In the News

This category contains 51 posts

Language and Exclusion

At the Symposium for Language and Exclusion hosted at the United Nations Plaza in New York City on May 7 of this year,  Fernand de Varennes delivered the keynote address, poignantly titled “Unfinished and Challenging Business: Language, Exclusion and Human Rights at the United Nations.” Varennes discussed in the address the sometime problematic nature of official … Continue reading

Northeast Asia Youth Peace Camp

In 2009, MCC sponsored the very first Northeast Asia Youth Peace Camp, a gathering where teens from China, South Korea and Japan spent a week together, hearing each other’s stories and breaking down walls of previously held prejudices and dislike. The pilot Peace Camp was held in Nanchong, in Sichuan province in China, and since … Continue reading

What a difference a word can make: How a single word can change your conversation

Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:
British psychologist Elizabeth Stokoe studies the patterns in talk that most of us don’t even notice. She explains how her research can be used to train people to interact more effectively. People spend a good deal of time talking to one another, and in general we do it pretty…

Peace on the Hill: Speaking the language of peace

Originally posted on PeaceSigns:
By Charissa Zehr As a bilingual person aspiring to be trilingual, living with a bilingual spouse, I spend a lot of time thinking about language construction and the flawed way we interpret one language into another. Words fail to describe certain feelings; idiomatic expressions refuse to be confined by Google Translate…

It Takes a (Global) Village

The Anabaptist community is gearing up for a very meaningful time this summer with the Mennonite World Conference, where Mennonites and other Anabaptists from around the world will gather for several weeks this coming July for fellowship, worship and seeking God together. The Mennonite World Conference sends out a newsletter in the months ahead of the event … Continue reading

Studies show language learning changes how you see the world

Recently several studies on perception and multilingual speakers have pointed to what language learners already know: even a little language learning will help you see the world differently. This has implications for abilities in communication and in seeing another’s point of view – essential in any conflict resolution and peacebuilding practice. Continue reading

The Missing Connection: Language Learning as a Tool for Peace in Israel/Palestine

An article entitled The Missing Connection: Language learning as a tool for peace in Israel/Palestine published by Tikkun.org provides an interesting perspective about the fundamental need for speaking each other’s language in the peacemaking process. What are my goals in teaching the language I teach? Am I contributing to understanding between cultures or am I creating bigger disconnects? Continue reading

18 Behaviors of Emotionally Intelligent People

Originally posted on TIME:
When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70 percent of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly held assumption that IQ was the sole source…

Learning indigenous languages in Japan to rebuild identity

For many indigenous people around the world, language learning as peacebuilding comes in the form of fighting to learn and keep one’s native language in the face of political, social and cultural oppression. In Okinawa, an island annexed by Japan in 1879, language is key to revitalizing Okinawan culture and identity. Continue reading

Former British ambassador’s language skills prevent war

A recent article in The Guardian highlighted decreased funding for foreign language training for British diplomats. Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador, argues that language skills are an essential aspect of diplomacy and that “knowing the language is the key that unlocks the door” to building trust and relationships in another country. Continue reading

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