Colleen Wood began studying Russian when she was 15, thinking Cyrillic would be a useful secret code for passing notes with her friends; she never could have imagined the places that Russian would take her in 10 years. She writes of her experiences learning that what makes a language “useful” is entirely situational, and entirely about interactions with people.
In this blog, travel writer Marshall S. Berdan identifies the two things holding most American school children back from fully participating in—and profiting from—the new global economy: world language skills and a global mindset. But there are things that parents can do, both inside and outside the educational system.
A newly published book, Nordic Ways, provides insight into the Nordic model shared by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden of “hard-core economies with a heart.” Each of these countries places significant emphasis on gender equality, contributing to their overall strong economic performance. In celebration of International Women’s Day this week, we highlight the notable contributions that the Nordic nations have made to advancing gender equality in the workplace.
Sisters Maija and Lisa Butler write about the role of storytelling as a ritual that all societies use, and one that we all take part in. They illustrate the important role storytelling plays in learning a language because when we learn a second language, we learn not only a second vocabulary set, we gain another way of capturing and expressing ideas.
February 21st is the United Nation’s International Mother Language Day and this year’s theme is the importance of multilingual education in all countries around the globe. In that spirit, we offer good reads on this topic that have caught our attention this month.