Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: July 2017

How well do you know your world capitals?

“There are nearly 200 countries in the world, each with its own capital. If you’re a true global geography buff, see if you can take on this world capitals quiz!”

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Languages do matter!

Kathy’s article,  “The Future of French in Europe and Beyond,” in the current July issue of Language Magazine

My article, “The Future of French in Europe and Beyond,” has been published in the current July issue of Language Magazine.

Languages do matter!

The AATF Annual Convention and MLOW 2017 — Foreign Language Advocacy at the National and International Level

This has been a wonderful week for French and foreign language advocacy, both at the national and international level.

On Sunday, I travelled to St. Louis for the 90th annual convention of the American Association of Teachers of French, where I was able to attend the opening session on Guadeloupe and identity, catch up with old friends and meet new ones at the Welcome Luncheon in the shadow of the Gateway Arch, participate in an interesting and informative workshop on Guadeloupe and Martinique, meet with members of the Commission on Advocacy, and attend the opening of the Exhibit Hall.

On Monday, as Chair of the AATF Commission on Advocacy, I participated in two official sessions of the Commission.   I co-presented with Founding Chair of the Commission, Bob Peckham, on “Backing into the Future:  Crisis and Promise of College French,” and presented  on “French Language Advocacy:  Interdisciplinary and Global Perspectives.”

I am honored to chair the Commission on Advocacy, which works to support programs at risk, to create and disseminate information on the benefits of French through online and social media, and to advance the information and research agenda through scholarly and practitioner publications.  It is noteworthy that the Commission FB page enjoyed a post reach of over 76K in the month of June alone.

On Tuesday, I began my work as French Facilitator at Many Languages One World (MLOW) 2017 with the 10 French language winners on the beautiful campus of Northeastern University in Boston.  The students were wonderful, and it was a pleasure to advise them as they prepared their presentations on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Our group was assigned Goal #5, “gender equality.”  On Thursday, we traveled to New York and rehearsed the presentations at the Manhattan School of Music, and on Friday, the students delivered their presentations in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations.

After lunch in the Delegates Dining Room, certificates were awarded, and the group finished the day’s activities at the Institute of International Education with a personal pledge of individual everyday actions in support of the Goals followed by a reflection session.

The students were then able to enjoy Friday evening and Saturday in NYC before returning to Boston for several days of sightseeing and educational activities before leaving for home.

I am honored to have served as French Facilitator for all 4 editions of MLOW thus far and fully support the MLOW goals of demonstrating the role and significance of multilingualism in global citizenship and of encouraging continued study of the official languages of the UN.  The camaraderie and teamwork among students from so many countries around the world is inspirational and highlights the importance of multilingualism in the creative process of effectively addressing complex global issues,  and the tradition of ongoing friendships among winners through social media and local mini-reunions gives hope for the future.

Why Are There So Many Languages in the World?

“Language diversity has played a key role in shaping the interactions of human groups and the history of our species, and yet we know surprisingly little about the factors shaping this diversity. We hope other scientists will become as fascinated by the geography of language diversity as our research group is and join us in the search for understanding why humans speak so many languages.”

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Languages do matter

Kathy’s 10th Anniversary on WordPress! :)

10 years on WordPress — how time flies!

Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to view, read, comment on, and follow.

Languages do matter

C’est magnifique! Melania Trump dusts off her French during visit to Paris children’s hospital

“First Lady Melania Trump dusted off her French to charm a group of sick children at a Parisian hospital on Thursday.

Shortly after touching down in Paris, Melania was whisked off to Necker Hospital where she visited the Enfants Malades wing.

Beaming in her red skirt suit, she greeted the children with soft ‘bonjours’ before taking her seat at a play table.

The 47-year-old then introduced herself enthusiastically.

‘Je m’appelle Melania. Et toi?’ she gestured to one child, urging them to share their name.

When one of the children replied in English, she commended them: ‘You speak very good English, very good.’ “

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Languages do matter!

Melania reads ‘The Little Prince’ to sick tots at Paris children’s hospital

“The former model also spoke with children at the hospital in French, one of five languages she speaks. She introduced herself, asked them where they grew up and gave them words of encouragement.”

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Languages do matter!

Bastille Day: Everything you need to know about the French holiday

Bastille Day marks the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789, by angry Parisian crowds.

This seismic act demonstrated that ordinary people would no longer accept the absolute power of the king and signalled the start of the French Revolution which forced the creation of the modern French Republic.

The July 14 “Fête de la Fédération” – which marked the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille – became a French national holiday in 1880 and has been observed ever since.”

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Languages do matter!

As the Earth feels ever smaller, demand for translators and interpreters skyrockets

“The United States is becoming more globalized and interconnected each day. As a result, skilled translators and interpreters are finding their services in higher demand.”

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Languages do matter!

Language education celebrated across Canada today

” More than 7,000 international language students from around the world will celebrate Canada – their chosen study destination – during World Student Day today. They will take a short break from their English or French studies to take part in sports and cultural activities, connect with fellow students and share their experiences as language students in Canada.

World Student Day is coordinated by Languages Canada – the national association representing over 220 accredited English and French language schools across the country. This year marks the fourth annual WSD celebration.”

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Languages do matter!