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So far daruma has created 28 blog entries.

March 2022

Learning More than a Language: Learning Respect for a Culture, Too

2022-03-23T12:17:19-04:00By |Articles|

“That’s so weird.” That was the reaction of a five-year-old boy in Brunswick, Maine, when Margaret Boyle, an associate professor of Romance languages at nearby Bowdoin College, was reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to a group of kindergarteners. It wasn’t the caterpillar’s feasting on junk food that perplexed the little boy; it was the fact that Margaret was reading the Eric Carle classic in Spanish. The youngster’s pronouncement took her by surprise. “Growing up in Los Angeles in a Mexican-American family, being close to Hispanic cultures was normal for me,” says Margaret, who is also Bowdoin’s director [...]

May 2021

Where Culture Is a Window into Languages

2022-04-27T11:19:20-04:00By |Articles|

Inside a classroom at Lynn University in the southeast Florida city of Boca Raton, a lively discussion about world religions is under way. The conversation among the students and their teacher is framed around what the university calls Dialogues. The core curriculum of this small liberal-arts university, Dialogues are the signature learning method for classes at Lynn. The focus is on seminar-style courses where both students and professors participate in the learning process. And they engage in cross-disciplinary conversations that take students beyond the borders of the US and into the global community. The structure of [...]

“Talking Leaves” The Cherokee Syllabary of Sequoyah

2022-03-23T12:02:20-04:00By |Articles|

Editor’s note: Be sure to listen to our podcast on saving the Cherokee language—Episode 30 of America the Bilingual, “A New Generation of Cherokee Speakers Rises.” When is an alphabet not an alphabet? When it is the syllabary of the Cherokee language. A Cherokee named Sequoyah invented it in 1821. He had seen non-Native soldiers reading from what he called “talking leaves”—words on paper—and was determined to find a way for the Cherokee to do the same. Sequoyah (ca. 1776 – ca. 1843) was used to making tools for his work as both a blacksmith and [...]

June 2019

44. Africa’s Relaxed Multilingualism

2019-09-06T12:48:14-04:00By |Episodes|

44. Africa's Relaxed Multilingualism In the west African country of Cameroon, it’s not unusual for youngsters playing a neighborhood game of soccer to encounter different languages among their friends. And throughout Africa, it’s not uncommon for people to speak three languages—even if they don’t write or read all three. How do they do it? And what can the United States learn from this continent of polyglots? For Episode 44 of the America the Bilingual podcast, Steve talked with three African educators he met at the 2018 ACTFL conference. All these gentlemen are teaching [...]

May 2019

43. Buds of Bilingualism

2019-09-06T12:48:14-04:00By |Episodes|

43. Buds of Bilingualism None of us can master every language, but we can all learn phrases that extend a symbolic hand in greeting and say, “To show I respect you, and therefore your language, I’ll try to speak a few words of it.” No matter how poor the result linguistically, you’ve often made a friend. And thus, a bud of bilingualism blooms. Like the buds of flowers, it holds the promise of something wonderful. In Episode 43 of the America the Bilingual podcast, we’ll hear how some native English-speaking Americans practice buds [...]

April 2019

42. North Carolina: A Dual-Language Success Story

2019-09-06T12:48:15-04:00By |Episodes|

42. North Carolina: A Dual-Language Success Story In 2005, North Carolina had seven dual-language schools; in 2018, there were 140. A 2018 graduating class at one of these dual-language high schools had two valedictorians—one a native Spanish speaker and the other a native English speaker, both now fluent in the other’s native tongue. How did North Carolina do it? Can their success be replicated? And are the number of dual-language schools outpacing the number of bilingual teachers needed for them? In Episode 42 of America the Bilingual, host Steve Leveen talks to six [...]

41. French Immersion at Université Sainte-Anne: A Bubble of Joy

2019-09-06T12:48:15-04:00By |Episodes|

41. French Immersion at Université Sainte-Anne: A Bubble of Joy This fifth episode in our series on some of the finest summer language immersion programs takes us to Université Sainte-Anne in the tiny village of Church Point, Nova Scotia. A French immersion summer program, it is Canada’s most popular and attracts many students from the United States as well. Hear how its small size works to its advantage, and why many students claim to learn more in five weeks here than in five years of classes elsewhere. The French heard [...]

March 2019

40. Children of a Silent God: A Bilingual Journey Through American Sign Language

2019-09-06T12:48:15-04:00By |Episodes|

 40: Children of a Silent God: A Bilingual Journey Through American Sign Language While bilingual schools for spoken languages are becoming more popular in America, fewer children are attending bilingual schools for signed languages. What does that mean for deaf children who should be learning ASL—American Sign Language—as their first language, and at a young age? And what, if anything, can reverse the trend?  In this episode, we talk with two professionals from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the world’s leading university for the deaf; an attorney for education policy at the National [...]

39. America the Bilingual Goes to Morocco

2019-09-06T12:48:15-04:00By |Episodes|

 39. America the Bilingual Goes to Morocco In the United States, we hear periodic news reports about people being accosted for speaking another language in public. In order to be a patriotic, real American, one must, it seems, speak only English. If you do happen to speak another language, you should keep it at home, or in your church, maybe. And if your other language happens to be Arabic, for heaven’s sake, don’t speak it in an airport. This is what’s normal in many parts of America today. But there was also a [...]

February 2019

38. STARTALK: Another Peace Corps for the 21st Century

2019-09-06T12:48:16-04:00By |Episodes|

 38. STARTALK: Another Peace Corps for the 21st Century On September 11, 2001, the value of knowing another language was probably the last thing on the minds of most Americans. But 9/11 revealed another fissure in this country’s infrastructure: the thousands of jobs going unfilled in our intelligence agencies because not enough Americans speak the language of the countries these agencies must understand. The Department of Defense has done something about it. In 2007, its National Security Agency started funding a summer program throughout the country to teach what it identified as critical-need [...]

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