Language is the most important means for connecting two beings. I love languages. Each person must learn a language to communicate with the one he or she encounters. A mother teaches her child language. A salesperson must speak the language of the client. A presidential candidate must present him- or herself in a language that voters can understand. The God of the Bible and the Quran condescends to speak in the language of humans. Language connects.
I love to learn languages and teach about learning languages and about cultures. This blog conveys my thoughts about the whys and hows of language-learning. The whys include motivation, whether for business or personal reasons. The hows include methods for learning languages, including my own language study. Without the whys, language-learning becomes soulless, rote learning. Without the hows, language-learning becomes expansive good will–without follow-through.
I have been learning and speaking languages extensively inside and outside academia. I am fluent in four languages (Russian, Ukrainian, French, German), highly proficient in three (Spanish, Moroccan Arabic, Lebanese Arabic), and proficient at a basic level in two (Dutch, Modern Hebrew). I have reading abilities in Ancient Hebrew, Syriac, Aramaic, Ancient Greek, and Italian.
I have a BA in linguistics and a PhD in linguistics and Ancient Hebrew. I have worked seven years teaching at the university level in three countries, and I have taught English to non-native speakers in classroom and informal settings. I have lived extensively (five months or more) in three countries: France, Ukraine, Morocco; and on extended stays (one month or more) in two others: Germany, Lebanon.
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Here are a couple videos that encapsulate some of the ideas that are most important to me.