Article by Steve Leveen at LeadWithLanguages.org.
Let me welcome you to America the Bilingual, a podcast for monolingual Americans, like me, who are learning their second language—or want to begin.
Today, it’s normal for Americans, even highly educated ones, to grow up speaking only English. I’m an example, despite taking Spanish and German in school. It doesn’t have to be this way. And with all the advantages of speaking another language, it shouldn’t be this way. This podcast is for us—those of us who yearn to recover from a monolingual life.
America the Bilingual will share stories of success, including stories of people who learned as adults. We will tell stories of what’s going right in America—and there is a lot going right—like dual language schools where students learn in two languages, like heritage programs that help immigrants keep their precious mother tongues, like promising new technology that makes the sweet struggle of language learning a little less struggle and a little more sweet.
We hope these stories will inspire you, and help you, on your own journey to becoming bilingual.
While each of our journeys is personal and unique, every one of us is also part of a national journey. It would be easy for us as individuals, and America as a nation, to speak only English. But just because something is easy doesn’t make it right.
We can become America the Bilingual—a more beautiful America where everyone is proficient in more than one language, reflecting the nation of immigrants we truly are. In the spirit of President John F. Kennedy, we should do it not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.
Listen to America the Bilingual on SoundCloud, here.