International Mother Language Day & Recent Foreign Language News

February 21 is UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day, which “has been celebrated since 2000 to promote all the languages of the world. This Day represents an effective mobilization opportunity for linguistic diversity and multilingualism.” Spread the language love!

If you don’t already know why being multilingual makes your life better:

Being bilingual may delay Alzheimer’s and boost brain power
Research suggests that bilingual people can hold Alzheimer’s disease at bay for longer, and that bilingual children are better at prioritising tasks and multitasking

Juggling Languages Can Build Better Brains
Once likened to a confusing tower of Babel, speaking more than one language can actually bolster brain function by serving as a mental gymnasium

Bilinguals Find it Easier to Learn a Third Language
Bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language, as they gain a better aptitude for languages

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I love you wall in Paris

And if the constant news about universities cutting budgets and getting rid of foreign language programs gets you down, there is at least one university in the US that is doing the opposite:

U.C. Berkeley campus expands course offerings
More than half a million dollars will be allotted to numerous foreign language courses beginning in 2011-12 and will ultimately result in more than 30 additional language courses offered

Congratulations to the winner of the Mango Passport Bundle giveaway from last week: @plutoinlove Thanks to all the participants and Mango Languages for making the giveaway possible!

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  • http://howlearnspanish.com/ Andrew

    One of the most valuable aspects of learning a second language for me was the ability it gave me to easily learn any other language–that first language is the hardest, you spend a lot of time not figuring out how to learn that specific language but instead how to learn a language, period. It’s something you haven’t done since you were a very small child, so you’ve forgotten and it’s like you’ve never done it before.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    Same for me. Learning French not only helped me learn how to learn a language, but I also learned English grammar while I was learning French grammar. Before I started studying French, I had no idea what present progressive or or participle or subjunctive meant.

  • Edmundyong

    AGREED! I also learn a few vocabulary when learning French!!!

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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