Don’t know about you but I was totally surprised to learn Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world. But after thinking about it for some time, I began to rationalize the population of China then it all made sense. I don’t know what the numbers are there now, but I do know they have to be astronomical. 

 

However, I believe the Chinese government put a two-child limit on what a family can have. The blessings of a communist country. It would be fun to take a poll of our members to note all of the different languages spoken by all of us. We have a diverse population in the group and I’m sure several speak more than one language. 

 

Knowing a second or even third language is awesome, so useful especially for people who are in business and need to have those skills to communicate with others from different countries. Language is a complicated thing; 

 

The English language is extremely difficult to learn being a melting pot of so many different languages. Plus, we have so many nuances for idioms, dialects sometimes even from county to county; yes, I said county not country. 

 

In many regions of the United States there is such a thick drawl or accent the language sounds like something totally different from English. Colloquialisms and idioms will change the total meaning of a sentence. Anyone not knowing this hearing “raining cats and dogs” could be easily misinterpreted. Many of these idioms are not regional necessarily but have historical roots even to different countries of origin. Many of the meanings have nothing to do with what the idiom actually says. 

 

Working in a school that has 97% second language learners is a good example. I have found it possible to work with students who are totally NON-English speakers by teaching through the arts. Pretty much all art forms are adaptable to working with these students. A picture drawing doesn’t know language, a musical score is internationally understood, and dance is perceptibly understood by movement. 

 

The same fact holds true for teaching the developmentally disabled through the arts. Art is a language all unto itself and is understood and adapted by all. Short little verses or songs taught to second language learners is also a good way to teach English. Any of us monolingual people can sing a ritualistic song in an African language without knowing the language itself. 

 

Again, the dances and art that go with that same theme can easily be adapted to any learning setting. Whatever your language preference you can always rely on the art forms to bridge that gap with someone who does not speak your language. Of course, along with a smile, or friendly gesture you can make leaps toward a friendship without ever saying an audible word.

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