August 2018

31. Not Your Uncle’s Language Class

By | 2018-09-05T15:36:36+00:00 August 31st, 2018|Episodes|

31. Not Your Uncle's Language Class Steve Leveen's Spanish test What older generations may remember from their language classes—drills of verb conjugations, constant corrections of grammar and sentence structure—is not what they’ll find in many global-language classes today. What we’ll hear in “Not Your Uncle’s Language Class,” Episode 31 of the America the Bilingual podcast, may shock many of us old-schoolers: Global-language teachers are no longer looking for perfection from their students! A new and not-so-perfect order At the 2017 national conference of the American Council on the [...]

30. A New Generation of Cherokee Speakers Rises

By | 2018-08-15T17:24:13+00:00 August 14th, 2018|Episodes|

30. A New Generation of Cherokee Speakers Rises Among the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina, there are fewer than 200 first-language speakers of Cherokee. In Episode 30 of America the Bilingual, you’ll hear from people, both Cherokee and non-Cherokee, who are finding ways to embed the Cherokee language in classrooms and music, giving rise to a new generation of Cherokee speakers in the process. But is it too late? And how did it get to this point? First land, then language When gold was discovered in Georgia [...]

July 2018

29. When Baby’s First Words Are Not Spoken

By | 2018-07-13T14:06:06+00:00 July 10th, 2018|Episodes|

29. When Baby’s First Words Are Not Spoken This little one is clearly communicating a desire: “More!” Used by permission of Dr. Joseph Garcia. “The hearing community tends to see deaf people and signing as something that’s on the sidelines of our society rather than in the mainstream….[but] the world is starting to see that there is a great gift that the deaf have given the hearing by using their language to communicate to pre-speech—or I should say, pre-articulate speech—infants.” “And yeah, it is amazing.” Meet Dr. Joseph Garcia, a long-time [...]

June 2018

28. And Crown Thy Good with Brotherhood

By | 2018-06-21T13:22:59+00:00 June 21st, 2018|Episodes|

28. And Crown Thy Good with Brotherhood “We have ground rules,” said Amjad, an Arab American speaking about his family of five, “and the ground rules say in public places we don't speak a word of Arabic.” Freedom of speech is a constitutional right we take for granted in America, yet many bilingual speakers avoid speaking their non-English language in public for fear of hostile looks—and worse. Are we destined to perpetuate this contradiction, or might America be ready to move on? In Episode 28, hear Amjad’s story and what happened when his [...]

27. How to Learn a Language Without Studying It

By | 2018-06-06T18:51:02+00:00 June 5th, 2018|Episodes|

27. How to Learn a Language Without Studying It When people find out I’m learning Spanish, they frequently ask me, “How are you doing it?” It’s an obvious question. But over the years I’ve discovered that it’s not the best question. A better one is, “What are you doing with your language?” For when you can answer that question, you have discovered a place, or places, where your adopted language can live in your life. That, as we’ll hear in this episode, makes all the difference. The way we acquire language About 70 percent [...]

May 2018

26. Are You Too Old to Learn Another Language?

By | 2018-05-23T13:13:15+00:00 May 22nd, 2018|Episodes|

 26. Are You Too Old to Learn Another Language? Even at 16 we may be too old to learn a new language and speak it without an accent. So what about us adults over 50? Should we even bother trying? Hear longevity expert Laura Carstensen debunk some common assumptions. And hear the story of one intrepid fifty-something language learner who refuses to give up on her efforts to become a bilingual—and to reduce global greenhouse gases, which for her are related quests. “If we think of longevity as about old people, then [...]

25. Dual-Language Education, Report #2: Winds of Change

By | 2018-05-21T13:02:19+00:00 May 9th, 2018|Episodes|

 25. Dual-Language Education, Report #2: Winds of Change In this second episode on the dual-language movement, we hear from six voices of change in America. They trace their heritages to different countries and have had different life experiences, but they share a common vision for America. They would move our old melting pot respectfully to a museum of American history. In its place, they would welcome all Americans to step up onto a launch pad constructed of English and reinforced with bilingualism. It’s not that melting together—or at least coming together—is completely wrong. [...]

April 2018

24. Dual-Language Education, Report #1: The Revolution Begins

By | 2018-04-25T15:51:20+00:00 April 24th, 2018|Episodes|

 24. Dual-Language Education, Report #1: The Revolution Begins Imagine there was a new way of teaching that results in most students becoming truly bilingual and biliterate before finishing high school. Imagine if this new way of teaching also helped students rise in academic achievement overall. And finally, imagine if this new way of teaching could also help students develop more empathy towards others. We don’t have to just imagine it, it exists. It goes by the name dual-language education, or dual-language immersion, and it’s growing fast in America. Gregg Roberts now champions research [...]

23. In Case You Thought Latin Was Dead…

By | 2018-04-12T14:20:52+00:00 April 11th, 2018|Episodes|

In Case You Thought Latin Was Dead… How has a presumably dead language become such a disruptor? Because Latin certainly seems to be just that. It’s one of the most frequently taught languages in American schools. It’s a language that few speak and yet can help people think. And it’s been shown to be effective in strengthening English literacy. Who knew? In this episode, you’ll meet two Latinists who make their living by teaching the language, and one who makes his living by allowing Latin to teach him. Quotations in these episode notes [...]

March 2018

22. Can Learning a New Language Help You Find Your True Identity?

By | 2018-04-03T16:44:58+00:00 March 29th, 2018|Episodes|

Can Learning a New Language Help You Find Your True Identity? We're back with Season 2 of America the Bilingual! We open with this episode that features two stories of how people reconstruct themselves in a new language and how, through that process, they can sometimes discover and express important new aspects of themselves that can be liberating. Can learning a new language help you find your true identity? It did for Judson MacDonald. He was struggling to come to terms with his true identity. He had a part-time job at a conservative restaurant [...]

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