Introducing CDI Language Partners
Learning Life is pleased to announce the start of CDI Language Partners (LPs), which will connect individuals in the USA and abroad who wish to practice a foreign language. The LPs will complement our Citizen Diplomacy Initiative‘s family-to-family diplomacy by connecting more US-based volunteers who wish to practice a foreign language with members of our families and organizational partners abroad.
Many millions of people worldwide participate in language classes as part of school, and some youth and adults elect to meet in groups small or large in or out of school to practice speaking a language of interest. Far fewer people though connect live with a foreigner living in another country to practice their language as they learn about the foreigner’s experiences and perspectives. Our LPs will do just that.
The LPs will meet live online through Skype or Whatsapp at least once per month for an hour or more, speaking half the time in English, the other half in the language of our foreign partner, whether this be Spanish, French, Arabic, or else. For each meeting, the LPs will choose a topic or issue of common interest (e.g., friendship, courtship/dating, family life, poverty, corruption, diabetes, food culture, social media effects, climate change, economic change) and find one or two news or opinion articles on the topic online in English and/or another language to stimulate their discussion.
LPs who speak English also join an email list for CDI LPs and Mentors, and participate in a once-per-month “learning community” meeting of CDI language partners, mentors and Learning Life staff by phone, Skype and/or face-to-face to share their experiences, discuss any issues, and learn together to deepen the experience.
“I was born and raised in France until age 11, but then my family moved to the USA, and I lost a lot of my French,” explains Learning Life founder, Paul Lachelier. “I recuperated some of my French when I returned to France for a year abroad in college. Since then, I have occasionally initiated face-to-face language exchanges with family and friends or acquaintances. We’d meet over coffee, tea, or a meal, and talk half the time in one language, then switch to another language for the other half to allow us to practice a language(s) we didn’t regularly use but wished to maintain or develop. Using the internet, smart phones, laptops and our growing CDI international family, we can now do the same with individuals living in different countries to bring the world closer together through learning.”
To become a CDI Language Partner, please email us your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org, and indicate which language you are interested in practicing with a foreign partner fluent in that language. Currently available languages are: Spanish, French and Arabic.