Episode 72 – Let Everyone Come In

Episode 72 - Let Everyone Come In
It's About Language, with Norah Jones
It's About Language, with Norah Jones
Episode 72 - Let Everyone Come In
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“It is my mission to let the world know that we need world languages and languages should be for all. World languages for all, that is my platform. Because I talk to students who told me their lives have been changed. I talk to teachers who have changed those students’ lives. I just feel that world language teachers are unsung heroes in our education system. And we need the whole world to know that.”

I’m always dazzled by the powerful and life-giving balance of world language people. By “world language people” I mean anyone that uses, shares, celebrates, promotes, and encourages through not only their own language(s) of origin but also those that they have acquired through education, relocation, sheer personal engagement with others who speak other languages — the myriad ways that humans find ways to understand and grow their own identity and enjoy others’ as they seek to belong to the whole human family.

One reason I really want to share Dr. Dali Tan with you in this podcast is because she is the embodiment of all those powerful and positive traits and experiences I had just begun to evoke above. You see by her bio that she is a pre-eminent scholar, researcher, and author. She also brings a profound joy to her classes, presentations, workshops, and the organizations in which she plays leadership roles. in reading her opening quote we know she gets exactly what language is all about: Relationships. Belonging. Compassion.

Those of you who will listen from a position of familiarity with the positive power of language in the lives of individuals and societies, enjoy! Be encouraged! But also: share.

Share what you know about the power of language with those who need words to speak to themselves about their own unique identity, so that they do not lose hope in themselves.

Share what you know about language so that those who see those who speak with an accent are not “the other,” but may be seen as (Dali says so beautifully here) legitimate speakers of language — and clearly with a story to tell.

Share what you know about language so that parents, guardians, communities, and schools will provide courses that introduce young people to and immerse them in a language new to them and thus open doors to opportunities for relationships and careers where they can make full use of their unique gifts.

Share what you know about language: that it adds skill and happiness to the lives of those who learn them. That it makes them more themselves, stronger and happier and more resilient.

Share what you know about language so that those who marginalize this amazing, unique human skill will realize that the tool to bring resolution of conflict, to multiply research effectiveness to cure disease and develop new technologies – in short, to bring hope to a world of challenges and needs — is right before before them.

Now is the time we must understand the powerful positive role language must play to help us all.

Enjoy the podcast.

Scroll down for full transcript.

Testimonial

Yes, @NorahLulicJones definitely has the talent of "bringing out" the best in others or allowing them to showcase themselves in the best light! Thank you for directing the spotlight on others who have great stories and talents to share with others. 

Lisa Fore

Testimonial

Your podcasts are exceptionally relevant and applicable, thought-provoking and insightful, easy-to-follow and enjoyable!  

Paul Sandrock
Senior Advisor for Language Learning Initiatives / ACTFL

Testimonial

You have an immense talent to draw the best from your participants. 

Richard Brecht

Testimonial

Norah knows how to LISTEN - she really "hears" the message - and the interview is richer because of it.  New questions come from the hearing. 

Terri Marlow

Want to hear more? Access previous episodes, and get to know the wonderful people I talk with through the It’s About Language page, or by clicking on the Podcast tab above. You can also find this week’s episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

As a certified Gallup Strengths coach, I can provide you or your organization personalized coaching to discover and build on your strengths.

I provide workshops, presentations, and talks that inspire and engage through powerful language insights, and I pair those insights with practical applications for the lives of educators, learners, businesses, and faith-centered organizations. I’d love to share ideas with your organization or group, and develop an event tailored to your objectives.

Click here to start a conversation.


Transcript

Norah Jones:

I honestly wish that I had punched the record button about 10 minutes before this introduction starts with my dear friend and my colleague Dr. Dali Tan. Hi, how are you doing today?

Dali Tan:

I’m doing really well. Thank you for inviting me.

