Language & Culture

5 Ways to Get a T-A-S-T-E of a New Language this Fall

August 25, 2015

Summer is winding down but who says it has to be the end of your adventures? Fall is the perfect time to shake up routines and make good on that resolution to learn a new language or revisit one you studied long ago.

When adults embark on language studies, they tend to over-focus on mastering grammar and memorizing vocabulary words. While these aspects are important, they are only part of the recipe for success.

Here are 5 tips to inspire your journey and give you a well-rounded T-A-S-T-E of what learning a new language and culture can be at its best.

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Window on the World

October 2011

Most weekdays around 2:15 p.m., my son is napping blissfully while I prepare for another voyage abroad. I examine the day’s travel itinerary and make sure everything is in order: electrical systems activated (check), headset plugged in (check), espresso coffee and a square of dark chocolate within reach (check)…  I take a deep breath and I’m off on an adventure halfway around the world.

Perhaps I’ll spend an hour near sunny Geneva, Switzerland and then high-tail it back to Quebec province in Canada, where they’re expecting snow. I’ll likely spend the rest of the week hopping around French cities like Paris, Lyon, and Cannes but sometimes last minute reservations reroute me to tropical destinations like Martinique or Tahiti.

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4 Ways Speaking a Foreign Language Can Help You Find Your Next Job

September 18, 2014

When the Chamber of Commerce describes Charlotte as an “international city,” it’s not kidding. With 951 foreign-owned firms in the Charlotte area and more than 68,000 people working for them, it’s clear that international companies mean big business to the local economy.¹

In this kind of economic landscape, having foreign language skills may be more valuable than you realize. Forget any preconceived notions that only certain languages are “worth” studying or that language skills lead to a handful of specific career tracks. There’s a whole world of opportunity waiting for those who can “talk the talk.” In fact, more than 46 different countries are represented by the various companies, large and small, that call Charlotte home.²

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Three is the Magic Number: learning multiple languages simultaneously

November 24, 2015

For many people, mastering one foreign language already sounds daunting. Imagine learning three different languages at the same time. That’s exactly what some local families manage in their tri-lingual households. Cultivating a multilingual home comes with its own challenges and rewards. Here is why and how two local families do it.

Why three?

“It’s one of those things that you can’t escape in the US anymore,” says Rodrigo Rion, vice president at The Language Academy of the Carolinas. “English is not the only language… We are surrounded by other cultures [and] all sorts of mixed families.”

Take his family, for instance. Rion grew up in Mexico and his wife, Lenka, comes from the Czech Republic. While their two year old son’s primary language is English—the language he speaks at daycare—they want to expose him to Spanish and Czech at home.

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