February 2023

60. Crossing the Borderlands

2023-02-01T14:04:08-05:00By |Episodes|

Episode 60. Crossing the Borderlands of America's Immigration Brenda Piñero “I do consider Puerto Rico a borderland of the United States,” says Brenda Piñero of her homeland. Brenda left the island—an American territory rather than a state—after getting her law degree at the University of Puerto Rico. But she could not stay away from borderlands. She’s now an attorney who is part of a pro bono asylum representation project based in Harlingen, Texas. The border with Mexico is a scant 28 miles away. Brenda works [...]

June 2017

6. Little Ketchup Girl

2017-12-05T19:15:37-05:00By |Episodes|

Little Ketchup Girl How hard can it be to go up to the counter at McDonald’s and ask for ketchup? The answer might depend on how confident you are in English. Michelle Bazargan was a little girl when bombs began exploding outside her home in Tehran. It was then that her mother decided it was too dangerous to remain. Thus begins the story of one Iranian family and their challenges of becoming American. Sometimes trauma can leave people irreversibly damaged. Other times trauma can leave people irreversibly dedicated to helping others. Listen to episode 6 of [...]

May 2017

5. The CEO and the Polyglot

2017-12-05T19:24:20-05:00By |Episodes|

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 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 [...]

January 2017

3. Just Call Me Anna

2017-12-05T18:24:55-05:00By |Episodes|

Just Call Me Anna Linguists call it “shift.” The rest of us would call it “loss.” It’s what happens to the languages spoken by immigrants, and it happens fast. By the third generation, and sometimes even the second, the German or Hindi or Greek spoken in the home is gone. That’s why America, known for so many good things, is also known as the place “where languages go to die.” But not always. Sometimes an immigrant family bucks the trend. This is one of those stories.* Anastasia “Anna” Kastrenakes Merkel Listen on iTunes by [...]

2. With a little Help from his Friends —and Good French Wine

2017-12-05T19:12:22-05:00By |Episodes|

With a little Help from his Friends —and Good French Wine “It was a body blow. I told them, if you reject me, I’ll be forced to accept my position at Oxford.” “Forced” to go to Oxford? Why did this young American want so badly to attend a French business school that few Americans have heard of? Why was he willing to forgo his slot at Oxford to do so? And why were a panel of French professors shooting him down in his interview? David Wolf Find out in Episode 2 of the America [...]

1. The Lamp of Empathy

2017-12-05T18:20:14-05:00By |Episodes|

The Lamp of Empathy Does the whole world speak English? Not quite, not even in France, if you really want to do business. Meet Ben Macklowe, a New York City kid, who grew up as a monolingual English speaker, until he messed up big time and then took matters into his own hands. Now he’s passing The Gift on to his baby boys. The following 14 minutes may light your path: Listen on iTunes by clicking below: America the Bilingual by Steve Leveen on iTunes Download past episodes or subscribe to future episodes of America the Bilingual [...]

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