Norah Jones:

Oh, it has already been a pleasure. As I say, I regret not pushing the button 10 minutes ago. We’ve talked about so many things that I’m going to invite the listeners today to check out on my website. There’s a tremendous number of resources there for you to look through. And Dr. Tan’s biography alone is worth the time and it includes links to open educational resources. That can be an inspiration to you, no matter what you are doing in life. Be it an educator, business, organization. You’re going to have a chance to see how things are unfolding, because Dali, you are a leader in every direction from small children to adults and everything in between, in your work as a professor of Chinese and the Northern Virginia Community College. But with STARTALK and other programs with which people may be familiar or not, I just hardly know where to start except I will say this. We talked about already justice and equity by providing language. You had sent me a statement where you felt that human connections and friendships can change lives. And I just would love for you to give some of that passion that you have shared already with me about why it is that you’re doing what you’re doing and how, indeed, lives can be changed and why that’s important for this society to know.

Dali Tan:

Thank you very much, Norah. As I mentioned, I watched quite a few of your podcast and really feel inspired. And I feel like because as a language teacher, we all live busy lives and then of course we try our best in our classroom, but I feel what I lack or what many fellow teachers lack is a whole bigger picture. And I really feel like your podcasts really help us see that bigger picture to see we’re all in this together. And we are all really making huge impact and change lives. And thank you. And I really feel that why I’m doing what I’m doing is because of the 85 years of friendship between my family and the two Americans. And I feel that changed my father’s life and changed my uncle’s life and then changed my life. In 1937, my father was in the rural area of Southern China and was really seriously sick. And then Passionist Father Jeremiah McNamara, his Chinese title is Ye Shiduo, and really saved his life.

Norah Jones:

Wow.

Dali Tan:

And yeah. And then in 1947, when my uncle Yingke Tan was sick with a severe tuberculosis and his American boss Mr. Joseph Stepanek who worked for the United Nation agency and loaned him a large amount of money, I think $300 at that time, because he was the young engineer working in a cement manufacturing factory. And then he used his jeep and drove my uncle to his uncle’s house. So then he used the money to have a bed rest and then fully recovered. And just those stories really made me want to learn more about wonderful American people. And so when I have a chance to learn English, so I started to learn English and I just want to learn more about American culture because those wonderful people that saved my father’s life, saved my uncle’s life. And I just really feel that connection.

Norah Jones:

So that personal connection in this case, a very dramatic opportunity to have healed your father and with your uncle’s story. And so then what did you do? I mean, then you took action based on this experience and reflection that you had. What happened then next to you and how does it inform what you do now in your work?

Dali Tan:

Thank you. I just feel on this personal connection and that will rise over when sometimes there’s tension between countries, but I really believe this people-to-people connection. Because if we know people as a person and then I think we can see more clearly, and also we can really look at things from different perspectives and really understand each other on a personal level. Because of their connection, so I have been on the mission to see how teaching English in China will help students who are learning English, understand Americans and the rest of the world better. And then when I come to the United States, when I have opportunities to teach Chinese, so I feel like helping students know Chinese and know Chinese ways of looking at things and they will understand why some Chinese will do things this way.

Dali Tan:

And also they’ll understand a larger perspective. So I have been taking students to China to study abroad, and then my ideal is to have a home stay. So I have each student stay in one Chinese student’s home and help them understand the Chinese people better, of course improve their language proficiency. And then, because not everybody can do study abroad, right? Yeah. Even though that helps a lot. But then I set up tele-collaboration with learners of English in China through professors who are teaching English in China, and then I introduce my students to them. So they can have one-on-one connection. They help each other with language. And also sometimes I assign topics like intellectual humility, and sometimes I assign Chinese Proverbs. And also sometimes I ask the student partners to come up with things that they’re interested in and so that they not only help improve each other’s language proficiency and cultural understanding, but also have some collaborative project to work on so that they can see how they look at the same thing from different perspectives.

Norah Jones:

What a wonderful idea, that collaborative project with the different perspectives, especially attracts my attention here. Do you have a story about a particular project that was demonstrative of what you’re talking about as far as gaining perspective?

