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WorldView: A Language Blog

WorldView is a place for leaders in the fields of language education, global citizenship, immersion learning and other topics central to the Concordia Language Villages mission to address issues important to their fields.

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What Makes a Language “Useful”?

Published: February 2, 2022

​Why learn Norwegian? How can that be useful? Former Skogfjorden villager Libby Addison has confronted the question a lot. She discusses how her “not-very-useful” pursuit of Norwegian has blossomed into unexpected opportunities . . . and plenty of delicious waffles.

Translating Climate Change

Published: January 27, 2022

​Youth activist Sophia Kianni works to make documents on climate change accessible to non-English speakers all over the world.

An Aerialist in Portugal: An Interview with Solveig Bjermeland

Published: September 22, 2021

Skogfjorden alumna Solveig Bjermeland is studying (and teaching!) aerial arts at Salto International Circus School in Portugal. She shares the challenges and rewards of this international experience during COVID, and how her Language Villages experience prepared her to live and work abroad.

Courageous Global Citizenship during COVID-19, Part II

Published: July 7, 2021

​In the second installment of her series on Courageous Global Citizenship during COVID-19, Della Duncan invites us to travel as pilgrims and not as tourists.

If You Want the Honey in the Stone: An Interview with Nick Theyerl

Published: May 19, 2021

The WorldView team talks with Nick Theyerl, who has gone from the staff of Waldsee to helping eradicate Guinea worm disease in Chad, about connecting with people, working with NGOs, and prioritizing what’s important in life.

Where Technology Takes Us

Published: March 10, 2021

In times of trouble and challenge, technology can help us connect to the very things that make us human: the people we love, the adventures we crave and opportunities for meaningful engagement with the world.

From Minnesota to the Mekong: Language Teaching around the World

Published: March 2, 2021

As a professor of second language pedagogy with a degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), Betsy Gilliland has traveled from the Russian Language Village to all over the globe. Her adventures showcase the many unexpected opportunities that teaching around the world can offer.

Courage When It Matters

Published: February 24, 2021

Our good read for the month of February is an article by Birgitte Lange, Secretary General of Save the Children Norway. She emphasizes that today’s courageous leaders must advocate for those who are most in need of help, even when that advocacy is hard or fraught with challenge.

A Mission that Guides

Published: January 13, 2021

In the aftermath of the violence in Washington, D.C. on January 6, Executive Director Mary Maus Kosir reflects on the mission and the future course of Concordia Language Villages.

From the Village to the Lab: an Interview with Christian Graefe

Published: September 16, 2020

This week, the WorldView blog interviews Christian Graefe, former villager and counselor at Waldsee and Skogfjorden. Christian has gone on from the Villages to the University of Minnesota and Cargill, Inc., and discusses how his CLV experiences have supported his work in both academic and corporate research.

For Every Child, a Childhood

Published: December 10, 2019

What does it mean for someone to not have a name? Skogfjorden dean Tove Dahl discusses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and why the right to a name is so crucial for every child in the world.

Cultivating Conscious Global Culture

Published: October 3, 2019

Horticulture science student Lizzie Shutt discusses the interconnectedness of humans and nature, and how to honor that connection in daily living.

Stereotypes and Shortcuts

Published: September 24, 2019

Victoria J. Mora, president of United World College-USA, explores the function and challenges of stereotypes. Our brains seek to identify patterns in the behavior of the people around us, but relying too heavily on our stereotypes can limit our connections with the same people we seek to understand.

Language Skills in Urgent Demand Among U.S. Employers

Published: July 9, 2019

​Erin Whelchel, of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), discusses the results of a recent survey on languages in the U.S. workplace. The study illuminates the increasing demand for employees with language skills, including companies whose needs for languages are exclusively in the domestic market. Erin encourages businesses to support language education to ensure a strong U.S. workforce in the future.

How to Work Effectively in a Global Virtual Team

Published: May 14, 2019

​Technology allows us to create workspaces that connect people around the world, but there’s a lot more to connecting with colleagues than just making sure the Wi-Fi is working. This week, Christine Brown-Quinn shares useful practices for helping global teams to work together, even when they couldn’t be further apart.

