In a monolingual brain, language is represented as a web, connecting things and ideas to the words that name them, as well as information about how that word is pronounced and spelled, and how to use it. In a multilingual brain, a larger, more complex web is formed, encoding information about known words in all known languages and forming connections between languages.
Every summer about 20,000 young adults from around the world join their college-age peers as camp counselors in thousands of camps across the country. International staff participate in all kinds of programs: science camps, sports camps, wilderness camps and language camps. For many, this is their first experience in the United States. This is citizen diplomacy at its best, made possible by the U.S. State Department’s J-1 Exchange Visitor program that has a category specially designed for camp counselors.
Here are good reads from around the globe that have caught our attention.
The White Helmets of Syria. Syria’s White Helmets are ordinary people who risk their own well-being every day to save lives in the rubble of cities like Aleppo. Read Jared Malsin’s excellent profile in TIME.
Changing The World - Poem by Frederick J.B. Moore II. We are a language program, and poetry is magical language. So what does poetry tell us about our mission?
How many Swiss regularly use at least four languages? You’d be surprised. Rise to the challenge - join our Swiss Week!
Positive Peace - What attitudes, institutions and structures create and sustain peaceful societies? Read the 2016 Positive Peace report
Learn new languages to get ahead. Is it important for a scientist to learn foreign languages? Yes, says Alexander Birbrair, a Russian Israeli who grew up in Brazil and lived in Spain. ‘‘What about English, you ask? In fact, I didn’t learn a word of it until I was 24.’‘
Arabic calligraphy: from language to modern art. Calligraphy merges the boundaries between language and art. Read how Arabic calligrapher Mohamed Abido showcased the power of his art to challenge societal conventions—from Egypt’s Daily News.
The Learning Generation. Investing in education for a changing world. The Prime Minister of Norway, the Presidents of Malawi, Indonesia, and Chile, and the Director-General of UNESCO convened a commission to reinvigorate the case for investing in education and to chart a path for investment to develop the potential of all of the world’s young people. Read the Commission’s report, chaired by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
4 reasons to learn a new language. English is fast becoming the world’s universal language, so why bother learning a foreign language? Linguist and Columbia professor John McWhorter shares four alluring benefits of learning an unfamiliar tongue. It’s a good listen.
There just aren’t that many high school research departments around, so as the director of one, I mostly get to make up what we are doing. Several of the projects we’re working on relate to learning language, an interest of mine that started with my first Kursteilnehmer learning group in Waldsee, the German Language Village, in 1988. Here are two cool projects we’ve worked on here at LAS Educational Research.
It was my privilege to have worked on the first certified Passive House building in the Americas = das BioHaus at Waldsee – the German Language Village at Concordia Language Villages (CLV) in Bemidji, Minn. Celebrating the 10-year anniversary causes me to reflect on how quickly time passes and the importance for all of making immediate, lasting improvements.