Dali Tan:

I think one of the projects is calligraphy project, and students work in pairs. My students come from different cultures, some of the students are from different parts of the world.  Some students are from Islamic culture, what does the calligrapher mean in that culture? And some students are from Korea, what does it mean in Korea? Traditionally calligraphy is very important in China, if you really have bad calligraphy, people don’t even look at your resume. And they might just put it in the trashcan, of course that was a while ago, right? Because it is such an art and also show the personality and things like that. It’s such an important part of the culture and also important part of the Chinese art. So when you look at Chinese paintings, they not only have the painting, but they also have the calligraphy on the painting itself.

Dali Tan:

So that’s so very part of the culture. And then students were sharing the ideas and also, they’re sharing ideas of the calligraphic art from different parts of the world. I feel like I learned a lot too. And that’s one of the projects we did. Another project we did is a comparative study of the importance of foreign language study in China and the Us.  The assignment for students is like the following.  English is the official language of 35 countries and is the most widely studied foreign language in the world.   Some people believe that they can just use English communicate.  I want my students to interview their Chinese partners to find out that what they think? Is foreign language required as a part of the Chinese education system and as a part of the government official Civil Service Exam? And then is foreign language a part of Civil Service promotion exam and all that?

Dali Tan:

So the student find out what the Chinese people and education system view the importance of language, and they feel like they need to share what they have learned from those Chinese students about the importance of learning world languages with people who know. And I feel that this kind of a person-to-person connection and direct knowledge can help students reflect, take action to become agents of change. They can change one person or two people, at least their family members and things like that, whatever they can. I feel like that inspired them to do more in their community and in their surroundings, in promoting the importance of world languages.

Norah Jones:

Interesting. Agents of change. When we had chatted ahead of time, you had mentioned with some passion of this surprise or the disappointment, perhaps if I you don’t mind me saying it that way, that in the United States, it is not necessary for students to nationally graduate with a language skill. And that has an impact on really equity. Can you bring that back? Especially with that agent of change in that direction, struck me. That part of our conversation. What does language study do that would have a impact then on equity here in the United States, without requiring students to learn languages or at least offering opportunities?

Dali Tan:

I really believe that United States education system is really behind compared to many parts of the world in which they require more than one language for graduation requirement as an educated citizen of the country.  And when I did some research, I was really shocked to learn that few states in the United States have high school graduation requirement, and those that do have graduation requirement have sometimes one-year, two-year requirement. And I just feel like that just put United States’ economy really just behind everybody. Yeah. Because my research also shows that some studies show that 1% increase in trade share with the speakers of a particular language will increase learners of that language as a percentage of the total population by around 1.4 %. And this is talking about 13 languages and they studied a total of 193 countries in the world. And then I just feel like US really is at a disadvantage for not requiring a world language graduation requirement.

Dali Tan:

And I believe that it is a justice issue. And then it is an equity issue. And in the US, some students don’t have access to high quality world language education, even if they want to. And that, I feel like really put them at such a disadvantage to be really global citizens, to be globally competitive in the workforce. Because so many businesses are going global now, and then that put our students as a disadvantage. I understand not everybody is going to be a diplomat. Not everybody is going to do business in China or the rest part of the world. But depriving students of that opportunity to learn a foreign language, to look at the world from different perspectives, be critical thinkers and then solve problems while considering all possible perspectives at looking at the same problem definitely put those students at a great disadvantage. That really is sad.

Norah Jones:

Possible perspectives. You used the word perspective several times in there. And so much of your work connects individuals with other individuals, young people with families. One of my favorite titles of one of your articles is in the biography that you’ve shared on my website is Contextualized Language Practices as Sites for Learning: Mealtime Talk in Short Term Chinese Home Stays. That summarized for me, just the delight of, and the power of the perspective concept that you provided. You have talked about those connections. Tell us more about those connections and those perspectives, how you have gone about that, what you encourage others to think about?

