Tag: why study languages
Following up on my recent language ideologies in the wild series, in this post I’m back with a collection of examples focused on the ideology of language learning as a fun hobby. As these unrelated examples demonstrate, this is a fairly common language ideology, and while I am all for hobbies, it’s worth highlighting the role of this ideology in marginalizing language learning in the U.S. (and probably most anglophone countries).
When talking about language learning, I’ve sometimes found people approach this with an all or nothing approach. Specifically, seeing the goal as “becoming fluent” or having the skills to work as a translator. While these are great (and I’m all for expanding our linguistic repertoires as much as possible!) I think a focus on obtaining advanced levels of proficiency sometimes ignores the valuable skills that we can still obtain at lower levels. In my context (the United States) where English speakers generally need to (and should!) exert considerable efforts to expand their linguistic repertoires, and many will not reach advanced levels of proficiency in a 3-4 year college program for example, I think this is even more important. So in this post, I’m addressing one of these skills, listening.