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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Think Globally, Read Locally

Published: March 9, 2020

​This week, former villager and Village staff member Chelsea Rosendale introduces us to Books For Africa (BFA), an organization that collects, sorts, ships and distributes books for students of all ages across the African continent. Now BFA also publishes books through BFA Publishing, producing materials for children to read in African languages and about their own cultures and experiences.

We Are Jumping!

Published: February 4, 2020

​Tove Dahl, dean of Skogfjorden, promised 38 smart young Mwanza students that she would tell the world all about them: their exuberant teachers, their supportive families, and the good work they are doing learning English and math deep in the countryside of southern Malawi. This week, she fulfills that promise here on the WorldView Blog.

Erinnerungskultur: Cultivating a Culture of Memory

Published: January 27, 2020

​In honor of International Holocaust Rememberance Day, Waldseestaff member Paige Saskia Harouse explores Erinnerungskultur, the memorial culture of Germans grappling with the legacy of the Nazi party and its allies. How do modern Germans whose ancestors were victims rather than perpetrators, or modern German immigrants, fit into a culture of “never forgetting”?

History through Language

Published: January 13, 2020

​History is about people, and language allows us to forge connections to people both across cultures and across time. This week, Dr. Melanie Krob discusses the synergy between the study of language and the study of history.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall: What Happened to the Dream of Europe Whole and Free?

Published: November 5, 2019

Thirty years ago, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall opened and the Cold War ended. Waldsee Dean Dan Hamilton lived in Berlin at that time. He recalls what happened that day, reflects on the dreams of an undivided Europe that accompanied the revolutions of 1989, and discusses why Europe today seems to be more fractured and anxious than whole and free.

The Value of Hosting an Exchange Student

Published: October 29, 2019

​At age 16, Katrina Cubanski played host to a group of foreign exchange students from Saint Petersburg, Russia. While she was prepared for culture shock, what really took her by surprise is how much she and her visitors had in common.

Peace in Our Time

Published: October 1, 2019

What is peace, really? This week, Dave Oprava discusses peace as freedom from fear, and how we overcome fear of the unknown by forming connections with those who are different from us.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre Oriental

Published: September 17, 2019

Once the richest silver mining city in the world, Guanajuato–now a UNESCO World Heritage Site—still dazzles. It is also the site of the first pitched battle in Mexico’s War of Independence, fought 109 years ago this month.

International Camp Counselors Build Bridges of Understanding

Published: September 10, 2019

​Ilir Zherka, Executive Director of the Alliance for International Exchange, discusses the effects of having young adults from around the world come to the U.S. every summer to work as camp counselors. These exchange visitors strengthen international relations, boost the U.S. economy, and share their cultural knowledge with camps across America.

The Dietrich Fellowship for Courageous Global Citizens

Published: August 6, 2019

​David Dietrich Oprava introduces the Dietrich Fellowship, an opportunity for a current Concordia Language Villages staff member to go on an around-the-world adventure and bring that experience back to their Village.

The Value of Linguistic and Cross-cultural Skills in Suburbia

Published: July 23, 2019

Impoverished, multilingual communities are often associated with urban areas; however, Morgan Abate knows first-hand that these communities are rapidly growing in suburbia. To effectively support these communities, nonprofit organizations need to prioritize language and cultural skills within their teams.

Summer Reading Has Begun!

Published: June 11, 2019

​Throughout the summer, the Concordia Language Villages team will be reviewing books from the New York Times’ list of “Globetrotting” new releases in 2019. This week, we review Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Let’s Tell This Story Properly and Humayun Azad’s I Remember Abbu.

The Wen Club

Published: June 4, 2019

​This week, John Davis takes usto Warsaw, Poland, and into the mysterious Wen Club: a regular gathering of English speakers and learners that outlasted the Communist government and its interdictions against all things Western.

#Votingat16. Well, Why Not?

Published: May 7, 2019

​Gianmarco Zuccaroli, a sixteen-year-old Italian student from Rome, discusses the recent history of the voting age in the U.S. and Europe, and why he supports the EU’s recommendation that member states lower the age of enfranchisement to 16.

Going Global with the Power of People

Published: April 8, 2019

​Global experiences spring from personal connections. El Lago del Bosque counselor Rachel Schaefer shares with us how the people in her life have inspired and enabled her to explore the world.

The Gray Fox

Published: April 1, 2019

This week, John Davis regales us with stories from the Gray Fox: Brother Paul Schneider, whose skill in Spanish took him across the diverse and fascinating landscapes of Peru.

Take an Asia Minute to Discover the Diversity of the Asia-Pacific Region

Published: March 12, 2019

​There’s much more to Asia than can be covered in a minute, but Curtis S. Chin is on a mission: to present the diversity of dynamism of the Asia-Pacific region one minute at a time. This week, Curtis provides a glimpse into different facets of Asia through his informative YouTube channel, “Asia Minute with Curtis S. Chan.”

Du Courage: Translating a Feeling

Published: February 19, 2019

​What does courage mean in Togo? David Horner-Ibler, a recently returned Peace Corps Volunteer, shares how his Togolese friends use the expression du courage to acknowledge the determination it takes to get through every day.

