November 2018

34. Parents, Give Your Child Bilingual Wings

By | 2018-11-14T22:27:49+00:00 November 14th, 2018|Episodes|

34. Parents, Give Your Child Bilingual Wings Jenny (front row, far left) and husband Mike (top row, far right) with some of their scholarship students at the Speedwell Foundation’s annual picnic. Jenny K. Messner credits the high school cultural exchange program of AFS with transforming her life. Living in Brazil for a year in the 1970s, Jenny learned a new culture, became fluent in Portuguese, and parlayed her language skills into a career in international finance. Then she found a way to help hundreds of other young American bilinguals-to-be follow in [...]

October 2018

33. Let’s Go to the Movies… in Another Language

By | 2018-10-31T17:59:11+00:00 October 30th, 2018|Episodes|

33. Let’s Go to the Movies…in Another Language IMDB/Warner Brothers image Immersion, say many who’ve done it, is the best way to learn another language. But moving to Florence or Fez isn’t the only way to achieve it. Movies, especially with the help of new streaming services and à la carte language options, offer a virtual language immersion where you can choose how deep to wade in—from just dangling your toe to diving in head first. In Episode 33 of the America the Bilingual podcast, we venture into the four stages [...]

32. Why a World War II Survivor Adopted the Enemy’s Language

By | 2018-10-17T18:11:55+00:00 October 10th, 2018|Episodes|

32. Why a World War II Survivor Adopted the Enemy’s Language Bill Davis recording for America the Bilingual at his home on the Côte d’Azur. Listen to Steve’s conversation with octogenarian Bill Davis, whose bilingualism was essential to an unexpected—and rewarding—life after World War II. Bill describes what it was like to hide in the mountains during the Second World War to escape the enemy, all the while loving the language of the enemy. Years later, he had another, very different escape…from a future American president. So that we don’t give [...]

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. [...]

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