Dali Tan:

Absolutely. I really feel like once you have the perspectives, and you will really look deeper into the products and then look at the practices. Of course, as a language teacher, we help students understand the perspective through the products from other cultures and through practices from other cultures, right? Yeah. So I really feel that just being monolingual, it’s hard, if not impossible to look at those perspectives. A lot of things cannot really be translated. There’s a lot of a concepts in different world languages, and there’s no direct translation, right? And that can be different because of the different perspectives. And then if you find a translation and then translate it back to for the native speaker, and then they will say, uh-uh. That does not sound right.

Norah Jones:

We’ve all experimented with that. You’re exactly right.

Dali Tan:

Yeah. So that is what is lost in translation, right? And that’s the most valuable things that can be lost in translation. And then, because that kind of obstacle, I just feel like learning a foreign language will really help. And that will also help all our students walk in other people’s shoes for a while and really understand rather than dismiss the differences by “Oh, that’s strange. Oh, that’s not right.” So I just feel that that kind of activity helped. So one activity I did is using proverbs from different parts of the world and then from students own cultures. Maybe they talk about the similar things. But how they talk about it, but then their angles are different. And then their expression is different. And I feel like that activity really helped students confirm their own identity, because then they have favorite proverb from their own culture to share and then they want to compare.

Dali Tan:

I just feel like this way, we not only taught Chinese language and culture, but also the cultures of all students who are in our classroom and then that empower them to share because usually students don’t have opportunity to share part of their culture. And I feel that we really empower them to do so. And everybody learns, it’s such a enrichment opportunity. Thank you for asking question about the perspectives.

Norah Jones:

Absolutely. And confirming one’s own identity. And we were talking about one of the things that delighted me in things we’ve chatted about before is there is sometimes is, especially for those that are looking from the outside into cultural classrooms, a sense that there’s almost a monolithic understanding of the other culture or the other language. Chinese people live in X kinds of places. They talk like this, they look like this, where in fact there are Chinese speakers, there are English speakers, there are Spanish speakers, French speakers all over the world that look different, have different backgrounds. And they are all yet speakers of these languages, that living diversity is an important insight that you have provided there too. What comment about that a little bit, please?

Dali Tan:

I agree with you.  I think it is a problem with a lot of our instructional materials, textbooks. Yeah.  I feel that the textbook I’m using and many textbooks that other teachers are using for the most part do not reflect the diversity in China, especially novice and then intermediate level instructional materials. The material I use does not represent the diversity, the ethnic and racial diversity, the regional diversities and also the economic diversities, the rural and the urban diversities. It is just a total lack diversity. And that’s why when sometimes the administrators who are not language teachers, and when they go through our textbooks can also pointed out the fact that they need a better representation of diversity. And for many years, I wasn’t questioning this, but now I start to really questioning this. This is not right. This is not China.

Dali Tan:

And this does not really reflect who the Chinese are. So that’s why I have been putting different materials (supplemental materials) and looking for things here and there to supplement our instructional material and to show that ethnic diversity in China, we have 56 ethnic groups. And then when you look at our material, especially for the novice and the intermediate levels where we have the more students, because sometimes students don’t go to the advanced level course, right, the problem is obvious.

Norah Jones:

Sure.

Dali Tan:

So, in the novice level course, and the intermediate course, they just see the Chinese only as the Han people, the Han ethnic group, like me and they didn’t know there are many ethnic groups in China. You see? And that’s why I used the example of a NOVA (Northern Virginia Community College) student who is a Uighur Chinese. And in one of her presentations (she is in a speech competition, an English speech competition). And she presented the speech at a faculty meeting.  She was taking a uber and then people asked, “Where are you from?” “I’m from China.” And then the driver was like, “No, you’re not Chinese.”

Norah Jones:

Oh, wow.

