World Languages and Global Workforce Initiatives

Patrick Wallace with World Languages and Global Workforce InitiativesProgram Specialist for World Languages and Global Workforce Initiatives with the Georgia Department of Education, Patrick Wallace is in studio for today’s episode of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Joined by co­-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick, Wallace discusses the broad scope of his job, why knowledge of other languages is especially important in the current climate and more in today’s Around Atlanta segment of Radio.

Wallace oversees the 216 school districts in the state of Georgia in the area of world languages. This includes more than 550,000 students learning a language across the state. Wallace serves and supports the administration, as well as the students with day-to-day activities such as curriculum questions, articulation questions, hiring and finding talents across Georgia.

Wallace is also involved in several programs, including the Georgia Seal of Biliteracy. The Georgia Seal of Biliteracy is an insignia students have the opportunity to receive upon graduation that recognizes them for high proficiency in a second language. Another program Wallace is involved with is the International Skills Diplomacy program. This organization is a unique program that started in 2015. It consists of international businesses recognizing leaders in the school system who have a global or international focus on their education. A third program Wallace dedicates his time to is the Dual Language Immersion Initiative. This program seeks to teach students in two different languages throughout the day. The goal is to have students immersed in two separate languages every day in school.

Apart from the many programs Wallace is involved in supporting and overseeing, he also spends his time meeting with other international agencies and departments to work with and grow the international community in Georgia. This includes outreach to non-English-speaking families to complete tasks such as interpreting, translating and clarifying objectives.

“These are all the things that go into my wheelhouse,” said Wallace. “It’s quite a large area, but it has never been boring. The job has always been exciting with plenty to do. There is a tremendous amount of progress happening in global education in Georgia.”

Wallace believes that the understanding of several different languages and cultures is especially important during current times. With the incredible amount of uncertainty and fear surrounding the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, several countries are experiencing similar repercussions and consequences of the virus. The knowledge of other languages and the ability to interact with different cultures experiencing a similar way of life due to outside influences is increasingly important.

“We also need to have that cooperation within the context of our society to be able to work with people from different backgrounds,” said Wallace. “I constantly hear from business professionals again and again how collaboration and communication are increasingly important.”

These ideals are fostered in the world language classroom where Wallace and his organization are working to improve knowledge, skills and interaction between nations. In addition to the advantages on a global scale, learning a second language can also be beneficial for a number of other reasons. Cognitive and academic advancement is a huge value to students who learn a second language, as well as higher empathy and understanding levels.

To learn more about Patrick Wallace or the World Languages and Global Workforce Initiatives, visit the link here. You can also listen to the full interview above.

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