WorldView: A Language Blog

WorldView is a place for leaders in the fields of language education, global citizenship, immersion learning and other topics central to the Concordia Language Villages mission to address issues important to their fields.

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WorldView Good Reads: Off the Press for April 2019

Published: April 30, 2019

Here are good reads from around the globe that have caught our attention.

Learning a language bursts your national bubble. To many English speakers, learning other languages has come to seem a waste of time. Yet being monolingual means remaining trapped in one’s national bubble. The world is filtered through the limits of language. Michael Skapinker of the Financial Times tells us how learning someone else’s language can burst your bubble. It is a personal commitment to remain open to the world.

The most colorful places in the world. The Bests From green to yellow, here are some of the most vibrant places on the planet. How often do you think about color on a daily basis? Do you pay attention to it at work? On your commute? In your kid's room? It can be easy to overlook, but according to science, we may be more attentive to color when we visit somewhere new. It gives us a sharper eye on safari, or leaves us feeling calmer by those Santorini blues. All the more reason to travel.

The kids are taking charge of climate change. Fridays for the Future is a new youth-propelled movement bringing young people out on the streets in Europe and now on other continents. Paul Hockenos tells us how teenagers around the world are protesting in unprecedented numbers—and making governments nervous.

What is the Greatest Act of Courage? Courage can inspire us. But what is a great act of courage? The Atlantic asks a number of commentators for their views.  

Empathy is the secret ingredient that makes cooperation – and civilization – possible. Human societies are so prosperous mostly because of how altruistic we are. Unlike other animals, people cooperate even with complete strangers. We share knowledge on Wikipedia, we show up to vote, and we work together to responsibly manage natural resources. But where do these cooperative skills come from and why don’t our selfish instincts overwhelm them? Arunas L. Radzvilavicius explores this feature of human societies and finds that empathy – a uniquely human capacity to take another person’s perspective – might be responsible for sustaining such extraordinarily high levels of cooperation in modern societies.

College President: We Must Prioritize Foreign Languages. Indiana is emblematic of the globalization that is occurring all around us. Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has been a leader in charting ways to boost the language competencies of Hoosier residents. Since 2017, the Indiana Language Roadmap, an initiative led by the Center for the Study of Global Change in Indiana University's Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, has been developing a plan to make quality world language instruction and global learning available and affordable for all Hoosier residents. For more on the importance of world language education in the United States, check out this oped in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Attention! How Hearing in Two Languages Helps Babies Develop. According to a recent study, infants who live in homes where two languages are spoken have shown better attention control than kids in a monolingual family. Exposure to a bilingual environment can be a significant factor in the early development of attention in infancy. You can read more about early childhood bilingualism in Stacie Berdan's recent WorldView blog post

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