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WorldView Good Reads: Off the Press for February 2019

Published: February 25, 2019

This month's GoodReads is in fact a GoodListens. Here are several good radio and podcast pieces from around the globe that caught our attention during the month of February.

The Edge Effect: Hidden Brain. In NPR's weekly podcast on the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, host Shankar Vedantam discusses the relationship between cross-cultural collaboration and human creativity. In biology, 'the edge effect' refers to the tendency for new forms of life to arise in areas where two ecosystems meet. Vedantam talks with researchers who are exploring how the edge effect comes into play when humans collaborate across cultural boundaries. In science, music, business, even fashion, people who work together in racially and culturally diverse groups often produce more ideas to solve the problems they face. 

The Decline of U.S. Language Programs. In the U.S., fewer and fewer foreign language classes are available for students at all levels of education. This month, WNYC's The Takeaway interviewed Kathleen Stein-Smith, associate university librarian and adjunct faculty at Fairleigh Dickinson University, about what's causing this decline and what the consequences may be. Stein-Smith traces the history of multilingualism in America, the decline's consequences for the country and individual learners, and what can be done to reverse the trend. 

Waltzing with Mops. Concordia Language Villages is honored to be recently featured on the America the Bilingual podcast, which is dedicated to the pursuit of bilingualism in America. Now in its third season, America the Bilingual explores a fascinating range of language experiences.  A prior podcast features  babies learning ASL, both hearing infants learning pre-speech communication and deaf infants accessing their own first language early enough to become confident native speakers. Another covers the rich history and blossoming revival of the Cherokee language in North Carolina.

International Mother Language Day. February 21st was International Mother Language Day at the United Nations. To honor the occasion, the UN Office at Geneva  released a video with speakers from around the world introducing themselves in their mother tongues. How many can you understand? 

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