Bonjour / Hola / Guten Tag / Salve,
I want to take a moment on this still-not-Spring Sunday to inaugurate our Central Region blog.
I'll start with an anecdote.
Last week I found myself in France over Spring Break. To be sure, traveling up and down the Hexagone offered all of the linguistic and cultural nourishment that I had hoped for. But beyond the personal enjoyment such a trip affords, as I reflected about my experiences through the lens of the world language educator, one moment proved particularly salient. There happened to be on my return flight a group of Danish high schoolers flying to the US for a school language trip. All of them spoke English with remarkable ease, enjoyed authentic anglophone media as they endeavored to entertain themselves throughout the nine-hour haul, and engaged effortlessly in conversation with the American passengers seated around them. In short, at such a young age, they had already become the sort of models of successful language acquisition that we aspire towards for our own students.
This observation gave me a sense of both melancholy and hope. Melancholy, admittedly, because it was with a certain measure of regret that I saw in these Danes the outcome of their having been reared in a society that expects of and cultivates in its citizens competency in another language-- and I longed for this to be the case in my own. My melancholy soon gave way to hope, though, because despite our societal lag in foreign language study, the good news is that we have organizations like FLAM to carry the torch--if you permit me this cliché--towards the idea of a country enriched by the language and culture of another.
So in that spirit, I want to invite you to follow our blog and help make this a space of connection as we try to build communities in Mid-Missouri that are each day just a bit less monolingual.
Please share with me (to post here) your job openings, accomplishments, program announcements, and ways in which our region can come together and advocate for one another, our programs and our students. Welcome.
PS: If you would like to be added to our Central region listserve, please send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Central Region, FLAM
Muriel Battle High School
Columbia Public Schools