Saturday, April 27, 2013

"X" is for Xenoglossophobia

Xenoglossophobia
     noun - fear of foreign languages

Pictures don't do it justice
Several years ago, I took a trip to New York City with my daughter to see the Tim Burton exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. We arrived in town a few days early to take in the sites. We arrived at Times Square about midnight on a Thursday. The place was packed.

In addition to all the amazing billboards, I was fascinated by the number of languages I could hear spoken around us. Standing in one spot I heard German, Russian, Czech, French, Thai and something that I believe was Klingon, but I couldn't be sure.

I love language. (I am not scared of it as the title suggests, but you come of with a topic starting with 'X'.) I loved learning Spanish and trying to communicate when I lived in San Juan. I am even in school to be an English language teacher. I get excited talking to people from other countries, getting to know them and hearing their stories.

The college I went to has a foreign students night once a year. They encourage all students from other countries to cook something from their homeland and bring it to a big fellowship dinner. I have some neighbors from Thailand and Burma who decided to collaborate and make a dish both families enjoyed. I was helping them with this meal and found myself left out of their conversation as they all spoke their common language of Lisu. I had no idea what they were saying and did my best not to mess up the food. They spent so much time laughing at me, I am sure I did it wrong.

Once I get my Master's degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) next year, I don't know whether I will be leaving the country to teach English or will be teaching people who have just moved here. Either way, I will be surrounded by foreign language all day.

I can't wait.




Happily participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For the entire month of April, 1,663 bloggers are working their way through the alphabet. One letter every day but Sundays for a total of 26 days.

Click here to visit the website and get more information to see if you might want to join in next year. It's a lot of fun, introduces you to hundreds of new blogs and gives your writing some fantastic exposure.

20 comments:

  1. Good for you. What an interesting career path you've chosen. I'm guessing it will never be boring.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  2. I wish I could speak more languages. I took French in high school and a little in college. I love the language, but since I had no plans to move to a big city of travel internationally, it wasn't practical. I wish I would've taken Spanish as that would be the most practical around here.

    I suppose it's never too late. But I'm too lazy to try learn now. Too many other things to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I said the same to my daughter. Here, there is not practical use for French, but there are Spanish speakers all over.

      Delete
  3. I've always admired people who speak more than one language. Mrs. C. speaks French but I just struggle with English.

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  4. I'm glad they don't call it ESL anymore because that was offensive to those who (like many in foreign countries) speak more than one other language. I used to call it EFL (English as a foreign language), but TESOL is better. English was my fourth language after having lived in 3 countries prior to moving to the U.S.
    BTW--my 'x' word is closely related, just the other side of it: xenophilia.
    Jagoda

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  5. There's a Tim Burton exhibit? I need to go there. I have to see what its like.

    I love languages, but I'm not very good at them. That's probably because I can't roll my R's and that's required for many languages.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think the exhibit is still there. It was a temporary gallery.

      It was pretty amazing though.

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  6. TESOL is a great area. I've considered going into ESL teaching myself. I love love love language and really enjoyed my experiences as an ESL tutor in high school and college. Now I work a lot with FL faculty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am just starting to tutor now as part of my practicuum. It is so much fun.

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  7. I desperately want to learn Spanish (especially if we move to Nicaragua) but am wondering if it will be difficult for someone my age to pick up.

    Good for you on the TESOL degree!! You couldn't have picked a more sought-after major at this point!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From my studies, I've learned that children do NOT learn easier than adults. However, they do not have the self-esteem and self-awareness issues of adults. Adults are so self-conscious about being wrong or sounding stupid, we just don't put ourselves out there.

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  8. Ive always wanted to learn a foreign language... I'm just really lazy.

    Great x post!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  9. It would be really cool to learn a foreign language. We have an award for you to pick up over at Laughing at Life, 2. Click this link http://laughingatlife232.blogspot.com/2013/04/liebster-blog-award.html#more

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. I will be by to check it out.

      Delete
  10. I love languages, too. Before I moved to Honduras, I volunteered at an ESL group at my church. It was a GREAT way to understand what I was in for with learning Spanish and living in a foreign country. I definitely felt like my student was helping me a lot more than I helped her!

    ReplyDelete

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