WorldView: A Language Blog

WorldView is a place for leaders in the fields of language education, global citizenship, immersion learning and other topics central to the Concordia Language Villages mission to address issues important to their fields.

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Language Learning: A Family Ambition

By Guest Blogger: Jane A. Peterson | Published: November 19, 2014

Concordia Language Villages celebrates International Education Week with posts celebrating international education from some of our colleagues and friends.


Our family revels in learning languages. My husband Paul and I left Minnesota and moved abroad 23 years ago. Though we spoke no French, we enrolled our girls—at age four—at the French Lycée in London. Both graduated with a French Baccalaureate in Singapore—and six years of German.

Sarah, 23, who also earned four years of high school credit at Sēn Lín Hú, the Chinese Language Village, read Chinese and Japanese at Cambridge. She is now on a gap year from her law studies, working for a Minnesota-based firm in Hong Kong. She speaks Mandarin every day on the job.

Claire, 20, is the French tutor—a quite lucrative post—for Trinity College at the University of Melbourne. She also went to Sēn Lín Hú and takes Indonesian.

Our family’s German gets a good workout in Wengen, Switzerland, where we spend vacations. Though I didn’t heed my dad’s advice to attend Waldsee, the German Language Village, I did learn German thanks to a native-speaking teacher at Minnehaha Academy. Early in my career, while working in Cologne for a television news program, I spoke German every day for a year.

As a journalist, my interest in languages is reflected in the articles I write from Asia, Europe and the United States. Sometimes I pepper them with foreign phrases. In Switzerland and Austria, I do some interviews in German. And this October, while researching a feature on Yinghua Academy in Minneapolis for the New York Times, I discovered Sēn Lín Hú is credited with Minnesota’s early lead in Chinese immersion!   


About Our Guest Blogger


Jane A. Peterson is a freelance journalist based in Singapore. She links Minnesota with multi-lingualism in these articles: 

"An American School Immerses Itself in All Things Chinese"

"Swiss Bliss: Hiking in the Alps"

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