Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: May 2014

The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit (TEDx Talk) — 1250 views, Thank you!

The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit (TEDx Talk) — 1250 views, Thank you!

Thank you to all of you — all 1,260 of you — who have taken the time to view my TEDx talk, “The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit:  Why It Matters, and What We Can Do about It,” part of the “Why We Care! – Global Challenges and Realities” TEDx event held at the Giovatto Library, on the Metropolitan Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.

Languages do matter!


NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo

NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo

“Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2014 Annual Conference & Expo in San Diego, California. We look forward to seeing you again next year in Boston where we will explore the 2015 conference theme—New Horizons in International Education.”

Languages do matter!

U.S. outranks France for drinking wine

U.S. outranks France for drinking wine

” The United States is No. 1 when it comes to consuming wine, beating out France.

In 2013, America drank 4 billion bottles of wine. France consumed ‘only’ 3.8 billion bottles.

However, the average French resident drinks a little more than one bottle a week. Americans consume a quarter bottle per person weekly.”

Languages do matter!

French lesson with la différence

French lesson with la différence

“After years of cajoling by campaigners, alarmed by falling numbers taking GCSEs, A-levels and degrees in modern languages, not to mention our collective inability to get by in anything other than English, the Government has made the teaching of one foreign language to children between the ages of eight and 11 a statutory obligation.

The immediate challenge, she adds, is to spread local good practice more widely so that the new statutory requirement translates into youngsters ready and able to be tomorrow’s polyglots. “

Languages do matter!

London prepares for Tour de France

London prepares for Tour de France

“It is the biggest annual sporting event in the world, and this summer the Tour de France will come to the capital.

On 7 July it will pass by London landmarks like the Olympic Park, the Houses of Parliament, finishing at Buckingham Palace.”

Languages do matter!

Lost and Found in Translation

Lost and Found in Translation

“In learning a language you develop a new personality that only presents itself while you’re speaking that language.

There is something about the unfamiliarity of the feeling of the sounds in your mouth, as well as your new, growing vocabulary and the creativity you inevitably develop as you use that limited vocabulary to express the complex thoughts in your head, that all combine to give you a freedom to be different than you are when you are simply you, speaking your native language. “

Languages do matter!

Tourism statistics (EU) – top destinations

Tourism statistics (EU) – top destinations

Spain was the top foreign destination for EU residents in 2012.” 

France, Italy, Austria, and Germany complete the top 5.

Languages do matter!

20% of Europeans have never used the internet

20% of Europeans have never used the internet

“The biggest barrier to internet ubiquity is out of the hands of government officials. Nearly half of European households without internet access say, simply, that it is “not needed.”

And like most things on the continent, there is wide variation in internet use between countries. Only 4% of Danes and Swedes have never used the internet, while the always-offline life is the norm for 42% of Romanians.”

Languages do matter!

See also — “The EU 2014 Digital Scoreboard: how did you fare?” @


Tokyo’s top Kinokuniya bookstore doubles its number of foreign titles

Tokyo’s top Kinokuniya bookstore doubles its number of foreign titles

“For Japanese living or traveling abroad, a Kinokuniya bookstore can be a source of information, a gathering spot and a comforting link to home. With the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics not far in the horizon, Japan’s largest bookseller wants to become the same for foreigners in the nation’s capital.

On May 29, Kinokuniya unveiled an expanded version of its foreign book section at its flagship Shinjuku South Store located in the Takashimaya Times Square complex beside Shinjuku Station.

The target market are the 400,000 residents of foreign nationality living in the Tokyo metropolitan area, as well as visitors who are expected to stream in for the 2020 Summer Olympics.”

Languages do matter!

The International Friendly Campus

The International Friendly Campus

“The session (on creating an international student-friendly campus) was part of the  annual conference of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.”

Languages do matter!