Turn Five

A K-12 Education Blog

Understanding Cultures Through Language Development

Would you like a key to better understanding someone from a different culture? Or perhaps even, would you like clue into someone in your own life, from your own or similar demographic background? Well, it’s extremely possible, and no, this is not going to contain the recipe to a special potion that will let you read minds or have some kind of mystic and sudden comprehension. However, and beyond the idea of though next exclusive to, the further opening of one’s mind, there is a great way to progress your understanding of others, which of course is also the gateway toward acceptance and camaraderie. And before we go any further, we should acknowledge that yes, this will require a bit of commitment and investment on your part. The extent to which this is investment is necessary depends on your level of interest and commitment.

Before we get too involved in what all it’s going to cost us to become more enriched, open minded and consciously expanded, let’s explore the tools that will help get us there. First, it’s a great idea to learn the language of the culture you wish to understand. It’s been said, but some multi-lingual wise person I’m sure, that to truly walk in another person’s shoes you must rob them while sleeping. Okay, the real ending to that legend is that you should learn their language. And while that might seem like a daunting task, in fact, for many people it’s difficult enough to master their language of origin, it’s actually easier than you might imagine.

In fact, first of all, it’s a great idea to go ahead and master your own. For an English speaking person, and there are plenty of those, there are some great English games and grammar tools that will help you along. In addition, it’s easy to learn a second language by associating it with the first. This too will allow for identifying with a person from the culture associated with the language. Flashcard games, Internet tools and computer programs are excellent tools for learning new languages. And this is one of the surest means of expanding your own mind, broadening your horizons and allowing for empathy with others. With all of these things to gain from it, the small cost of personal time investment and mental commitments seems a small price to pay. In fact, it immediately puts a new spin on the idea of investment. It really doesn’t cost us anything at all when learning a new language benefits us from the moment we begin. Gracias por tu tiempo.

posted by Aisha in Education and have Comment (1)
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One comment

  1. Comment by Elite on December 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Learning a new language is fun and beneficial. It can help you in your job if there are non-English speaking customers. If you love to travel then learning a new language can help you explore new places.

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