Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: July 2015

PSS and BOE: Foreign teachers needed to teach foreign languages

“THE Board of Education hopes that the Public School System will be allowed to hire foreign teachers who can teach foreign languages in order to meet the demands of globalization.”

Read more @ http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/78876-pss-and-boe-foreign-teachers-needed-to-teach-foreign-languages

Languages do matter!

King Mohammed VI Stresses Importance of Learning Foreign Languages

Meknes – On July 30, 2015, a royal speech was given on the occasion of the Throne feast in which the King warned against three misconceptions within the Moroccan education system. 

The first misconception raised in the royal speech is the learning of foreign languages. Students in technical and scientific fields place less importance on languages because they believe that it is useless. This is a misconception according to the King. 

The sovereign added that some consider learning foreign languages as an acculturation. On the contrary, we believe that foreign language is a source of enrichment as announced by the constitution. It is by learning other languages that ??we become more open [to the teachings of other cultures],said the Sovereign.

Teaching is “key” to progress and democracy.”

Read more @ http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2015/07/164422/king-mohammed-vi-stresses-importance-of-learning-foreign-languages/

Languages do matter!

Alumno de la UNAM, entre los ganadores de “Muchas Lenguas, un Mundo”

“Jose Antonio Montes Gonzalez, 22, is a student of medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and is also one of the 70 winners of the contest: “Many Languages, A World “(Many Languages, One World), co-organized by the United Nations Academic Impact initiative (UNAI, for its acronym in English) and ELS Educational Services. Through this competition, which drew more than 200 participants from 128 thousand countries such entities seeking to promote multilingualism and multiculturalism.”

Read more @ http://www.oem.com.mx/elmexicano/notas/n3899036.htm

Languages do matter!

Many Languages One World — 2014 and 2015

“The purpose of Many Languages, One World was to promote multilingualism and the continued study of the six official languages of the United Nations:  Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.”

Read more @http://www.els.edu/en/ManyLanguagesOneWorld

View the 2014 and 2015 presentations @ http://webtv.un.org/search?term=Many+Languages,+One+World

View the 2014 MLOW Global Youth Forum @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeGWvIgds8E

Languages do matter!

American Academy Of Arts & Sciences To Conduct First National Study On Foreign Language Learning in More Than 30 years

“The American Academy of Arts and Sciences today announced the formation of the Commission on Language Learning, a national effort to examine the current state of U.S. language education, to project what the nation’s education needs will be in the future, and to offer recommendations for ways to meet those needs.

The Commission will work with scholarly and professional organizations around the country to gather available research about the benefits of language instruction at every educational level, from pre-school through lifelong learning, and will help to initiate a nationwide conversation about languages and international education.”

Read more @ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-academy-of-arts–sciences-to-conduct-first-national-study-on-foreign-language-learning-in-more-than-30-years-300120921.html

Languages do matter!

Esperanto Day 2015

“Esperanto Day, also called Zamenhof Day, is celebrated on December 15, 2015. The 15th December is the birthday of Esperanto creator L. L. Zamenhof. It is the most widely celebrated day in Esperanto culture. Esperanto is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. The first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, was published on July 26, 1887. 

Estimates of Esperanto speakers range from 10,000 to 2,000,000 active or fluent speakers, as well as perhaps a thousand native speakers, that is, people who learned Esperanto from birth as one of their native languages.”

Read more @ http://www.cute-calendar.com/event/esperanto-day/10896-world.html

Languages do matter!

I read and write in English, but I still dream in Amharic

“The first language I learned to speak, under the careful instruction of my doting grandmother, was Amharic. Ethiopia’s official tongue (the second most commonly spoken Semitic language after Arabic) connected me to her then and still runs like a live wire through my extended family’s conversations. We are thousands of miles apart, separated by oceans and passports. But when we call each other, it is Amharic that carries our love across the sea.

Words shape how I see the world, how I move through problems, how I relax. They give me comfort, order and structure. I’ve been writing since before I knew writers got paid (in theory at least) just to make sense of the din.

But, as the American-born daughter of Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants, the words I know best are in English. The grammar I can most readily bend to my will is that which I learned in American schools.”

Read more @ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/21/read-and-write-in-english-dream-in-Amharic

Languages do matter!

How Learning a Foreign Language Is Like Learning to Order at Starbucks

“As a self-proclaimed Starbucks addict, I could order a Venti skinny vanilla latte in my sleep — but it was not always this way. Starbucks essentially operates with its own language and if you do not know it, you might find your first experience of ordering a coffee there quite a bit overwhelming. So, becoming a customer at Starbucks basically is not unlike learning a new language!

Learning a foreign language is obviously slightly more difficult than learning how to order your favorite beverage from Starbucks, but you can draw some interesting comparisons between the feelings you may experience along the way.”

Read more @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victoria-borisch/how-learning-a-foreign-la_b_7856316.html

Languages do matter!

The ultimate guide to celebrating National Lasagna Day

Happy National Lasagna Day, folks! Lasagna, or lasagne, is one of the oldest types of pasta. Although its origin has many theories, most sources say the beloved pasta was initially made in the city of Naples, Italy. The traditional way lasagna is made involves the interleaving of pasta layers with layers of sauce. All the different regions in Italy have a special way of making the traditional dish and in all cases the lasagna is oven-baked.

Read more @ http://www.aol.com/article/2015/07/29/national-lasagna-day-gains/21215142/

Languages do matter!

Pope Francis Visits Bolivia, The Land Of The Earth Goddess Pachamama

“As Pope Francis arrives in Bolivia on Wednesday, he’ll encounter a country where indigenous gods and religious beliefs are holding their ground.

But the country’s centuries-old reverence for the spirits of nature may prove to be the fertile soil Francis needs to spread his message on climate change.

Although about 77 percent of Bolivians are Catholic, many blend the church’s teachings with the nature-based beliefs of their ancestors. In some cases, Christian figures, like the Virgin Mary and Catholic saints, were simply incorporated into the native pantheon of gods. About 39 percent of Bolivians say they ‘make offerings of food, drinks, candles or flowers to spirits.'”

Read more @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/08/pope-francis-bolivia_n_7750228.html

Languages do matter!