Language-lovers sit at a strange nexus between extro- and introversion. On the one hand, we speak languages, and so we need speakers. We have to extrovert. On the other hand, we need to study a lot to keep them up. Study only comes with introversion. Our paradox lies between our need to study by ourselves to speak with others. Both extro- and introversion serve our passion.
The joy–the love–of languages works both directions, as well. Our joy comes when we speak with others. Part of this joy arises from the delight of the other who sees this foreigner speaking their language.
Our language-study subsists, though, on our foreignness. When we start a new language, we consign ourselves again to being a foreigner. We seek out those who are natives to that language. We fall in love with being an outsider; we no longer seek out staying at home. Being the perpetual other motivates us.
I realized recently, though, that I enjoy working on a team. That means everyone working together on a single goal. Delight comes from working together and the work only succeeds when we see each other as equals. Teamwork contrasts strongly with my pursuit of languages.
Only working for my own languages no longer satisfies me. So I’ve been working on education. I want to provide language education for others. I do not see enough language students, language schools, or language advocates around me. As a result, I want to start that change.
To have a real effect requires a team. Finding language students means talking to teachers, starting language schools requires entrepreneurs, and advocacy requires organization. I cannot work on my own on this project. I want to offer Somali-language education as a possibility for schools and others here in the Twin Cities. I’m building a team to do the work this agenda requires.
I have started building a team, but I’m trying to find the most dedicated people for my vision. I want people who love languages. They must understand the inherent worth of learning languages. Education must also sit at the forefront of their minds. I need members of team “teach language.”
Is building a team hard for you? What are ways to build a team? How do you find people in your area who are passionate about your same passion? Do you other language-lovers run into the same challenges as I do?
- Community Languages in Schools (lovinglanguage.wordpress.com)
- New language rules for would-be Canadian citizens to begin in November (ctvnews.ca)
- Enroll in language school in Moscow and become proficient in foreign languages (teacherlingo.com)
- Language skills vital to Canada’s trade future, Manley says (theglobeandmail.com)