Dali Tan:

Yeah. Because she is a Uighur ethnic minority, then at the end of her English speech and she was hoping in the future and people will not ask, “Oh, so you’re not Chinese.”  Because you don’t look like Chinese. I think our textbooks are to blame to some extent, right?  Because of this kind of a picture they represent. And then that also deprive of the opportunity. And another thing I want to show my students is that people from all over the world are legitimate speaker of Chinese, and they use Chinese in their work, for their personal enrichment, in their travel, in their professional development and all that. So I think I need to supplement that part of the diversity in my Chinese classroom also. So I have some of the resources and I’ll put it there in the link I’m going to share with you.

Norah Jones:

That’s wonderful. And I’m sorry, I’m just tapping on the word so powerful. I don’t want it to skip past legitimate speakers of a language. First of all, as a concept, Dali, this is so important that those who speak a language are legitimate speakers of language. This is humanity doing its thing. And on top of all of that, that sense, that must be given to your students to those that you train, that sense of encouragement for themselves. Because as soon as they do begin to communicate, they too become legitimate speakers of a language. What an encouragement.

Dali Tan:

You see in the past, I think I started teaching, oh, many years ago, I have this deficit mindset. I feel like I have all the knowledge and you need to learn it. And then you need to achieve certain kind of a proficiency. And then I consider that’s a legitimate speaker, but now I feel like that’s a wrong approach.

Norah Jones:

Wow.

Dali Tan:

I feel like all my students are emergent bilinguals or multilinguals, and they are all on their path. So if they can communicate with people from Xingtai (Hebei Province in China) English learners, they are all legitimate speakers of the language. They’re just on the path, they’re emerging, bilingual and multilinguals. I think that kind of a concept empowers them to communicate with people from all over the world. And also I remind them, there are lot of Chinese teachers, excellent Chinese teachers who are not Chinese, right? Because they’re so used to looking at me and might think that teachers of Chinese are all Chinese people. In fact, there are so many other people from all over the world who are great Chinese teachers, in the United States too. So I feel that that empowers them too. Thank you for reminding me about that. Empowering students.

Norah Jones:

Well, so powerful. And you do it all the time. And one of the things that I look at when I see your biography and of course experiencing you myself, thank goodness here in the state of Virginia for many years, it’s been wonderful to be your ongoing colleague, that you do a tremendous number of presentations internationally, nationally in the states to individuals. When you stand in front of groups to present, what is the major concept, the major impression, the major objective that you want when you stand in front of people, when you have this chance to talk to them, what do you want them to come away with?

Dali Tan:

I just really want them, first of all, to join a professional organization, like FLAVA, like ACTFL, and then go to professional organization events, be really part of it. I feel like as a language teacher, I benefit so much from professional organizations and conferences like CLASS, CLTA, FLAVA, NECTFL, and SCOLT, and of course ACTFL. And I feel that’s really, really in part because teachers may feel isolated and joining an organization to be part of it is really to empower them, right? Yeah. And another thing I want to do, I learned it from my mentor, Helena Curtain, is like to thank the teacher for all the great work that they’re doing to really confirm that they are changing lives, one student at a time, right? When they step into the classroom, they give students a new way of looking at the world, a different perspective and different way of thinking.

Dali Tan:

And that has changed lives really. And I feel that I like the teachers to share a little bit also, depending on how long the presentation is. I think the best idea is in the middle of the table, right? Yeah. And then the opportunity to come together face to face is better, right? than the virtual. So, but when face to face is impossible, virtual events can do some of the sharing also.  I just feel like that when they go back and they feel that their work is much appreciated, even though some of the educational leaders are not foreign language teachers. Some of them feel that some of the administrators don’t understand how hard they work. And well, language teachers are hardest working teachers, right?

Dali Tan:

And they are-

Norah Jones:

Very.

