Thursday, April 26, 2007

Foreign languages ... they're not foreign any more!

Check out this link for the published version of my article about a local high school Spanish Club's trip to a Spanish-speaking city .... 20 minutes from home.

Imagine if every language teacher in the country sought to help their students make this kind of personal connection with the language they teach, the people who speak it, and the culture that surrounds it.

What a difference that would make, not only in our language classes, but in our society.

Young people would start to see languages as something real, something they can use every day, something that connects them to people and to new (and positive) experiences.

And maybe some of them would think twice before categorizing immigrants and other speakers of different languages as a negative influence that detracts from our country and our culture.

And perhaps, as well, the young people who grow up in these linguistic communities will see their language and culture validated, and will understand the value of maintaining their language and culture, while still being fully "American."

In Italian, there is a phrase, "sogni d'oro." These are my golden dreams.