Real Leaders

We Spend $5 Billion Teaching Languages With a One Percent Effectiveness Rate. Here’s What Needs to Change

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast

“Respecting people from all nations and people of different backgrounds, that’s critical for us to solve many of the challenges we face across the planet and then ultimately, to have peace. We really need people to have a skill set that allows them to interact effectively.”

David Young is the CEO of Participate Learning, a company that partners with schools and districts through language acquisition and immersion programs aimed to unite our world through global learning. Participate Learning is among the Real Leaders 100 Top Impact Companies of 2020.

The following is a summary of Episode 59 of the Real Leaders Podcast, a conversation with CEO of Participate Learning, David Young. Read or listen to the full conversation below.

Participate Learning

David explains that Participate Learning strives to develop the next generation of global citizens by uniting our world through global education. To achieve this, the organization offers a series of programs:

  • language acquisition and immersion
  • teaching programs with cultural exchange ambassadors
  • global leaders programs with 21st century competencies.

Through these programs, Participate Learning is committed to empowering students and educators by promoting cultural understanding at home and abroad.

“99% of US citizens that take language in our public schools never learn to speak that language. As a country we spent $5 billion trying to teach languages with a 1% effectiveness rate.”

Participate Learning is tackling these statistics and consequently sees students in their immersion programs developing extraordinary proficiency in whichever language they’re studying. As a result, David expresses that bilingual proficiency and cultural understanding will ultimately lead to a more connected and peaceful world.

Listen to Episode 59 on Spotify, Anchor, Crowdcast, and Apple Podcasts

A Force for Good

In discussing Participate Learning as a B-Corp, David states that organizations play a role in bettering society. As a result, they can function alongside people as larger global citizens.

“Leaders should be thinking of how their organizations can align to help them resolve global challenges and issues.”

David asserts that leaders can do well through doing good, though he closes with some leading questions for organization leaders:

“What is the impact you have on your employees? What is the impact you have on the environment? Is your work truly making the world a better place? Are you impacting the next generation? What opportunities are you giving your team to become leaders? Not just in title but in empowerment? How are they empowered to make a change in the world for the better? I think leaders that can see that bigger picture, have an opportunity to emerge as the real leaders going forward.”



Find out more about Participate Learning here:

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