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The Last Three Feet

The world of international affairs is often seen as a shadowy one, full of intrigue, cloak-and-dagger, and posturing. Perhaps this is not far from the truth. One thing is certain: the larger the country, the more personnel is needed to staff the countless embassies, consulates, and other outposts who represent their country. A student of […]

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A Lesson Learned on Bias

Many years ago in Switzerland I had a voice student named Catherine. Catherine taught me something I’ve never forgotten, although it will take me a lifetime to fully put it into practice. A little background: as you may know, Switzerland is composed of three main regions. By far the largest is the German-speaking area in […]

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The (Lost) Land of Civility

I was going through the archives of my first blog (back in the Blogspot days) and came across this post. I’m taking the liberty to repost it because, as is often the case, things that were written years ago can sometimes have just as much if not more relevance in the moment. I’ll let you […]

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The Revival of Irish

The language St. Patrick must have learned in order to evangelize the Irish hasn’t always been looked on very favorably by other people. Under the British repression that lasted hundreds of years, Irish Gaelic was actually banned from the country of its origin. Fast forward and you find a bit of a revival of the […]

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Let the Countdown Begin!

In exactly one month from today, we launch the World to the Wise podcast! I’m looking forward to it for so many reasons. It will give me a chance to connect in a more personal way with friends, readers, and subscribers around the world. And that’s the exciting part — you can listen from practically […]

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Should Your Children Learn Chinese?

I was recently invited to a Chinese New Year celebration as the Year of the Monkey opens. One of the hosts was Dr. Ming Wang, whom I have mentioned in earlier posts and who is going to be my guest on an upcoming podcast later this spring. Dr. Wang spoke briefly on the evolving relationship […]

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The Unfinished Bridge

I’ve seen it so many times. As I’m sure you do, I know quite a few people who are second generation immigrants to the US. Many are Hispanic, but there are lots of other ethnic and linguistic groups represented. And one of the saddest things I see is when the children speak only English. For […]

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Family First

I am excited to announce the upcoming launch of my new podcast! Tentatively entitled the World to the Wise podcast, in keeping with the name of our company, we will explore new perspectives on culture, including language learning, as well as listen to compelling stories from fascinating people. One such person is Dr. Ming Wang, […]

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Riding a Bike and Learning a Language

A student of mine recently sent me this video. Find out what riding a bike and learning a foreign language have in common: We English speakers often have the mistaken notion that a) we’re just not gifted in the area of foreign language, or b) we’ll just check that off our list in high school […]

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Sunni? Shiite? Why Care?

For years now, the news has been chock full of the words Sunni and Shia (or Shiite). What do they mean and why should we care? For Westerners not directly affected by the conflicts in the Middle East, it is easy to just ignore these labels. Or worse, some will say “those Arabs are all […]

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