organizations to guide effective teaching and learning (http://www.actfl.org/publications/all/world-readiness-standards-learning-languages). The choice of languages offered in a school depend on a matrix of factors including locally and regionally spoken languages, availability of teachers and curriculum, and interest among students. Increasingly, world languages and other subjects learned in school are associated with preparing students for college, career, and community.