June 2018

27. How to Learn a Language Without Studying It

By |2018-06-06T18:51:02+00:00June 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+00:00May 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+00:00May 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+00:00April 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+00:00April 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+00:00March 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 [...]

January 2018

21. Preview of Season Two (A Minisode)

By |2018-01-03T14:22:23+00:00January 3rd, 2018|Episodes|

Preview of Season Two (A Minisode) As we close Season One of America the Bilingual, we are filled with gratitude for the hundreds of interviewees—teachers, scholars, and bilinguals of all types. Thank you for answering our incessant questions and adding your voices to our first 20 episodes. We will resume our schedule with Season Two on March 28th, 2018. In the meantime, we’re in production on a dozen new episodes, including: How Monolingual English-speaking Parents Can Raise Bilingual Children Says Allison Altmann, the mother of 14-month old Charlotte, “I’d love Charlotte to be able to speak [...]

December 2017

20. Twelve Ways the Gift of Bilingualism is Given

By |2017-12-19T18:58:08+00:00December 19th, 2017|Episodes|

Twelve Ways the Gift of Bilingualism is Given It’s a gift that can’t go under the tree, it can’t even be seen, but it’s one of the best gifts in life. It is, of course, the gift of bilingualism. We’ve reported on this gift many times in our first 19 episodes of this premier season of the America the Bilingual podcast. Our gift to you this Christmas season is a collection of 12 ways to experience this gift. We’re featuring excerpts from some of our favorite podcast moments of the year. Join us as we unwrap [...]

19. When America Went to War Against the German Language

By |2017-12-11T17:11:10+00:00December 6th, 2017|Episodes|

When America Went to War Against the German Language Americans do remember World War I, but most of us have forgotten the war within our own borders that took place during those same years. After burning German textbooks from Baraboo High School, a crowd turns to a man waving an American flag. Baraboo, Wisconsin, 1918. (Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.) It was a war against all things German-American, including the teaching of the German language. Our internal war was so violent, destructive and cruel, that as soon as the war in [...]

November 2017

18. Bill Weir Loves Language Teachers — Wishes He had Listened to His

By |2017-11-30T20:22:00+00:00November 22nd, 2017|Episodes|

Bill Weir Loves Language Teachers — Wishes He Had Listened to His Bill Weir, travel correspondent and host of CNN Wonder List, has his dream job. He gets to jet all over the world to capture images and weave stories together from what he finds. It’s all perfect, except for one thing — Bill is monolingual. Steve Leveen interviews Bill Weir: “I kick myself…” “I wish I could travel back in time and punch my teenage self in the face for not paying attention. I was one of those horrible language students who didn’t figure I would ever need [...]

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