Portuguese via Brazilian music

In this lesson, Luciana Lage (of Street Smart Brazil) and I use the song Toda Sexta Feira to teach the days of the week in Portuguese, how to use the words todo/toda, and pronounce...
learning a foreign language

Where are the female and non-white polyglots?

Most of the public Internet polyglots are white males. Do race and national origin play a role in the decisions people make about learning languages? What can we do to inspire more non-whites to learn...
The Polyglot Project

Susanna’s interview on the Polygot Project Podcast

David Mansaray and Claude Cartaginese are doing a The Polyglot Project Podcast with interviews of language learners. It was an honor to talk to them about how I learned languages. I clarified how I...
Idioma é música

The Portuguese language has many homelands

Over two years ago, I wrote about the idea of a language as a homeland as I was starting my journey into the endangered language of Ladino/Judeo-Spanish. The Portuguese writer, Fernando Pessoa, is quoted as...
We Didn't Start the Fire promo CD

Education: It’s the music, stupid!

While politicians bicker about how to re-organize and finance schools, parents worry about their children’s academic performance and low-performing students struggle to follow lessons, we are forgetting about a free, fun and extremely powerful...
how to learn a foreign language

Do you need musical talent to learn languages? No.

When people hear the title of my book, Language is Music, they often assume that one has to be a musician or a good singer to learn languages or that I profess that someone...
Harvard

Even the Ivy League cheats students on foreign language education

A super expensive Ivy League education at Harvard may still deprive students of the knowledge they need to get ahead in this world. According to the article, Colleges come up short on what students need to...

At what price, monolingualism?


Fortunately, a scant few of us will ever be in a life or death situation requiring foreign language knowledge. However, Canetti’s example is not the only example of how a multilingual person in the Balkans used a language to save a life. I’m co-producing the documentary, Saved by Language, with Bryan Kirschen about how Moris Albahari saved his life in the Holocaust by speaking in Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) to an Italian Colonel and a US pilot.
learning a foreign language

How to learn a language: surrender to it

The word "surrender" conjures up images of defeat and submission. But when it comes to language learning, the more you give yourself up to your target language, the more successful you will be. Why do...
The Power of Music

The Power of Music to affect the brain and foreign languages

Sometimes when I speak about the pedagogical and healing powers of music, it feels like I am talking to a wall as few teachers, doctors and newsmakers take music seriously. Thankfully, National Public Radio (NPR)...

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