Dali Tan:

Yeah. In a sense, they teach all subjects and they support all other teachers, right? Yeah. It’s not like language teachers detract students from other school subjects.  Sometimes when we try to promote languages in elementary schools, some would say, sorry, we just don’t have time slot in our schedule to add the foreign languages. It’s not we don’t want to add it, but look at what do we take away to put the language there. And then sometimes the advocacy get stonewalled that way. But as a matter of fact, world language teachers are really supporting all the subject teachers. And once students are in world language classrooms, they also learn how to study more efficiently and how to analyze their own strengths and weaknesses. And usually, our world language teachers help students understand themselves better to empower them. So that makes our students more efficient learners, right?  better students in other school subjects. And so that’s why some of my students come back to me to thank me because they say that the strategies they learned in my classroom are transferred to other school subjects. So they become better students in other school subjects as well. And I just feel that lot of administrators who are decision makers just sort of don’t see that part of our story. And I feel whenever I have opportunity and thank you for giving me this platform to say, they need to know that we’re supporting everybody.

Norah Jones:

And I would add into perspective too. Let’s come back to that perspective. One of the aspects that’s so strong right now and well, the society as a whole, it’s not just inside classrooms. We tend to have a lot of acronyms for it in classrooms, but it’s everywhere. Social emotional learning. If you are a classroom, which world language does, talks about your perspective, what are the perspectives of others, that translates into other classrooms.

Dali Tan:

Absolutely. Yeah. So the world language teachers are the best social emotional learning teachers because we have been doing that all along. And that’s a part of our content, right? Understanding each other, getting to know each other, communicating more effectively, understanding other people’s perspective. All of this make our students better communicators and then better critical thinkers, right? Better problem solvers. And they bring those kinds of skills and that kind of support to other students who may not be in our classroom to get this kind of support and have this kind of soft skills. That the world language teachers are best at training soft skills. And then when I look at some of the employer surveys and they mentioned a lot, that’s what many of the college graduates don’t have or don’t have enough, is kind soft skills. And then our world language teachers are best at that.

Norah Jones:

They are indeed. I mean, I know I’m biased, but we are dog on it. And that’s part of what I was… It’s so powerful to hear the idea that indeed we are providing hope by providing perspective. Want to ask you again, what you have done, what you continue to do, in the educational sector has so much to say outside of the educational sector, into the area of society, government, and business. When you received in 2003, the Teacher Recognition Award from the US Department of Education. Congratulations by the way, among many other things, including the Virginia Teacher of the Year for 2022. So this is just wonderful to congratulate you, but going to that award in particular, or pick another one if you wish, what was it that you were demonstrating to the world that led the US Department of Education to say excellence?

Dali Tan:

That award was nominated by my student, Raleigh Martin, 2003 Presidential Scholar from the state of Maryland.  He was asked to nominate a person who had the most impact in his own educational career. And at that time, the student was a high school senior. And so I was nominated by this student. So when I went to the award ceremony, and then there are usually two teachers from each state, and then they have additional award for arts and music. And so for that year, there are about 138 teachers who were nominated and got teacher recognition award. So when I talked to the teachers and I was surprised there was 14 world language teachers who got the award. So that’s more than 10% of the total awardees and thinking about from pre-K to high school seniors, not every student has the opportunity to learn a world language.

Dali Tan:

And that 10% really caught my eyes. And I was really pleased to see and saw Spanish teachers, German teachers, and a lot of other world language teachers. Some teach in elementary school, some teach in middle school, some teach in high school, and you can see they all make impact. And as I was talking to students who nominated those world language teachers, one student told me that his Spanish teacher not only taught him Spanish, but has given him a totally a new world.

Norah Jones:

Wow.

Dali Tan:

And I feel that that’s so powerful. That I feel that world language teachers make impact every day and have given their students a totally new world. And I feel that when we had the common core initiative, a lot of the teachers like math teachers and science teachers, would say, “Oh, I don’t know how to teach vocabulary,” right? And then lot of the world language teachers become leaders because that is what we do best in teaching the common core. We teach vocabulary, we teach reading and we teach… And I feel like right now, when all the schools are talking about including diversity, equity and inclusiveness into all school subject and into all our curriculum. And I’ve been telling administrators whenever I have opportunity to say world language teachers have been doing this since day one. And they are the leaders. They can be the leaders to decolonize your curriculum and bring diversity, equity and inclusion into all your school subjects. And I really believe that. And I just feel that the world language teachers are doing so much, but were not recognized.

