December 2017

20. Twelve Ways the Gift of Bilingualism is Given

2017-12-19T18:58:08-05:00By |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 [...]

Podcast Index for Teachers, Parents and School Superintendents

2019-12-17T13:55:05-05:00By |Articles|

Here's an index of podcasts by subject matter for teachers, parents and school administrators. Dual Immersion—for those interested in the benefits of teaching languages in the elementary schools Episode 24         Dual-Language Education, Report #1: The Revolution Begins Episode 25         Dual-Language Education, Report #2: Winds of Change Go-To for Teachers—encouragement and ideas Episode 12          Eastern Star: The Nick Staffa story Episode 17          When a gap year becomes a bridge year Episode 18          Bill Weir Loves Language Teachers— Wishes He Had Listened to His Validators for Language Students—for students wondering if language learning is worth it Episode [...]

19. When America Went to War Against the German Language

2017-12-11T17:11:10-05:00By |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

17. When a Gap Year Becomes a Bridge Year

2017-11-08T15:44:38-05:00By |Episodes|

When a Gap Year Becomes a Bridge Year Paulina Jedrzejowski was five years old when two airliners slammed into the World Trade Center. She was just a few miles away in Brooklyn and wondered why ashes and bits of paper were floating down from the sky. Despite growing up in an America with a heightened concern for attacks from the outside, Paulina has devoted her young life to helping outsiders. She has lived in several other countries and learned their languages. Hear her story, and the story of a promising trend in America in which [...]

October 2017

16. Bless the Late-Blooming Bilinguals

2017-12-11T17:05:21-05:00By |Episodes|

Bless the Late-Blooming Bilinguals When older adults learn another language, they don’t have the advantages of toddlers, whose minds are wired to learn two or three languages simultaneously. Nor do they have the flexibility of young adults who can acquire a native-sounding accent. But this episode of America the Bilingual tells the story of adults who deploy other abilities that come with age and experience. Late-blooming bilinguals are not only capable of learning languages, but capable also of combining their language skills with a measure of wisdom in order to deliver great blessings to others. [...]

15. Sealed with un Beso

2017-12-11T16:39:09-05:00By |Episodes|

Sealed with un Beso He was rich, persuasive — and wrong. But Ron Unz succeeded in leading our most populous state down a dark path in the history of language education. Fortunately, his very success planted the seeds of change that are yielding a harvest of good in the nation today. Hear the origin story of the Seal of Biliteracy, which began in California and is now transforming America. Something new in America: honoring bilingualism The Seal of Biliteracy is a seal that high school seniors can earn on their diplomas and transcripts after demonstrating written and [...]

14. The Vanishing High School Year Abroad

2017-12-11T16:12:51-05:00By |Episodes|

The Vanishing High School Year Abroad In his junior year of high school in 1970, Doug Renfield-Miller was flunking out. It didn’t help to also get ejected from school for passing out anti-war posters. To escape, Doug took his mother’s suggestion and applied for a year of study abroad. Hear the story of how a young man was changed by the full measure of a school year away, and of a kind of immersion that is fading from the American tableau.   “I was an indifferent student.” Doug Renfield-Miller Listen on iTunes by clicking here: [...]

12. Eastern Star: The Nick Staffa Story

2017-12-11T15:57:41-05:00By |Episodes|

Eastern Star: The Nick Staffa Story Nick Staffa was meant to become a rock star — but the kind who works on a somewhat smaller stage. This kid from Long Island of Italian heritage, would become a rock-star language teacher with a reputation that would spread well beyond the United States. His story has elements of a fairy tale, except that the ending isn’t exactly what we might have expected. Nick Staffa with (L-R) Professor Zeng and Professor Agnes He, at SUNY Stony Brook Listen on iTunes by clicking here: America the Bilingual by Steve Leveen on iTunes [...]

August 2017

Let’s Talk with One Another

2019-09-06T14:17:42-04:00By |Articles|

In my continuing quest to learn Spanish, I’ve developed a technique I use when we go out to eat. If I suspect that our server may speak Spanish, I’ll ask “¿Habla español?” If he or she says “Sí,” I say, “Estoy aprendiendo. ¿Me puede ayudar?” (“I’m learning. Would you help me?”) Invariably, the answer is “¡Claro! (Of course!)” and then we not only have a conversation in Spanish, but we all have more fun, too. Life is sweeter when you can live it in a second language. But these conversations are short. It’s harder to arrange longer [...]

July 2017

9. Ed de La Torre Doesn’t Speak Spanish

2017-12-05T19:59:57-05:00By |Episodes|

Ed de La Torre Doesn't Speak Spanish “Wow, it’s a good thing you’re studying Spanish,” a fellow told me the other day “because Spanish is taking over the country!” It’s easy to see why it seems so. We see Spanish signs when we shop at Walmart and Home Depot, and on our cocktail napkins on JetBlue. When we phone Bank of America we hear “marque dos para español.” But here’s a fact you don’t hear talked about much: 25 percent of American Latinos don’t speak Spanish — because they can’t. While today’s immigrants are sometimes accused [...]

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