Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: June 2014

Language beyond borders and divides

Language beyond borders and divides

“1 July 2014 – Nelson Mandela once said: ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language – that goes to his heart.’ 

This sentiment was highlighted by an essay competition  co-organized by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and ELS Educational Services, Inc., where 4,000 students worldwide – from freshmen to doctoral candidates, submitted essays to the “Many Languages, One World” contest.

60 winning authors were brought to New York by their love of languages, and their enthusiasm for global citizenship. Unlike a traditional essay competition where entrants write in their native language, participants in the UN Academic Impact contest were not only required to write in one of the six UN official languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish – but one that was not their mother tongue or the medium of instruction of their education.

UNAI, launched by the Secretary-General in 2010, is a global initiative that aligns institutions of higher learning and research with the UN and counts 1,000 members in 120 countries. In this context a youth forum, kicked off on June 27, launched 16 months of planned events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.”

Languages do matter!

 

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Winners of multilingual essay contest to meet at UN Headquarters on June 27, 2014

Winners of multilingual essay contest to meet at UN Headquarters on June 27, 2014

“Sixty college and university students from 28 countries have been invited to attend a youth forum at UN Headquarters on June 27, 2014 to discuss the role of multilingualism in a globalized world.  They are winners of an international essay contest, organized by ELS Educational Services, Inc. and the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) of the UN Department of Public Information.  

The contest, Many Languages One World, invited university and college students to write an essay on global citizenship in one of the six official UN languages, which must not be their mother-tongue, or the medium of instruction of their education. More than 4,000 people from 128 countries took part in some phase of the contest.  The official languages of the United Nations are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.  
 
The people who participated in the contest ranged from college freshmen to Doctoral candidates, and their fields of study ran the academic gamut, including all of the arts and sciences, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry, engineering, law, business, finance and management, agriculture, architecture, communications and linguistics and translation.  A large number of publications across the globe picked up this story, and the social media platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter, provided strong support.
   
At the invitation of the ELS Educational Services Inc., ten winners from each language group will travel to New York in June, and participate in a 5 day Global Youth Forum in conjunction with Adelphi University.  They will work in their language teams to create action plans around principles from the United Nations Academic Impact.  On June 27, they will present these plans at a special meeting at United Nations Headquarters.  This will also mark the start of the 70th anniversary year of the United Nations Charter.”
 
Languages do matter!

Università, la Sapienza al Palazzo di Vetro di New York

Università, la Sapienza al Palazzo di Vetro di New York

Francesco Ripa è l’unico studente italiano tra i 60 vincitori di “Many languages, one world”, il contest di scrittura delle Nazioni Unite
Quattromila partecipanti da 128 nazioni diverse, ma solo sessanta vincitori, di cui l’unico italiano arriva dalla Sapienza. “Many Languages, one world” è il contest dell’Onu che ha invitato tutti gli studenti del mondo a scrivere un saggio sulla cittadinanza globale, in una delle sei lingue ufficiali delle Nazioni Unite. E Francesco Ripa è l’unico italiano che volerà a New York a fine giugno. Insieme agli altri vincitori prenderà parte al Forum Mondiale della Gioventù per relazionare sulla cittadinanza globale nel Palazzo di Vetro dell’Onu.”

Languages do matter!

Multilingual masters recognized at Adelphi University

Multilingual masters recognized at Adelphi University

“60 students from 26 countries  gathered at Adelphi Thursday to be recognized as winners of an international essay contest on the role of multilingual ability in global citizenship.

The catch was that the writers had to write in a language other than their native tongue and in one of the six official languages of the United Nations, which is a sponsor of the Many Languages, One World contest. Those languages are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.”

Languages do matter!

3,500 views in 90 Countries of “Language Matters” — Thank you all!

3,500 views in 90 countries of “Language Matters” — Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to view “Language Matters.”  🙂

For winners of UN essay contest, multilingualism makes the world go ‘round

For winners of UN essay contest, multilingualism makes the world go ‘round

“These linguistic mavericks are among the 60 winners of an essay competition co-organized by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and ELS Educational Services, Inc. Their love of languages has brought them to New York, and their enthusiasm for global citizenship helps them bridge cultural divides.

The winners were chosen from among more than 4,000 students worldwide – from freshmen to doctoral candidates, majoring in fields as diverse as architecture and pharmacy – who participated in the “Many Languages, One World” contest. Today, they presented their essays at a Global Youth Forum in the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters.

