Scoprendo l’italiano!

My Italian learning guide is now available on the Amazon Kindle Store. It is called Scoprendo l’italiano! You can purchase it for $4.99 in the US. I hope you enjoy learning the language as much as I did!

For people without Kindles, I will attempt to get the book in print using Amazon’s Createspace, and on other e-reader platforms.

Attitudes Toward Foreign Language

It is not entirely rare that I have met those with the idea that everyone should speak English, because most of the world teaches or speaks it. While true, language is a fundamental part of society, culture, and people’s identities, and displacing it would ruin many cultures in the long term.  Feeling entitled to the understanding of others in our own language is what earns one the label of ignorant and self-centered. Taking the time to understand someone else is only the first step. This applies to many things, not just language.

Language Education in the Lower Grade Levels

I feel that language education of any kind would be very helpful for the growth of younger people as citizens of a supposedly cosmopolitan nation. We need to instill in the younger generation the value of reaching out to the world and understanding it on the intimate level of their languages. With learning a language comes the understanding of another culture and another people. How can we expect our diverse population to come to mutual agreements on various issues if they are separated by language barriers? The solution is NOT to encourage them to speak English, to abandon their mother tongues and heritage. We need it to be a nationwide standard for people to speak another language to function in a multiracial society, which sadly, doesn’t seem to be the case, even with the mandatory two years of foreign language in high school in some places. By making elementary school students learn other languages (preferably of their own choice), it would not only make them more aware of the world, but also be more intelligent. Studies have shown that students of foreign language generally have better scores on English-related assessments. Wherever you might be, get involved with your school district or an individual school, and encourage them to adopt an early foreign language education program.

Speak, Speak, Speak!

Every day, I see other students who reject their cultural heritage, particularly their languages. They consciously want to relinquish this part of themselves, and this saddens me to no end. Always be grateful for the gift of language from your parents and culture, for without it, you would be less than the person you are today because of it. Whether you speak a major world language like Spanish, or a minority language like Basque, it’s important to keep that speaking tradition alive, because when a language dies, an entire generation of potential speakers influenced and molded by that language dies with it.