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With New Language Skills, New Perspectives on the World


“For me…the most incredible thing was being all of a sudden privy to a parallel world I hadn’t even known existed.”

Those are words spoken by Lauren Collins, a correspondent for The New Yorker, who has experienced the benefits of learning another language firsthand. As too many U.S. students do, Lauren had discarded the idea of learning a language early on: She didn’t see how her high school Spanish helped her in small town North Carolina.  But her views would soon permanently shift…  At a party during some time abroad in London, she met her French-speaking future husband.

Lauren’s path to proficiency in French was challenging, filled with intensive classes and plenty of accidental mistakes. Nevertheless, the process was also eye-opening: “One day something clicked and I heard my husband’s voice for the first time.”

Now, Lauren views the world with a brand new perspective. To her, language learning is a “quiet revolutionary act” and she insists that there’s never been a better time for it. In her words: “You start to see that the world looks different depending on where you stand and what you speak.”

Listen to Lauren’s story on PBS NewsHour’s “In My Humble Opinion (#IMHO)” series above and then tell us what you think on social media @LeadWLanguages.

Do you, too, have a language learning story to share? Check out our guidelines, upload your 60-second video to YouTube or social, and be sure to tag us with #leadwithlanguages.