Language Learning, Stigma, and Protecting a Potentially Spoiled Identity

This blog is about why ethnographer Erving Goffman’s observation of stigma are important not just to ex-cons, but also to professors like me on foreign exchange programs. Goffman, as many sociologists and anthropologists know, observed the maneuvers of the marginalized and stigmatized in society, and then wrote about how they thought about their disability. He … Continue reading Language Learning, Stigma, and Protecting a Potentially Spoiled Identity

Learning Foreign Languages

       I was reminded of the importance of foreign language learning twice in the last week or so.  This morning I read a commentary in the New York Times about how poorly Americans do at foreign languages.  Several of the authors remind us that Americans have long done poorly at foreign language learning, and that … Continue reading Learning Foreign Languages