Foreign Languages Are Useful in Science

Published: March 19, 2019

If you’re studying science, there’s no need to study a language as well . . . right? Yan Linhart, a biology teacher and researcher with the University of Colorado, details all the ways that multilingualism benefits scientists: helping them connect with colleagues, travel the world to pursue research, and even become more competitive in applying for grants.

What Does a Globalized Campus Look Like?

Published: November 13, 2018

In recognition of International Education Week, we focus on the fact that many students are seeking global experiences in their college years. In this week’s post, Denison University President Adam Weinberg outlines the numerous ways to create a truly globalized campus to assist students in preparing for cross-cultural careers and responsible global citizenship.

Experience Abroad Bolsters Cultural Intelligence, a Key Skill for Career Success

Published: October 22, 2018

​Sure, studying abroad is a cool experience, but is it a worthwhile investment? Mark Overmann, Vice President of External Affairs for InterExchange, argues that it is. Living, working, and studying abroad generates “cultural intelligence”—the ability to navigate different cultural environments with confidence and empathy—and cultural intelligence is a high-demand skill as employers hire to compete in global markets.

Why the Mission Matters

Published: September 11, 2018

Is learning a second language worth the effort? Bill Rivers, Executive Director of the Joint National Committee for Languages, insists the answer is a resounding YES! Second language aquisition has concrete, measurable benefits, both for the individual learner and for the nation as a whole.

A Visit From Senator Amy Klobuchar

Published: August 15, 2018

​This International Day, Concordia Language Villages was pleased to welcome Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Senator Klobuchar spoke to 1300 assembled villagers and staff about the great promise and heavy responsibilities of the rising generation.

Career Adventures in Chinese Interpreting and Translation

Published: August 6, 2018

Being bilingual offers many career opportunities. In this piece on her experience as a professional interpreter, entrepreneur and author Rebecca Weiner takes the reader straight to the heart of the interpreter’s experience: lots of travel, fascinating interactions and plenty of opportunities emerging from years of connections.

How Global Skills Are Key to the Future of Work

Published: July 31, 2018

​What does “going to work” look like in the future? Jennifer Clinton, president and CEO of Cultural Vistas, discusses the skills that will be most valuable in an increasingly automated, interconnected, interdisciplinary workplace. In a conversation with Florian Peter of McKinsey & Company, she highlights skills like adaptability, creativity, empathy and . . . of course . . . languages as crucial for the workplace of tomorrow.

Thinking About a Career as a Diplomat? Language Skills Enhance Your Prospects

Published: June 26, 2018

Language and cultural skills remain critically important for a successful career in diplomacy and foreign affairs. In this post, Judy Reinke, a Career Minister in the U.S. Foreign Commercial Services, shares how early language learning in Germany laid the foundation to become multilingual and multicultural. These skills enabled her to pursue a diplomatic career that has spanned the globe, working in five embassies around the world with the specific job of helping U.S. companies explore market opportunities and address unfair trade barriers.

Language in Space: An Interview with Alla, Founder of The Mars Generation

Published: April 10, 2018

Global career paths don’t have to just be global. This week, we interview Abigail Harrison, former Lesnoe Ozero villager and aspiring astronaut, on how to take language learning into outer space.

Lifelong Learning: How I Became a Communicator of German Energy Policy

Published: April 3, 2018

How do you become an energy consultant specializing in German policy? A degree in engineering or policy science might sound better than one in German, but being steeped in German history and culture, not to mention fluent in the language, has its benefits. First, my studies got me to Germany after finishing my master's degree (and two summers at Waldsee in 1991 and 1992). I initially came to Freiburg for a year-long exchange. Energy issues grabbed my attention. For instance,...

Linking Study Abroad to Career Success

Published: March 27, 2018

In our last installment on Global Career Paths, Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education, details the importance of study abroad as a critical stepping stone to preparing today’s students to work in a global economy. The piece offers guidance for study abroad advisers as well as students and encourages language learning while abroad to deepen the dive into a culture. This piece is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered why study abroad matters.