Dali Tan:

So since 2003, that was my mission to let the world know that we need world languages and languages should be for all. That is my platform. People asked me when I ran for the NECTFL board and people ask me, what is your platform? (I’m running for the NECTFL board.) And I was thinking, world languages for all, that is my platform. And because I talk to students who told me their lives have been changed. And I talk to teachers who have changed those students’ lives. I just feel that world language teachers are unsung heroes in our education system. And we need the whole world to know that.

Norah Jones:

I love that passion. Now this I’m going to ask you to turn for a moment that focus and say changing lives is enough. I’m going to make sure I put my word in there. Making lives better is enough. What you have said is enough. But if you were called right now to talk in front of a group of business people, for example, a government agency, potentially. And they said, okay, why should we care about what you are saying? Why should we support you in this mission? Outside of, it’s nice to change lives, which as I say is enough. But add to that. You’re standing in front of people that don’t know world language classes. Why should these business people, why should these agencies care?

Dali Tan:

Yeah. As I mentioned before, without graduation requirement in more than one language (English), puts US education system and the workforce it produces at an economic disadvantage when the US economy has to compete with the rest of the world.  Because it’s hard to say, just the US economy. We can see how the economy is interconnected globally, right? Economically speaking, our workforce is not ready, not prepared and is at a disadvantage to compete with the rest of the world. Of course, we need collaboration, right? But then our students cannot be really prepared, good team players on the collaboration team also, right? So that really put us at a disadvantage. And so the world language graduation requirement will help our students be prepared to be part of a competitive workforce, right? And then attract a lot more global business, attract more global partners and also provide personalized quality service for the customers too.

Dali Tan:

If our workforce can speak the language of the other person who are our customers, as they mentioned, if you speak the language they know, and then you speak to their head, right? If you speak the language of their native language, you speak to their heart. So that make good business sense too. And supporting world language requirement also can take full advantage of immigrants who came with some world languages already, right? And then we can take advantage of that and then that help them to learn English, but then keep the asset, the language asset, they bring rather than forget your language and just learn English, right? That’s a huge economic loss too. And then that’s a huge human capital loss too. So there are so many reasons, for the government officials and for the business leaders to support the world languages study. And one good example, is Utah. Utah is such a comparatively economic small state, but they attract so many international businesses because their citizens speak so many languages. And then I feel like other states can learn from this small state comparatively and then make your own state a lot more competitive globally, right? And provide better service for customers.

Norah Jones:

That’s always a good thing to do. My friend, one more thing as we draw to a close. When you think about the listening audience today, what’s one more thing that you want to be sure that before we finish today, that you have shared with them, invited them, exhorted them, made sure that they have heard from you today?

Dali Tan:

I want, first of all, to thank them to listen and to the podcast. And also please subscribe to Norah’s’ podcast. I just feel that in order to create more harmonious community, harmonious world, in our neighborhood and then globally, we need to require foreign language as a graduation requirement. So that everybody, everyone, every student would have the opportunity to access high quality world language education, and then every voice is needed. We need your voice to support our mission. And it needs all hands on deck to achieve the dream of many world language teachers. I want to thank you for helping us make that possible. So everyone will have a prosperous future economically. And also become an educated global citizen of the world. Thank you very much for listening.

Norah Jones:

Thank you. Dali Tan, it’s been a great pleasure always to chat with you. Thank you so much for being my guest here today.

Dali Tan:

Thank you so much for inviting me. And you have been such an inspiration for me, and I’ve been following you to your NECTFL conference presentation and then SCOLT and also your presentation at the National Museum of Language. And thank you so much for all you do.

Norah Jones:

Thank you.

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