Cultural Vistas Blog

Muskie Alum Introduces Modern Education to Ancient City of Bukhara

Schools in Uzbekistan didn’t teach English until around age 10, and little Firdavs Navruzov simply couldn’t wait that long. Whenever his classmates in primary school were at the playground, he could be found in the library hunting for books to learn English. Even at an early age, in a city where few spoke the language, he understood that learning English would open a whole new world for him, one that he was eager to explore.

Two decades later, Firdavs is enabling others to follow in his footsteps by running both an English language training center and an independent primary school in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

English language students at Firdavs’ LTC Leader language school.

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6 Myths About Learning a Second Language

From the internet to the classroom, we’re bombarded with reasons as to why learning a second language is anywhere from challenging to impossible. You’re old or you’re too young; you’re too close to the language or you’re too far away. But is there scientific evidence for any of these claims? Here are some of the most common myths about second language learning.

The number of places to explore and people to meet throughout the world is greatly greater with more than one language.

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Experiencing the America Which Eludes Most Americans Through CBYX

We’ve all heard the American truisms before. The place is a “land of opportunity” for a “nation of immigrants” constituting a “melting pot” where anyone can experience “the American dream.” Even the currency contains statements about unity in Latin!

But as a German taking part in the 35th Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals program, I frequently find myself feeling very fortunate at the opportunities I have in the U.S. which the regular inhabitants of this country ironically do not, as is the case in the small town of Andalusia, Alabama—where I am staying with my 67 year-old retired host Charlotte.

Living in Alabama means driving. Having a car is essential where I live in Andalusia.

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Looking Forward to a Friendly Future Thanks to TOMODACHI

History is filled with the stories of men who had enough power to dare call themselves “Great” and tyrants who were so proud of the fear they spread that they adopted monikers like “the Terrible.”

But the leaders of the future are unlike the leaders of the past. And thanks to a week I recently spent with the participants of the TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program, which has the Japanese word for “friendship” in its name, I am confident that we can look forward to a far friendlier future.

The word tomodachi suits the TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program perfectly. Here I am (center) with some of the new tomodachi I met during the U.S. study tour.

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Young Pacific Leaders Celebrate Heritage while Making History in Fiji

Arriving by plane rather than vaka and wearing mostly non-traditional attire—45 young delegates from 20 Pacific countries and territories celebrated their common heritage as they looked toward a promising future during a historic 2019 Young Pacific Leaders Conference (#YPL19) in Suva, Fiji.

It took some delegates 30+ hours to arrive at the conference in Suva, but only a few short days to establish networks and relationships for life.

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