The Talking Dog

Think of the last time there was a big gathering in your extended family. Not a holiday, but something like your cousin Justine's graduation party. Or, better, that time you, your parents, and a bunch of your aunts and uncles and cousins packed into their respective cars and drove caravan style to the Catskills. It …

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My Favorite Language Teachers: кӯдакон

My first host family experience was back in 2014, when I worked as a fille au pair (live-in nanny) in Marseille, France. I lived with a French-Italian family, took care of Titien (three years old) and Timoté (five), and improved my French language skills whilst playing Legos or long games of cache-cache (“hide and seek”). …

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Summing up the year in Vladimir

After spending 8 months in Vladimir Russia I can easily answer the questions that are asked to me every day. "Why study Russian?" Other than having the ability to travel to the largest country in the world and probably one of the most important ones at this moment in politics and history, the language just …

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Climbing the Language Barrier

While language learning has always been a huge passion of mine, over the last three years I have been actively learning the art of aerial dance. While this initially started out as just a hobby over the last year and a half I have been competing in aerial dance competitions and showcases in a few …

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Language Matters for Development Work

Last week my internship with the National Democratic Institute in Georgia took me to the beautiful resort town of Borjomi, where I had the unique opportunity to observe trainings for local government officials.  The topic of the training was election campaign management, and NDI flew in an American expert for the occasion – a distinguished …

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Language Learning Through Music

My trip to St. Petersburg has always been about music. I’ve played the violin for almost 30 years, and the most formative musical moments of my life were in some way or another connected to the Russian musical tradition. I vividly remember cowering under the covers as a kid watching the Night on Bald Mountain …

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