Cultural Vistas Blog

6 Myths About Learning a Second Language

From the internet to the classroom, we’re bombarded with reasons as to why learning a second language is anywhere from challenging to impossible. You’re old or you’re too young; you’re too close to the language or you’re too far away. But is there scientific evidence for any of these claims? Here are some of the most common myths about second language learning.

The number of places to explore and people to meet throughout the world is greatly greater with more than one language.

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Experiencing the America Which Eludes Most Americans Through CBYX

We’ve all heard the American truisms before. The place is a “land of opportunity” for a “nation of immigrants” constituting a “melting pot” where anyone can experience “the American dream.” Even the currency contains statements about unity in Latin!

But as a German taking part in the 35th Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals program, I frequently find myself feeling very fortunate at the opportunities I have in the U.S. which the regular inhabitants of this country ironically do not, as is the case in the small town of Andalusia, Alabama—where I am staying with my 67 year-old retired host Charlotte.

Living in Alabama means driving. Having a car is essential where I live in Andalusia.

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Looking Forward to a Friendly Future Thanks to TOMODACHI

History is filled with the stories of men who had enough power to dare call themselves “Great” and tyrants who were so proud of the fear they spread that they adopted monikers like “the Terrible.”

But the leaders of the future are unlike the leaders of the past. And thanks to a week I recently spent with the participants of the TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program, which has the Japanese word for “friendship” in its name, I am confident that we can look forward to a far friendlier future.

The word tomodachi suits the TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program perfectly. Here I am (center) with some of the new tomodachi I met during the U.S. study tour.

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Young Pacific Leaders Celebrate Heritage while Making History in Fiji

Arriving by plane rather than vaka and wearing mostly non-traditional attire—45 young delegates from 20 Pacific countries and territories celebrated their common heritage as they looked toward a promising future during a historic 2019 Young Pacific Leaders Conference (#YPL19) in Suva, Fiji.

It took some delegates 30+ hours to arrive at the conference in Suva, but only a few short days to establish networks and relationships for life.

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In This World and Beyond, The #ExchangeEffect is Timeless

Members of Cultural Vistas’ International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) staff joined hundreds of other exchange professionals at the annual Global Ties U.S. National Meeting in January as they explored this year’s event theme: The Exchange Effect: Growing Impact at Home and Abroad.

Beginning with a discussion on the prospect of future exchange programs being literally out of this world, the event covered a broad array of topics which ultimately highlighted how the effects of exchanges are not limited by time or place. Below are some of our favorite highlights from the event.

A plastic display forming an archway lists "The Exchange Effect" conference schedule and speakers.
This year’s Global Ties U.S. National Meeting took place in Washington, D.C. Photo credit: A.E. Landes Photography

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