Unlike a traditional essay competition where entrants write in their native language, participants in the UN Academic Impact contest were not only required to write in one of the six UN official languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish – but one that was not their mother tongue or the medium of instruction of their education.

Today’s youth forum kicked off 16 months of planned events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.”

Languages do matter!

In Bergen, Passaic libraries, languages add diversity to story time

In Bergen, Passaic libraries, languages add diversity to story time

“The foreign language story times have also been a way for staff to draw parents to the library. It allows parents to become acquainted with the librarian as well as transition children to the English-language story hour. Some immigrants from countries where libraries are used solely for academic purposes are sometimes not familiar with the role of the public library in the community.”

Languages do matter!

Bergen County hosts its first Irish festival

Bergen County hosts its first Irish festival

“Irish-Americans are Bergen County’s second-largest ethnic group, behind Italian-Americans. They number more than 122,000, making up nearly one of every eight Bergen residents, according to the most recent census data. And their cultural heritage was on full display in the county park on Saturday: banjo and bagpipe performances, Irish dancing, and a Gaelic football tournament for boys.”

More photos @ http://www.northjersey.com/photo-galleries/photos-first-annual-bergen-county-irish-festival-at-overpeck-county-park-1.1043160

Languages do matter!

The World’s 10 Best Cities for Pizza

The World’s 10 Best Cities for Pizza

Want great pizza? You don’t need to travel too far.

While it might be easy to think that you can’t get good pizza outside of certain parts of the United States and Italy, in reality there’s a whole world (literally) of great pizza out there. We’ve rounded up the ten best cities on earth to find great pizza, and a lot of them are places you might not expect.

Pizza, as we all know, has its roots in Italy — ancient Rome, to be exact. It most likely got its start as focaccia (called panis focacius by the ancients), and modern pizza originated in Naples.”

You can view the slideshow @ http://www.thedailymeal.com/world-s-10-best-cities-pizza-slideshow

Languages do matter!

Many Languages One World: Kathy’s experience as the French Language group facilitator

Many Languages One World: Kathy’s experience as the French Language group facilitator

I am honored to have been invited to participate in the Many Languages One World International Essay Contest & Global Youth Forum

With the goal of promoting multilingualism and the study of the official languages of the UN, this event was planned in commemoration of the beginning of the 70th anniversary year of the United Nations.

Over 1,400 essays were submitted, and 60 winners — 10 for each of the 6 official languages of the UN — were invited to participate in the conference and to present at the UN on selected principles of the United Nations Academic Impact in the General Assembly on June 27th.

Representing Fairleigh Dickinson University, I conducted the French language proficiency interviews of the essay finalists  via Skype in early May and served as the Facilitator of the French Language group as they prepared their presentation at Adelphi University and accompanied the group to the UN.

After the presentations, we were invited to lunch in the Delegates Dining Room, where UN staff and diplomats joined us, sitting with us at tables designated for each of the languages and conversing and interacting with the students. Special thanks to the Ambassador and Permanent Observer from the Francophonie at the UN, Filippe  Savadogo, the Ambassador from Benin, and the UN staff members who joined us for lunch. Our FDU Provost for Global Learning also joined us for lunch.

Their mission complete, the students looked forward to the  weekend in the city, with a full schedule of supervised sightseeing and other activities.

The event was made even more meaningful by the recognition — both at Adelphi and at the UN — of the inspiration for the event from former FDU President J. Michael Adams, who passed away in 2012.  Mrs. Susan Adams participated in the Forum and made an official presentation to ELS President Mark Harris at the conclusion of the presentations.

Many thanks to Adelphi University as our host, to ELS Educational Services and to the United Nations Academic Impact for their support and advocacy, to my co-facilitator Collin Savage, a Levermore Scholar at Adelphi, and — most of all —  to the wonderful students from across the world who were winners in the MLOW International Essay Contest & Global Youth Forum — Yasmine, Ella, Sami, Pelumi, Ralph, Katharina, Victoriya,  Damian, and Timothy.

Bravo!  Felicitations, mes enfants!  🙂

You can view their presentations @ http://webtv.un.org/search/french-language-winners-global-youth-forum-on-multilingualism-many-languages-one-world/3647005954001?term=many languages one world&sort=date

http://www.els.edu/en/ManyLanguagesOneWorld

Languages do matter!