Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Map shows the astounding number of languages spoken in Queens

“As anyone who’s even been on the 7 train—the MTA’s so-called ‘international express’—can tell you, Queens is diverse. In fact, there’s nowhere in the world with as many languages as the largest borough in a city of 800 languages, according to the Endangered Language Alliance (ELA).

To help distinguish your Tagalog from your Telugu, the ELA has spent the past six years developing an annotated map of the world’s languages capital, which is featured in the book Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, who argue: ‘The capital of linguistic diversity, not just for the five boroughs, but for the human species, is Queens.'”

Read more @ https://www.timeout.com/newyork/blog/map-shows-the-astounding-number-of-languages-spoken-in-queens-022217

Languages do matter!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s French title reveals plural Jedi being referenced

“As revealed on Twitter, the French title for The Last Jedi is “Les Derniers Jedi” while the Spanish is “Los Ultimos Jedi”. Both words for “Last” appear in their plural form due, meaning the word “Jedi” is also plural.”

Read more @ http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/star-wars-8-the-last-jedi-plural-jedis-french-title-meaning-a7585301.html

Languages do matter!

CUBAN: Don’t go to school for finance — liberal arts is the future

“Cuban highlighted English, philosophy, and foreign language majors as just some of the majors that will do well in the future job market.”

Read more @ http://www.businessinsider.com/mark-cuban-liberal-arts-is-the-future-2017-2

Languages do matter!

“Why French?” has a new link in 2017

“There is one skill that is being learned around the world, with enrollments growing by 50% in Asia and Africa, while in the U.S. programs are being reduced and even eliminated. This highly sought-after global skill is not social media, data analytics, or coding; it is learning French. French is a language that reflects both the rich cultural and historical heritage of France and also that of the worldwide Francophonie. It is a language of international diplomacy, a global business language, and a top internet language, which points to the growing importance of French.”

Read more @ http://languagemagazine.com/2017/02/why-french/

Languages do matter!

Kathy at the NECTFL (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Conference in NYC

I attended the 2017 NECTFL (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), whose theme was Strengthening World Language Education:  Standards for Success, this weekend in NYC.

I am honored to be a member of the NECTFL Advisory Council and attended the annual meeting and luncheon, where I had the opportunity to learn more, make new friends, and meet the  immediate past, present, and future Conference Chairpersons, as well as the Executive Director and thank them for their hard work and dedication in bringing about such a wonderful conference.  Special congratulations and best wishes to the NECTFL Teacher of the Year!

Happily, this week’s wintry weather had little apparent impact on the program, as I learned that over 1,200 were in attendance.

I was very impressed by the number, scope, and quality of the sessions, and attended one on comprehensible input which emphasized the importance of using the target language in the classroom, another on promoting your program, and one on interdisciplinary connections through literature.  I also visited sessions on foreign language advocacy and on target-driven learning pathways.

The exhibits were impressive, with professional associations and vendors well-represented. I was very interested in seeing the wonderful learning materials available, and  I made sure to visit with my AATF  (American Association of Teachers of French) friends at their table and to visit fellow New Jerseyans at the FLENJ (Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey) table.

I returned home inspired by dedication, professionalism, and hard work of so many foreign language educators, with even stronger resolve to continue to devote time and effort to my work as a foreign language educator and advocate.

Languages do matter!

 

 

 

Feeling ‘Pressure All the Time’ on Europe’s Treadmill of Temporary Work

“While the region’s economy is finally recovering, more than half of all new jobs created in the European Union since 2010 have been through temporary contracts. This is the legacy of a painful financial crisis that has left employers wary of hiring permanent workers in a tenuous economy where growth is still weak. Under European labor laws, permanent workers are usually more difficult to lay off and require more costly benefit packages, making temporary contracts appealing for all manner of industries, from low-wage warehouse workers to professional white-collar jobs.”

Read more @ https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/business/europe-jobs-economy-youth-unemployment-millenials.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Languages do matter!

Inside the Nation’s First Bilingual University

“UT-Rio Grande Valley looks to become the first ‘bilingual, bicultural, biliterate’ campus in the country.”

Read more @ https://www.texasobserver.org/first-bilingual-university/

Languages do matter!

Indifference toward Foreign Languages Could Cost Americans

“The numbers are a result of languages other than English being spoken in the home rather than as a result of languages actively being taught to students in public schools. The Pew Research Center found that while the majority of European nations require students learn one or more foreign languages, the United States has no such requirements.”

Read more @ https://www.goodcall.com/news/foreign-languages-010001#.WJnaRrU6t6w.facebook

Languages do matter!

Many Languages One World 2017

“Share your ideas and be heard in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations!

ELS and the United Nations Academic Impact are pleased to sponsor the fourth Many Languages, One World® Student Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum. This year welcomes Northeastern University as the host of the Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum and the sponsor and organizer of the Northeastern University Global Youth Conference.

Sixty winners will be selected as delegates to the 2017 Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum, where they will create action plans related to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in one of the six official languages of the United Nations.”

Read more @ https://www.manylanguagesoneworld.org/

Languages do matter!

Alexander Hamilton spoke French fluently

“He could speak French fluently.”

http://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/served/hamilton.html

Languages do matter!