I’m glad you’re still with me, dear readers! I haven’t blogged for a few weeks because of several public speaking opportunities, where I’ve been able to discuss the importance of connecting with local communities, namely, through learning community languages.
I love public speaking. If you need someone to speak to your group about the importance of learning languages, languages as a cultural bridge in your community, or practical tips for learning a language, please contact me. My experience and enthusiasm will surely exceed your expectations.
Lots of good stories are coming soon, arising both from my public talks and from recent language-learning experiences.
Here are my public talks from the last month:
We need to make public space for multiple languages. American kids will only learn languages effectively when we can transform our public space to accept and accommodate them. I offered here concrete ways to include the multilingual children and parents in school communities at the head of such a movement.
Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Language and Culture, Fall Conference, Brooklyn Center, MN
Communication and empathy lie at the heart of global assistance. Everyone who has worked in international development recognizes how difficult communication can be, however. Those who assist suffering and displaced people can take some of this burden on themselves to learn local languages through asking questions and making the most of side conversations. In the end, aid workers can reverse the power dynamic and put themselves in the position of those who need help, empowering those they assist.
Minnesota International NGO Network, Idea Summit, Minneapolis, MN
A hobby can move from self-serving to serving our neighbor. Some people love (are obsessed with!) learning languages, and as with any beloved activity, we put precious energy and a lot of time into it. As with any such investment, we should use languages to benefit others and not just ourselves. Thus we can aim to learn the languages spoken in the communities around us for the sake of bringing together groups of people who may seem so different.
Polyglot Conference, New York City, NY
Substantial intercultural dialogue begins with uncomfortable conversations. We have to be ready for our assumptions and point of view to be challenged as we open our heart to those different from us. We must seek to empathize. We connect through stories of our childhood, of our defining experiences, of confronting who we thought we were.
A Workshop by City Stay, St. Paul, MN