October 2017

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

2023-08-25T12:35:40-04:00By |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 [...]

February 2017

4. Mother Tongue

2017-12-05T19:24:32-05:00By |Episodes|

Mother Tongue We hear it before we are born. Before the first air rushes into our tiny lungs, before the first light refracts into our blinking, baby eyes, our mother tongue is already resident, dreamlike in our waiting minds. In America, the mother tongue for most of us is English. But for millions of us baby Americans, those comforting vibrations our mothers pour over us have other names, like Spanish or Portuguese or Mandarin. Bilingual mothers have a choice to make. Sometimes they chose their own mother tongue to speak to their babies. Other times they [...]

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