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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Reflecting on the Past Year

By The WorldView Blog Editorial Team | Published: December 14, 2018

The holiday season means many different things to different people. For some, it is about family—spending time with loved ones near and far. For others, it is about traditions, both longstanding and new, that represent their cultures, customs and communities. The end of the year is also a time to reflect on the past year’s activities, events and special moments. We can consider what these moments mean to us now: how they have shaped our lives, affected our communities and inspired us going forward.

In this spirit of retrospective reflection, Concordia Language Villages would like to share with you some highlights from the WorldView blog over this past year.

Courage was a theme that ran through many of 2018's posts, and for good reason. The mission of Concordia Language Villages is to inspire courageous global citizens who act on their beliefs. In the blog Inspiring Courageous Global Citizens, we shared the process of how we arrived at our new mission, noting the relevance and role of courage in all that we do at the Villages.

But exactly what is courage? As explained in Those Times We Call on Courage, it’s all about taking a chance in the face of an uncertain but noble outcome. It’s the difference between wanting something (that’s motivation) and actually going for it (that’s courage).

But courage does not happen in a day or over the course of one summer. It’s a lifelong journey of exploring the many surprising, challenging and rewarding ways of exploring our world and understanding our role in the common home we share with all peoples and cultures. It’s also about taking action. Speaking of Politics demonstrates that language and culture can fortify and inform courageous global citizens to participate in political, cultural and social issues that transcend the borders of 21st Century society.

One of the pressing social issues of the day is the need to better protect children. In It’s Time, the critical role of teachers and all adults in keeping children safe is emphasized. This reminds us that A Camp Community is an Idyllic Place to Build Lifelong Skills because it allows young people to get out of their comfort zone and explore new adventures amidst a supportive group of friends. This is done within a safe, nurturing environment led by camp counselors who support the youths' growth and development, thus allowing campers to build lifelong skills.

Knowing another language also means understanding another culture and, if students decide to study abroad, they can take an even deeper dive into a culture. Linking Study Abroad to Career Success details the immense value that linguistic and cross-cultural knowledge have for employers looking to hire people who can think critically and communicate effectively across cultures.One way this growth takes place is by intentionally structuring learning opportunities to recognize and celebrate diversity in learning needs. How and why the Villages apply this intentionality is explained in Learning Equity. This approach is one of the many aspects that make the Villages such a special and unique place for successful language learning. And Why the Mission Matters describes how very important learning another language and culture is for unlocking that profound understanding that others do differ.

In addition to these often-termed “soft” skills, knowing a second language can be a springboard to a career that centers on bilingualism, such as interpreting and translation. Career Adventures in Chinese Interpreting and Translation describes how bilingualism can lead to all sorts of interesting and well-paying jobs that, due to their very nature, help bring the world together.

At Concordia Language Villages, our languages reach all corners of the globe, touching countries on all continents where people are honoring religious ceremonies, frolicking in winter festivals and toasting the New Year. Our year-end message of 2017, Wishing You a Joyous Holiday Season Wherever You Are, was just too compelling a collection of special celebrations from around the world, so we’ve included it here again.

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