Three Waldsee Villages: A View Using the Wings of History

Published: February 11, 2019

​On the 74th anniversary of the opening and dissolution of Auschwitz by Russian troops, Alex Treitler considers the history of Waldsee, both as a euphemism for the death camp and as a place of learning and growth in the woods of Minesota. With such a weight of association, the Waldsee of today must strive to dispel ignorance and create a brighter, more complex future.

I Will Never Tell You You’re Awesome, But I Will Celebrate Your Courage

Published: January 15, 2019

Courage is a powerful word, which shouldn’t be used lightly. This week, Skogfjorden dean Tove Dahl discusses why the word courage is so important and how we can use it to acknowledge acts of confronting substantial risk in pursuit of a noble goal.

Sending You Inspirational Thoughts from Our Villages to Yours

Published: December 20, 2018

Across languages and within cultures, we send you inspirational thoughts in our 15 world languages as we celebrate the holiday season.

Speaking of Politics

Published: November 5, 2018

Global citizens must engage with the political, cultural and social issues that transcend borders in our 21st Century society. Tomorrow, U.S. citizens have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to act on their beliefs and to vote. In honor of the occasion, we highlight Dan Hamilton’s recent opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle on the legacy of German Chanellor Angela Merkel. Dan Karl Hamilton is the dean of Waldsee, the German Language Village.

Courageous Conversations: Returning to Helena and Britta

Published: October 16, 2018

In 2017, two Sjölunden counselors from opposite ends of the political spectrum wrote WorldView Blog’s most shared post ever. One year later, we reconnect with Helena and Britta to learn more about their friendship and courageous conversations across ideological divides.

Supporting Education in the Western Serengeti

Published: October 9, 2018

This week, the WorldView blog is proud to showcase Concordia Language Villages’ partnership with the Singita Grumeti Fund bringing English language immersion to students in Tanzania. Nicole Anderson, lead teacher, shares her experiences of teaching language and learning about conservation on the Serengeti.

Wishing You a Joyous Holiday Season Wherever You Are

Published: December 21, 2017

​The Concordia Language Villages team share fun holiday traditions from around the world.

How Do You Celebrate the Holidays Abroad?

Published: December 15, 2017

Sometimes the holidays find us far from home, perhaps even in another country where our traditions and celebrations are foreign to our neighbors and friends. In this touching piece, freelance writer Michael Nevadomski shares his experience celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas in Egypt.

The Amazing Adventures of Living Abroad as a Family

Published: October 24, 2017

Does the idea of travel or life abroad as a family sound a little daunting? Taking the leap to live in a new country with children is a powerful way to experience a culture and gain a new perspective on the world.

Listening into the Middle

Published: August 22, 2017

​Positive solutions to complex issues start with good conversations. But what is a “good” conversation, and how do we help them to happen? At Concordia Language Villages, a simulation called the World Café allows staff members to practice honesty, vulnerability, and respect as they discuss global issues.

What If the Other Side Isn’t Evil?

Published: August 15, 2017

In this political climate, it’s easy to become obsessed with pointing out all the flaws of the ‘other side.’ Yet Helena and Britta from Sjölunden explore what happens when two people with different political views try being friends instead.

Camp-to-Camp Exchange with Partners in Russia

Published: July 18, 2017

What would an English language immersion camp look like in Russia? Lara Ravitch and her team are on a mission to find out. Through an exchange with Forest Camp in Zadonsk, Russia, the staff of Lesnoe Ozero are working to improve the cultural experience for language immersion campers on both sides of the world.

A Handy Set of Rules for Wherever Life Leads You

Published: May 16, 2017

Maybe working in a foreign country isn’t so foreign. Jackie Jacqueline Mauer shares her universal rules that have carried her, thus far, from a small town in the Midwest to rural Central America.

Coffee Shops: the Neighborhood “Local”

Published: May 9, 2017

One of the best ways to learn language is engaging in informal, relaxed conversation with native speakers…a teaching technique employed in the Language Villages on a daily basis. This is great preparation for landing in a café in another part of the world. In this brief primer on traditional (and Westernizing) coffeehouse culture in Egypt, freelance journalist Michael Nevadomski explains coffee culture, Egyptian-style and his discovery of how the ahwa advanced his understanding of Arabic.

A Secret

Published: August 10, 2016

These shoes are important and say a lot to those who know what they are. What do you know about them?

I have a secret. It is encoded in my language. It is an expression of who I am. It is an expression of where I come from. It is my culture.

My culture is the keeper of my heritage and serves as a personal compass, guiding who I am and who I can become. It is my home.

Hello! My name is...

Published: May 26, 2016

Villagers choose names and personalize their nametags on their first day in the Village.

What’s in a name? As Juliet would remind us, a rose by any other name – ‘rosa,’ ‘méiguī,’ ‘rouzu’ – would smell as sweet. As part of the first-day activities at Concordia Language Villages, villagers and staff alike choose a name typical of the culture(s), adding to the sense of having crossed a border into a distinct and special place. And the names that villagers and staff members choose are, often, sweeter for the opportunities to grow that come with those new names.

Culture Matters at Concordia Language Villages

Published: February 24, 2016

“Language” is our middle name, but the real point of what we do as teachers and counselors at the Villages is to make villagers aware of themselves and their cultures, and then help them begin to grow into global citizens who are capable of deep other-awareness. That happens through language and cultural immersion where language learning is the vehicle to explore new experiences, to expand your knowledge of the world, and to have fun.