The CEO and the Polyglot

Does the whole world speak English? It seems so when you travel to big cities and stay in major hotels. It seems so when you visit popular tourist destinations. But what about in corporate conference rooms? Like when you’re trying to sell something? That, as you’ll hear in this episode, can be a different story.

Lois Melbourne holding camera

Lois Melbourne

Lois Melbourne studied French in school but didn’t get all that far. In other words, she is a typical monolingual American. But Lois is not typical in other ways.

Andrew Simmons is the opposite of a typical monolingual American. Only a few people in the world speak more languages than he.

Listen to Episode 5 to hear what happens when these two Americans, a CEO and a polyglot, join forces.

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America the Bilingual is a storytelling podcast for Americans who are learning their next language, or would like to start. It shares a vision of an America where it’s just normal to be bilingual. Subscribe on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts and hear a new episode every two weeks. (If you use Twitter, I’ll let you know about future episodes there as well.)

Andrew Simmons

Andrew Simmons


American the Bilingual is part of the Lead with Languages campaign of ACTFL — The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

This episode was written by me, Steve Leveen, and our producer Fernando Hernández who also does sound design and mixing. Our editorial consultants are Maja Thomas and Mim Harrison, research assistance from Alma Flores-Perez.

Graphic Arts are created by Carlos Plaza Design Studio.


Music in this episode, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike License, by:

Jason Shaw — Tennesee Hayride

Kevin Macleod — Beach party

Kevin Macleod — Quasi motion

Josh Armistead — Bongo Man

Milton Arias — Poldoro

Andy G Cohen — Land Legs

Jason Shaw — Mountain Sun