Foreign Language Aids Cultural Immersion

As Americans, we do not need to learn a foreign language because pretty much everywhere around the world people are learning English.  The problem with that is you do not really understand what you are not getting.  Being a part of a culture and being able to participate, instead of just standing outside and thinking you know what is going on, will enable you to have a much deeper understanding and appreciation of this foreign culture.

When I took my first course in Middle East history, I did not speak Arabic nor had I ever been to the region.  Now I am hooked.  It was not until I took my first Arabic course that I understood that Arabic is not a single language, and that there are multiple dialects used in various parts of the region.  The Arabic spoken in Morocco, for example, is quite different from Arabic spoken in Syria, which is different from Arabic spoken in Iraq.  Whole words, sentence structures, and expressions sound different.  In learning Arabic I have developed a richer understanding of the politics, culture, history and economics of the Middle East region requires a facility in this important and beautiful language and the dialects.

I have studied and worked in the Middle East and last summer I took Arabic at Middlebury Arabic Language School.  This program is full immersion.  I signed a pledge and could only use Arabic for the entire 9 weeks of the program.  And we managed to learn an entire year’s worth of material during that time.  This was an extremely intensive course but one that I recommend for those who are serious about learning a foreign language. Many times students go overseas to study, and that is great, but often times they are surrounded by peers who speak English.  Finding a way to really immerse oneself in and struggle with the nuances and details of the language will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the culture and society.  In the case of Arabic, this language is also first step in understanding the Middle East and Islam.

I will return to Middlebury again this summer to complete their advanced Arabic language course.  I believe we need to build better understanding, cooperation, and programs between the United States and this part of the world – as well as many other areas too.  Unless we understand what they think and why they think the way they do, which means standing outside of us and getting inside of the local culture to see things through their eyes, we as Americans will not be able to have a constructive dialogue.  We will only be able to communicate with the minds but not the hearts of these people.  Learning a foreign language, such as Arabic, will help break stereotypes and misconceptions that are destructive to our future prosperity, global peace, and our national security.  I encourage other students at USF to consider taking their foreign language courses seriously so that they can do the same.


6 thoughts on “Foreign Language Aids Cultural Immersion”

  1. This is the perfect blog for anybody who would like to find
    out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not
    that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic that has been written about for decades.

    Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  2. We stumbled over here different website and thought I should check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to
    checking out your web page for a second time.

  3. There is no doubt that some hosting companies may
    offer a free or low priced service, but in return they places
    ads on your web page. So, you will need the support of the internet
    hosting firm at this interval. A typical server sits idle, wasting resources while web services wait for a spike in traffic.
    Some folks make use of internet holding for businesses functions and some individuals make use of web organizing for personal
    functions. Each one has different demand, owing to the reasons people buy
    different packages of products. 94, which allows you
    to get hosting services are almost free for a month with any of the Hostgator plans.
    But before you make your hosting decision, let us first understand what
    is service and what are the advantages and disadvantages.
    With Hostgator, you happen to be assured of unlimited space and endless bandwidth and this
    also helps to supply you with the best value for money.

    You can also host more than one domain on a single shared web hosting, this
    makes it more cost effective for developers and they can easily utilize the available resources to maximum extent.

    whereas Fat – Cow charge fees for site builder, and backup.

    Feel free to surf to my page Hostgator Coupon Codes

  4. Magnificent website. Plenty of helpful information here.
    I am sending it to some buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And naturally, thanks for your effort!

    Look at my webpage – mobile locksmith services (Saundra)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>