Incorporating Global Citizenship into a STEM Career Path

Published: March 13, 2018

Karl "on the job" at Pequot Tool &  Manufacturing. As a junior in college earning a degree in physics, I am convinced on a daily basis of the impact that technology has on people. However, I am also earning a degree in Scandinavian studies and have taken the time to study abroad in the beautiful country of Sweden. Through these diverse experiences, I became more aware of how important it was to develop a mindset as a global citizen early on in my career path. I want to...

Great Camp Counselors Are Like Dragonflies

Published: February 20, 2018

​As we continue exploring Innovative Settings to Teach and Learn, Concordia Language Villages Group Director Jennifer Speir uses dragonflies as a metaphor for the skills exhibited by great counselors as they make every summer truly life-changing for their villagers.

Language + Study Abroad = Amazing

Published: November 14, 2017

​Angela Schneider, who led this summer’s German Credit Abroad session, discusses how travel and language study can combine to take learners outside of their own sense of “normal” and into the real, dynamic experience of life in another country.

Why Learn Another Language?

Published: October 17, 2017

Concordia Language Villages has been in the business of language and cultural immersion for almost 60 years. Knowing the amount of time that goes into learning a language, people often wonder if it’s worth it. In this blog, Christine Schulze explains that rather than just respond with a resounding “Yes, absolutely,” we’ve decided to share the collective responses across the languages we teach over the next few months. We’ve gathered more than 100 reasons! Let us know what reasons resonate with you and please share them with others.

What Do You Do When the Ambassador Comes Over For a Chat?

Published: July 25, 2017

Credit villagers at Skogfjorden, the Norwegian Language Village, recently had the chance to discuss international diplomacy, conservation, and politics with Kåre R. Aas, Norway’s Ambassador to the United States. Dean Tove and credit facilitator Elsebet​ share what their villagers learned.

Bemidji to Port-au-Prince, One Door Opens to the Next . . .  and the Next

Published: June 6, 2017

Follow the journey that leads one villager/staff member/teacher through door after door of opportunities, all opened for him by a passion for learning language and culture.

What Makes a Language “Useful” is Often Unpredictable

Published: March 21, 2017

Colleen Wood began studying Russian when she was 15, thinking Cyrillic would be a useful secret code for passing notes with her friends; she never could have imagined the places that Russian would take her in 10 years. She writes of her experiences learning that what makes a language “useful” is entirely situational, and entirely about interactions with people.

The CLVway: How Lac du Bois Changed My Life

Published: March 8, 2016

Around my tenth birthday, my mother noticed that I did a pretty good job of mimicking a French accent when I heard it on the radio or on television. The next thing I knew I was being shipped off from my home in Illinois to Lac du Bois, a French camp in the North Woods of Minnesota (a program offered by Concordia Language Villages). I arrived not understanding a word of the language, but with the ability to sound like Pepé Le Pew, a Gallic skunk from the cartoons of my youth. After two weeks of eating, sleeping and breathing in French, I was hooked.

Culturally Conversant:  Lowe's Managers Immersed in Spanish

Published: December 19, 2014

Lowe’s quest to find the right kind of training for their managers started in Central America. The company, however, quickly discovered it needed something in the states and it couldn’t be just language classes. That’s when the organization approached Concordia Language Villages after researching various options.

Language Learning: A Family Ambition

Published: November 19, 2014

Our family revels in learning languages. My husband Paul and I left Minnesota and moved abroad 23 years ago. Though we spoke no French, we enrolled our girls—at age four—at the French Lycée in London. Both graduated with a French Baccalaureate in Singapore—and six years of German.

Multilingualism: Opening Doors for the Future

Published: November 18, 2014

Ilya Katsnelson – Copenhagen, Denmark

Concordia Language Villages celebrates International Education Week with posts celebrating international education from some of our colleagues and friends.

On a typical day the lingua franca at our breakfast table is Russian. However, by the afternoon, when our son Phillip brings a friend or two home from school, we segue into Danish and continue that way until they leave in the evening. On weekends however, a regular smorgasbord of English, Russia and Danish permeate the household as my oldest sons come for family dinner. And that is what you get when you are an American married to a Russian living in Denmark.