Written to the song: The Sweetest Thing — Lauryn Hill

“Do you know what a foreign accent is? … it is a sign of bravery” — Amy Chua

Salt Flatts, Bolivia.

Languages have always surrounded me. Growing up, my parents and relatives spoke in Russian. With my Bubby and as well in the French classroom, we spoke French. At school, in synagogue and with some relatives, we spoke Hebrew, and most recently, my husband and I converse in Spanish. Code-switching (switching between languages in the same sentence or conversation) has always been a norm for me in each language that I speak. Whether…


Written to the song: Know Your Worth — Khalid & Disclosure

“Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Parque Bicentenario, Santiago, Chile.

A few years ago, someone brought up the point that I interrupt people in conversation. Ever since then, I have consciously worked at giving people the time and space that they need to speak — however, it is difficult! I recently stumbled on a TikTok explaining the concept of the Jewish conversation pattern which includes interrupting others as they continue to speak. My eyes have been opened.

“High involvement…


Written to the song: Si Veo a Tu Mamá — Bad Bunny

A different language is a different vision of life.” — Federico Fellini

Santiago, Chile.

Language impacts our personalities, decision-making processes and even our attention while reading. While reading, our eye movements dictate our attention and allow us to focus and make connections to the associated text.

Research reveals that while reading, we make connections not only between the word and its meaning but also between visually similar words, such as “lamp” and “lamb”).

However, research reveals that bilinguals will make connections cross-linguistically. For example, for Spanish speakers viewing the English…


Written to the song: Fever — Dua Lipa

“The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people.” — Unknown

Valparaíso, Chile.

“Culture embodies the beliefs, customs, values, forms, arts and ways of life of a particular society, group, place or time. It encompasses elements such as age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status, marital/single status, gender expression, socio-economic, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation” (CASLPO, 2019).

The individuals that we interact with come from various diverse backgrounds. As someone who is a teacher and a future speech-language pathologist, I recognize that I will…


Written to the song: Barefoot in the Park — James Blake ft. Rosalía

“What’s considered trashy if you’re poor, but classy if you’re rich ?— speaking two languages” — McKay Coppins (via Twitter)

My paradise — Ilha Grande, Brazil.

A student who only speaks English at home comes to school and is expected to speak fully French in the classroom. The French-Immersion teacher always reminds this student to speak in French, although the student has trouble to get simple requests and messages across. While their French is not even close to perfect, their parents rave about how their child is bilingual. On the other hand, a…


Written to the song: My Future — Billie Eilish

“Strokes don’t discriminate…it can happen to anyone” — Linda Steuer

Lake Louise, Banff.

Being bilingual is defined as having the ability to speak and understand more than one language. When someone has a stroke, they often have impairments in their language abilities. What happens when a bilingual individual experiences a stroke, are both languages impacted equally?

When a person has a stroke, they may experience numbness, confusion, and the inability to speak. There are various types of strokes that limit the amount of oxygen and nutrients that can be sent to the brain. Ischemic…


“Ever travel to a foreign city? We’ve all heard that “travel broadens the mind”. But beneath this cliche lies a deep truth. Things stand out because they’re different, so we notice every detail, from street signs to mailboxes to how you pay at a restaurant. We learn a lot when we travel not because we are any smarter on the road, but because we pay such close attention…we are continuously trying to figure out a world that is foreign and new.” — Tom & David Kelley

Banff, Canada.

It’s the moment you’ve been looking forward to all year — your yearly trip…


Written to the song: Solid Ground — Michael Kiwanuka

“There are two types of people in the world; those who believe that everything can be divided into two categories — and the rest of you” — Unknown

Rabat, Morocco.

You are traveling to a new destination and you ask some friends for advice. Your friend tells you all about the different cultural aspects that they experienced when traveling to the same destination — kissing on the cheek when greeting, the expectation that food on a plate should be finished, and not making eye contact with someone of the other gender. You think…


The lessons that made everything happen

Haifa, Israel. Photo by Anna Frenkel.

I have always carried a notebook around with me to scribble down ideas — from poems to dreams to random business ideas. Since I was a kid I have always had the dream of getting a piece of my work published. Like many authors and bloggers, I started writing simply for fun and started a Medium account to publish some of my work. Although starting my blog lead me to the path of getting my first book deal.

Initially, I was set on publishing posts once every two weeks, and my blog featured various articles on linguistics, language, and culture…


A teacher’s trauma-sensitive classroom approach

London, UK. Photo by Anna Frenkel.

A few years ago, I was introduced to a new concept which helped me become a better teacher. As a first-year teacher, I was thrown into a challenging classroom with a few particularly defiant students. After asking for advice from fellow teachers, principals, and support staff, a psychologist with a background in “trauma-sensitivity” met with me. She told me that she believed that my students’ defiance stems from trauma.

When thinking of the word “trauma” many things come to my mind, such as coming from a war-torn country, being bullied or witnessing something traumatic at home. …

Anna Frenkel

Author of “Q & A a Day for Travelers”. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-frenkel/

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