Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: April 2018

Kathy receiving the Ordre des Palmes académiques decoration at Albertine in NYC

I am honored to have received the decoration of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques on Friday evening in NYC from French Cultural Counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur.

Palmes deco 04-27-18 2

As this recognition by the French government of my work in French and foreign language advocacy is the culmination of my lifelong interest in — and affection for — the French language and Francophone culture, I was delighted to have with me on this very special occasion my friends and colleagues from ASFAP and from FDU as my guests, along with my family.

I was thrilled at the moment when Madame la Conseillère placed the ribbon of Chevalier on my left lapel.

It was a memorable ceremony, followed by an elegant reception at Albertine.

Many thanks to all for their support and encouragement, and special thanks to Dr. Fabrice Jaumont and Karl Cogard, French education attachés.


A Uniquely Spanish Part of the Meal

“There is no equivalent word in English, though the concept is simple: sobremesa is the time you spend at the table after you’ve finished eating.”

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Languages do matter!


French President Macron’s state visit to the US

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, visited the US this week.

The following are just a few of the most interesting articles about his visit —

France’s cultural clout resonates during Macrons’ US trip

French President Emmanuel Macron Addresses The Joint Session Of US Congress | TIME

President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron hold White House News Conference | NBC News

First lady Melania Trump goes full-on French in Chanel for first Trump state dinner for France                                                  

Languages do matter!



Kathy at the annual ASFAP meeting yesterday in NYC

I was delighted to attend my first annual ASFAP meeting yesterday in NYC highlighted by the participation of French Consul General Anne-Claire Legendre.

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It was a wonderful experience to be included in this conversation among such an impressive group of dedicated and committed French language and Francophone culture educators and advocates.

Many thanks to the French government for having selected me for this honor and special thanks to the ASFAP Board for their warm welcome and for having organized such an interesting, informative, and inspirational event.

The elegant setting and delicious dinner at the Bistro Vendôme made the evening even more memorable.



Parlez-vous Français? French President Macron Urges Increased Global Use of French Language

“Macron vows to re-energise La Francophonie, a formal group of 58 nations across five continents—spanning Canada to Cambodia, Burkina Faso to Belgium—where French is officially or broadly spoken

The benefits of understanding and speaking the French language are vast. Aside from being critically important for diplomacy and global commerce, understanding French is supremely culturally enlightening: “It can enhance your enjoyment of art, history, literature and food… It has native speakers in every region on earth.” French culture certainly captivates a global audience; the heartland, after all, consistently draws millions more tourists annually than any other nation on earth.

As President Macron forges ahead on a series of intense domestic reforms to reshape France’s geopolitical arena, it is clear that the French language is in no danger of disappearing.

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Languages do matter!

Kathy receives Outstanding Educator Award

I am honored to have received the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Outstanding Educator Award — Fairleigh Dickinson University, Metropolitan Campus at the 44th annual awards ceremony earlier this week. Congratulations to our wonderful EOF students, their families, our EOF staff, and fellow honorees!

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In addition to being a heartfelt send-off for the graduating seniors and the many family members present, it was an inspirational program highlighting the achievements of students in each year of the program. I was happy to see so many familiar faces among the students being recognized.

Before the awards ceremony, I was inducted as an honorary member of the Epsilon Omega Sigma (EOS) Honor Society, which recognizes the academic achievement of FDU students in the EOF program.

The ballroom at the Park Ridge Marriott was a lovely and elegant setting,  filled with students, family members, and Metro campus faculty and staff.

Many thanks to the EOF staff for their dedication and professionalism, and for having selected me for this honor, and congratulations on this wonderfully successful and well-attended event.  Congratulations to my fellow honorees and best wishes to the graduating seniors.

Over 26,000 views for Language Matters — Thank You!!!

Over 26,000 views for Language Matters — Thank You!!!

Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to view Language Matters.

Languages do matter!



Switzerland’s invisible linguistic borders

“Multilingualism is to Switzerland what politeness is to the British or style to the Italians: a deep source of national pride.

There are four official Swiss languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh, an indigenous language with limited status that’s similar to Latin and spoken today by only a handful of Swiss.”

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Languages do matter!