Bill Gates wrote during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything): “I took Latin and Greek in High School and got A’s and I guess it helps my vocabulary but I wish I knew French or Arabic or Chinese. I keep hoping to get time to study one of these… Mark Zuckerberg amazingly learned Mandarin and did a Q&A with Chinese students – incredible.”
Clearly, if Bill Gates says he wishes he knew another language and Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, can engage in a question-and-answer session with students at a Beijing university in their first language, we should all be learning an additional language for increased business and street cred. But why else would we learn a second, or even a third language?
“A language is not just a body of vocabulary or a set of grammatical rules. A language is a flash of the human spirit. It’s a vehicle through which the soul of each particular culture comes into the material world. Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind, a watershed, a thought, an ecosystem of spiritual possibilities.” – Mark Abley
Teachers are aware that language immersion is a fundamental component of making cultural connections and practising ‘real life’ speaking and listening skills. Living languages ensures that students return to school having developed increased grammatical accuracy, lexical specificity and native pronunciation. Latitude Group Travel designs personalised, curriculum-linked tours around the world for students studying Languages. Unique language lessons and in-country excursions are paired to ensure that students develop meaningful proficiencies in their studies. Latitude Group Travel will be discussing Languages Tours with educators at the AFMLTA 20th National Languages Conference; we welcome your questions and ideas about Languages Tours to develop an innovative and unique immersion experience for your students.