Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: January 2018

Working across many cultures at Western Union

“The CEO of the global money-transfer company explains how it brings in the multicultural voice of the consumer through a broadly diverse team of top executives.

The company continues to thrive at the forefront of the cross-border, cross-currency money-transfer and payments industry. Across more than 200 countries and territories, ….”

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Languages do matter!

Why Italians are saying ‘No’ to takeaway coffee

“Drinking takeaway coffee is a way of life in many parts of the world. So why do Italians refuse to do it?”

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Languages do matter!

My newest article, “International Education Week @ the Library,” in the January 2018 issue of Strategic Library

My newest article, “International Education Week @ the Library,” has been published in the January 2018 issue of Strategic Library

Languages do matter!

The AATF Commission on Advocacy is now on Twitter!

For news and information on French language advocacy, please follow the AATF Commission on Advocacy @ AATFComAdvocacy

Languages do matter!


French Officials Celebrate New Orleans Tricentennial

“Officials from Orleans, France, wrapped up several days of events marking a sister city agreement with the city of New Orleans.  They attended the Joan of Arc parade over the weekend, as well as the official start of Carnival marked at Mardi Gras World.  The city designation coincides with the Louisiana city’s Tricentennial celebrations.”

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Languages do matter!

6 things only New Yorkers say, according to linguists

“From Barbara Streisand to Al Pacino, Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump, New Yorkers have made their legendary dialect the most recognizable in North America, according to sociolinguist William Labov.

But it’s more than just “fuhgeddaboutit” and “yuuuge” that set New York English apart — there are more subtle features in a New Yorker’s speech that could clue you into where they come from.

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Languages do matter!

Iran bans English in primary schools after leaders’ warning

“Iran has banned the teaching of English in primary schools, a senior education official said, after Islamic leaders warned that early learning of the language opened the way to a Western ‘cultural invasion’.”

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Languages do matter!

At MLA Today Participating in a Panel Presentation on College Foreign Language Requirements

I am honored to have been invited to participate in a panel presentation at the MLA (Modern Language Association) 2018 Conference today in NYC  on college foreign language requirements. What wonderful co-presenters and what an impressive conference!

MLA 01-06-18 6

Despite the recent snowstorm and the record-breaking cold in NYC, the welcome was warm, and the program was amazing, as were the exhibits!

During the panel presentation, I described the work of the AATF Commission on Advocacy and stressed the importance of advocacy, of partnerships among foreign language educators at all levels, of interdisciplinary collaborations, and of partnerships with foreign language stakeholders in government, business, and industry.

Examples include my membership in the Education & Pedagogy Committee of the ATA, as well as my involvement in and support of the work of our regional professional associations of foreign language educators — CSCTFL, SCOLT, and SWCOLT

Future directions include advocacy for an earlier start and for the opportunity for continued study of one or more foreign languages.

Specific examples of the effectiveness of an early start and of continued study include the Many Languages One World Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum, where the multilingual contest winners — college and university students from around the world — are invited by the UN Academic Impact to present in their second language in the General Assembly Hall of the UN.

Heritage language programs, including second language instruction in a closely-related language, and the dual-language immersion programs showcased at the NYC Bilingual Fair and affectionately referred to as the révolution bilingue, in public schools in NYC, and spreading across the country.

Other areas include online education, experiential learning, and career pathways, “multiple pathways to the major” as described in the MLA report, funding for students to take foreign language courses not required by their major, external validation building on the existing Many Languages One World program, the Seal of Biliteracy, and the many contests, awards, and honors sponsored by the professional associations of foreign language educators.  Lastly, the promotion of second/double majors, as described by the MLA and by the Institut Français in its Et en plus, je parle français initiative, is an area of the utmost importance.

My first stop after arriving early on Saturday morning was, of course, the MLA Advocacy Table, where I had the pleasure of meeting two terrific volunteer advocates.

I very much enjoyed the presentation on skype interviews — made all the more realistic by the skype presentation of one of the presenters who was unable to be present due to the snowstorm!  The presentation on writing skills in a second language was also interesting, informative, and very well received.

What an impressive conference — my very first MLA!

Special thanks to Dennis Looney and to Gary Schmidt for having invited me to participate.

Languages do matter!

Over 24,000 views and over 15,000 visitors — Thank you!!!

Over 24,000 views and over 15,000 visitors for Language Matters — Thank you!!!

Languages do matter!

Foreign Languages and Creativity — The Quiet Connection in a Globalized/Interconnected World

“How focusing on “deep work” can help foster creativity, and foreign language competency”

My newest article — just published in the January 2018 issue of JLTR:  The Journal of Language Teaching and Research.

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Languages do matter!