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So far karla has created 20 blog entries.

August 2021

55. Language learning: why tax your brain when there’s technology?

2021-08-11T10:42:35-04:00By |Episodes|

55. Language learning: why tax your brain when there's technology? This is our second of two episodes on what technology can and can’t do for language learning…and perhaps more important, what technology should and shouldn’t do. Listen as Steve shares the week he spent in Silicon Valley attending the futuristic technology incubator called Singularity University. He had a chance to ask the high priest of language technology, Ray Kurzweil (pictured above), how he sees the role of high tech in language learning. Ray’s answer might surprise you. You’ll be listening to [...]

July 2021

54. To App or Not to App: That Is the Language Learner’s Question

2021-07-28T10:50:36-04:00By |Episodes|

54. To App or Not to App: That Is the Language Learner’s Question Everyone, it seems, has an opinion on using technology for learning a language. That includes the many bilinguals Steve interviewed for Episode 54 of the America the Bilingual podcast. It’s a brief meditation on the merits—and demerits—of language technology. How much should we depend on language technology to talk for us? What are technology’s limitations? Or is it just we humans who are limited in our thinking of what technology can do? The role that technology plays in [...]

53. America is too big for bilingualism. Fact or fiction?

2021-07-13T16:43:50-04:00By |Episodes|

53. America is too big for bilingualism. Fact or fiction? Map image from Wikimedia Commons. From sea to shining sea, English is spoken throughout all 3.8 million square miles of the US. Does it make sense to speak anything else? To answer this question, in Episode 53, Steve takes you on a tour that starts in Little Rock and ends in Montreal, by way of Casablanca and Mali. Enjoy this seventh free audiobook chapter of America’s Bilingual Century by Steve Leveen. You’re listening to Chapter 37, narrated by Sean [...]

June 2021

52. True or false? The best way to learn a language is total immersion.

2021-06-23T09:05:34-04:00By |Episodes|

52. True or false? The best way to learn a language is total immersion Want to learn Japanese? Go to Japan. Portuguese? Portugal or Brazil. Hindi? India. Immersion is absolutely the best way to learn another language…or is it? In Episode 52, Steve weighs in, and his answer might surprise you. Enjoy this sixth free audiobook chapter of America’s Bilingual Century by Steve Leveen. You’re listening to Chapter 36, narrated by Sean Pratt. HEAR THE STORY Listen on iTunes by clicking here: America the Bilingual by Steve Leveen on iTunes. [...]

51. What they don’t teach you in Harvard’s Spanish classes

2021-06-09T10:54:09-04:00By |Episodes|

51. What they don't teach you in Harvard's Spanish classes Once upon a cold and snowy Harvard winter, when Steve went to Spanish class. A middle-aged guy named Steve walks into an intermediate-Spanish class for Harvard undergrads, and does a quick assessment of their advantages versus his. Theirs: They’re smarter. They take tests really well. They’ve had more Spanish. They can hear perfectly fine. They’re highly motivated to get good grades. They seem to relish the mental struggle. Steve’s: He shows up on time. And it [...]

May 2021

50. How to give your kids the gift of two languages

2021-06-08T12:38:07-04:00By |Episodes|

50. How to give your kids the gift of two languages Jack Roepers, a polyglot and native Dutch speaker, started his sons Cyrus (L) and Philip (R) on the path to bilingualism from birth. Are there certain best practices for starting your children on a lifelong path to bilingualism? Absolutely, and in Episode 50, Steve shares the three that are most essential. They can work even if parents are not (or not yet) bilingual. You’ll also meet two families who started their children off as bilingual speakers and [...]

What Color Is Your Paragraph?

2021-05-20T11:56:38-04:00By |Articles|

Meet the award-winning narrator of the America’s Bilingual Century audiobook, who does more than just deliver the spoken text. Sean Pratt has narrated more than a thousand audiobooks, including Steve’s America’s Bilingual Century. You would think that a professional audiobook narrator sees words on the page that they’re reading from. Sean Pratt, who’s won six awards from AudioFile magazine and snagged two Audi Awards nominations, does see them, of course. But there amidst the black type, he spies something else that the rest of us don’t. “I look for the [...]

How a Dad Used Language to Up His Empathy

2021-05-26T10:04:43-04:00By |Articles|

When Robert Shaw’s daughter, Felicity, was five years old, he would occasionally reach for the Duolingo app rather than a picture book for bedtime reading. He’d do a short beginner’s lesson with Felicity and her younger brother, usually in Spanish or French. As Robert points out, “When you learn things right before you sleep, you retain them better.” So why not a few words in a different language? But it was words in the English language that Felicity often found challenging when she started reading in earnest, at age six. Both Robert and his wife, La [...]

Who’s That Heavenly Voice in Chapter 47?

2021-05-20T14:06:48-04:00By |Articles|

She’s a singer, songwriter, TED Talker, Twitch Partner. She’s performed at Carnegie Hall, been featured in an Ariana Grande music video, and acted in several films. She studied violin and piano before she was 5 and learned Flamenco dancing—in Spain—when she was 5. Oh, and she started her YouTube channel then, too. But for the editorial team of Steve’s book, America’s Bilingual Century, the most knock-it-out-of-the-park achievement of this 20-year-old California-born phenom is that’s she’s fluent in both Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. For the final chapter of the audiobook version of Steve’s book, hers is the [...]

49. How Bilinguals Find Their ‘Where’

2021-05-12T09:54:42-04:00By |Episodes|

49. How Bilinguals Find Their ‘Where’ In Episode 49, Steve introduces seven bilinguals whose new language came alive for them when they found where in their lives it should live. Lorna Auerbach is one of them. She had struggled as a young student trying to learn a second language. But later, as an adult, she blossomed when she connected her “where” to the work she was passionate about—and found the language that she really wanted to learn. Lorna Auerbach Father Chuck Durante is another. A Catholic priest, he [...]

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