Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Armistice Day 2016: Two minutes’ silence marks day of national remembrance

“A two-minute silence has been observed across the UK to remember the nation’s war dead for Armistice Day.”

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Languages do matter!

Halloween around the World

“Halloween, one of the world’s oldest holidays, is still celebrated today in a number of countries around the globe. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, Día de los Muertos—the Day of the Dead—honors deceased loved ones and ancestors. In countries such as Ireland, Canada and the United States, adults and children alike revel in the popular Halloween holiday, which derived from ancient festivals and religious rituals. Traditions include costume parties, trick-or-treating, pranks and games.”

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Languages do matter!

Cocoa by Candlelight (Why do so many foreigners want to copy Denmark?)

“HOW big is the world’s appetite for things Danish? Foreign audiences have already binge-watched the country’s noir TV series (such as “The Killing” and “The Bridge”) and raved over the new Nordic cuisine of Noma, Copenhagen’s trend-setting restaurant. This autumn, publishers are testing the limits of the world’s Danomania. Before the Christmas season, at least nine English-language books will come out devoted to explaining the elusive quality ofhygge.

Hygge is difficult to pronounce. (Try “hew-geh”.) It is also tricky to describe. Writers have tried “the art of creating intimacy”, “cosiness of the soul” and “cocoa by candlelight”. It is an attitude rather than a recipe, evoking relaxation with close friends or family. Many see it as a quintessential element of Denmark’s national character.”

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Languages do matter!

The Increasing Dominance of English

“In the Netherlands and elsewhere, there is a trend to move from teaching in the local language to teaching in English. This increase is not welcomed by all.”

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Languages do matter!

Over 16,000 views for Language Matters — Thank you! :)

Over 16,000 views — many thanks to all of you from around the world who have taken the time to view Language Matters.

Languages do matter!

Visiting Rio for the Olympics? Get your Portuguese ready

“RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — If English is the language of world commerce, Brazil hasn’t gotten the memo — only a small fraction of its 200 million people have a basic proficiency. Fluency is also rare for other languages such as German, French and even Spanish, despite Brazil being bordered by seven Spanish-speaking countries.

Many of the hundreds of thousands of tourists expected to descend on Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics in a few weeks could frequently find themselves in a linguistic muddle.”

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Languages do matter!

Kathy’s Presentation at the CSCTFL Conference

Today I presented  on “Foreign Language as a Global Competency and the U.S. Foreign Language Deficit:  Foreign Languages as a Career Asset,” at the CSCTFL (Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

Many thanks to all the dedicated foreign language educators who attended my session and to the committee who selected my proposal.

Languages do matter!

Many Languages One World 2016


2016 Student Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum

Share your ideas and be heard… perhaps even in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations!

60 Students will be selected as delegates to the 2016 United Nations Academic Impact Global Youth Forum, 25-31 July, 2016, where they will create action plans related to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The students will present these action plans at United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

Airfare, Room and Meals will be provided by ELS Educational Services, Inc.

To Participate:

Write an original essay (2,000 words or less) discussing global citizenship and cultural understanding and the role that multilingual ability can play in fostering these. The essay should reflect your personal, academic, cultural and national context. Essays must be written in an official language of the United Nations that is not your first language or primary language of instruction during your primary or secondary education. The official United Nations languages are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. You will need to demonstrate both written and verbal competency in the language of the essay. You must be a full-time university student, recommended and endorsed by a Faculty Member or University Representative, and must be 18 years of age or older by the contest deadline.

Essay Submission Deadline: Thursday, 31 March, 2016 at 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time (EST)”

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Languages do matter!

Kathy’s 2015 Update and Holiday Wishes

Christmas trees gold


Hello Friends,

I hope that this letter finds you well and that you have had a pleasant and successful year.

For me, 2015 has been a busy and exciting year, with opportunities to present at the NAFSA, AATF, and ATA annual conferences.  In addition, I attended the “Many Languages One World” Global Youth Forum where I served as French facilitator.  My 2015 publications include 8 articles, including 2 peer-reviewed, and 3 additional articles have been accepted for publication.

In January, I assumed my new responsibilities as Chair of the AATF (American Association of Teachers of French) Commission on Advocacy.  In addition to responding to inquiries from programs at risk, I created and have maintained a Facebook page (, which has now had over 700 likes.  If France, the French language and culture, or the worldwide Francophonie are of interest to you, I invite you to “like” the page and to join the conversation. I also learned that my article, “Foreign-Language Challenge: Overcoming the Anglophone Reluctance to Learn a Foreign Language,” had been published in the 2014 issue of Polyglot Magazine @

In February, my article, “Serving Students Coming From or Traveling Abroad.” was published in Strategic Library, February 2015. Subscription only. My article, “Cross-Sector Collaboration Promises Progress,” was also published in Language Magazine @

In March, my article, “The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit, Language Enterprise, and Languages for Specific Purposes.” was published in JLSP: The Journal of Languages for Specific Purposes. Peer-reviewed. @
Peer-reviewed.  My article, “Top Current Trends in Foreign Languages.” was also published in Multilingual Magazine, March 2015, @  and

In May, I gave a poster presentation, “Foreign Language as a Global Competency:  Internationalizing the Campus,” at the NAFSA:  Association of International Educators Annual Conference in Boston, which was featured in “Kathy Stein-Smith presented at the NAFSA Conference.”  FDU Global Education Gateway.

In June, my article, “The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit and What We Can Do about It As Foreign Language Educators,” based on presentation given at the 2014 annual convention, was accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the AATF.

In July, my article, “The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit, the Language Enterprise, and The Campaign for Foreign Languages,” was published in JLTR: The Journal of Language Teaching and Research,  @ Peer-reviewed. I attended the AATF Annual Convention in Saguenay, Quebec, where I presented on “Le Français— langue mondiale, langue locale:  The Case for French in the U.S.”  I also participated as French language facilitator at the “Many Languages One World” (MLOW) Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum at the UN, coaching student essay contest winners as they prepared their UN presentations.

In August, my contribution to “So You Say:  Reader Responses to Issues in Language Learning,” was included in The Language Educator, August/September 2015.  Subscription only.

In October, I was recognized for 25 years of service at FDU and attended the annual  J. Michael Adams Lecture on “Our World at 70: The Times of the United Nations,” at the UN.

In November, I spoke at the ATA (American Translators Association) Annual Conference, in Miami, on “Translation and Language Skills:  Giving You the Professional Edge,” and the related article has been accepted for publication in the Conference Proceedings. My article, “Why Advocacy Matters,” was published in the November issue of the AATF National Bulletin.

I had several additional articles published on academic libraries and served as a contributor in the August/September issue of Language Educator.

I continue to maintain my blog, “Language Matters,”  (which has had over 9,000 views), and my 2013 TEDx talk, “The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit — What It Is; Why It Matters; and What We Can Do about It,” has had more than 5,000 views.


Joyeux Noël et Bonne année!



GRAY: Americans should embrace foreign languages

“Being bilingual is one of the most beneficial skills to possess, but we as Americans rarely dive in and embrace foreign languages.

Americans don’t embrace foreign languages in the way people from many other countries do.”

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Languages do matter!