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About this presentation:
Compassion in action: Learning our neighbors’ languages and building communities
The people of the US consider English an elite language, while looking down at other languages. Thus the potential contributions of many are ignored, monolingual English speakers miss out on deep connections and wisdom, and our communities are undermined. American history provides ample examples of lost opportunities, when we turned our backs on speakers of multiple languages instead of incorporating them into society. Rather than view learning languages as ways of enhancing exotic vacations, we must take concrete steps to learn the languages around us, for the sake of their speakers, ourselves, and our communities.
About the presenter:
Dr. Richard Benton is a lover of languages, and author of the “Loving Language” blog (lovinglanguage.wordpress.com), where he has written extensively about learning community languages in general, and specifically, Somali and Oromo. He is also a writer and contributor for Wikitongues (www.wikitongues.org). * He speaks extensively to audiences in the for-profit, non-profit, and educational sectors on the topic of language-learning and diversity. He has also worked as a volunteer home mentor to Kunama refugees from Eritrea. * He converses in English, French, and Russian fluently; at an intermediate level Spanish, Ukrainian, German, Arabic (Moroccan & Levantine); and at a beginner level, Somali, Dutch, and Oromo. His PhD research involved a linguistic approach to Ancient Hebrew. He also co-produces the podcast, “The Bible as Literature.”