Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: January 2014

Chinese New Year: Greetings and Phrases in Mandarin Chinese

Chinese New Year: Greetings and Phrases in Mandarin Chinese

“Chinese New Year is the most important festival in Chinese culture. It is celebrated on the new moon of the first month according to the lunar calendar, and is a time for family reunions and scrumptious feasts.

Chinese New Year traditionally lasts from the first day to the 15th day of the New Year (which is Lantern Festival), but the demands of modern life mean that most people don’t get such an extended holiday. Still, the first five days of the New Year are an official holiday in Taiwan, while workers in Mainland China and Singapore get at least 2 or 3 days off.

The Chinese New Year is a chance to leave the problems of the previous year behind.”

Languages do matter!

Chinese New Year 2014: 25 Inspirational Greetings, Quotes And Proverbs For Year Of The Horse

Chinese New Year 2014: 25 Inspirational Greetings, Quotes And Proverbs For Year Of The Horse


“Gung hei fat choi!

That’s the greeting many will say on Jan. 31 to mark the beginning of the Chinese New Year.”

Languages do matter!

Should we make children stay at school until 6pm?

Should we make children stay at school until 6pm?

“They will do better in maths and literacy but also have time to do foreign languages, which are squeezed out at the moment.”

Languages do matter!


Multilingualism and Cosmopolitanism – Meanings, Relationships, Tendencies

Multilingualism and Cosmopolitanism – Meanings, Relationships, Tendencies

“Languages are supposed to make a person world-minded. For many reasons, our globalising world values language knowledge. Yet scientifically, language knowledge has not yet been linked to global identity.  This book, therefore, explores the link between multilingualism and cosmopolitanism.  This work should help shed some light on the relationship between language knowledge and global identity, and should be especially useful, whether as insight, inspiration, or agenda for personal development, for the language professional, teacher, and student, as well as for the engaging and open-minded traveller in today`s world.”

Languages do matter!

9 questions about Ukraine you were too embarrassed to ask

9 questions about Ukraine you were too embarrassed to ask

“Here’s the thing you have to understand: Ukraine is divided. Deeply, deeply divided by language, by history and by politics. One-third of the country speaks Russian as its native language, and in practice even more use it day-to-day. The Russian-speakers mostly live in one half of the country; the Ukrainian-speakers live in another. You can see that clear-as-day divide in the map at the top of this page.

It’s not just that Ukraine has two halves that predominantly speak different languages. They have different politics – and different visions for their country.'”

Languages do matter!

A Push for French in New York Schools, From France

A Push for French in New York Schools, From France

“in the city’s public school system, the French dual-language program, in which half the classes are in French and the other half in English, is booming. Eight public schools offer a French/English curriculum for about 1,000 students, making it the third-largest dual-language program,

But even though the program is a signature feature of the city’s public schools, one of its most enthusiastic benefactors is not even American or, for that matter, local. It is the French government.”

Languages do matter!

Cognitive Advantages of Second Language Immersion Education

Cognitive Advantages of Second Language Immersion Education

“So the news is excellent for all those who are putting time and energy in immersion education—teachers and staff, parents and, of course, children. As Ellen Bialystok, Kathleen F. Peets and Sylvain Moreno state so nicely: ‘The road to bilingualism is incremental, and so are the accrued advantages’.”

Languages do matter!

Study foreign languages!

Study foreign languages!

“Research shows that people who have extensively studied a foreign language make more rational decisions

Promoting the ability to look at any situation in a more rational context also facilitates a greater understanding and appreciation of foreign cultures.

Additionally, learners of foreign languages are forced to take a closer look at their own language themselves.

Another obscure group of benefits include the health of the brain. 

As globalization presses onward and the world becomes much closer knit through technology, the need to reach across cultures and traverse language barriers will only increase.”

Languages do matter!


Why You Should Learn Another Language

Why You Should Learn Another Language

“Being a polyglot is definitely advantageous for corporate success.The benefits of effective  communication across multiple languages have long been known by the international  business community as an indispensable tool for relationship building and  financial success.

In fact, those entering the workforce in 2014 with second language fluency can expect an additional 10 to 15 percent pay increase.”

Languages do matter!

Lafayette schools expanding French immersion program

Lafayette schools expanding French immersion program

New class to target fifth-graders

The Lafayette Parish school system plans to start a late-entry French immersion class next year to expand its popular immersion option to older students.

If it launches, Lafayette Parish could have the first late-entry program in the state.”

Languages do matter!