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Global Language Contest: The Essays
Global Language Contest: The Essays English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English meaning of ‘Many Languages, One World’

Date: Jul 08 2016

Themes: Hobbies, News, School

Grammar: Simple Past Tense


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Last week, you met the winners of the 2016 Many Languages, One World (MLOW) essay contest. These incredible students want to empower others through language. They each studied the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and wrote an essay about cultural awareness. In late July, ELS Educational Services will fly them to New York. There, they will attend the Global Youth Forum at Hofstra University. Then, they will share their ideas with the United Nations General Assembly.

Each winner had a different main argument in their essay. However, all of these students want to unite the world. They believe that learning language is good for personal growth. In their essays, they gave their own testimony about how language changed their lives and the lives of their families and friends. Together, they want to foster understanding and respect for all cultures.

Hear the winners share ideas from these incredible essays in today’s English lesson.

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1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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Rind So, why did I write my essay? Because language is all around me.

Amani In my college, I’m surrounded by people from all of Africa and the world at large. So, writing about multilingualism and cultural awareness is something which very much touched my life.

Maria Jose I could see how much I gained here in Edinburgh, with all of my friends from Lebanon, from China, from Russia, from Greece.

Shazana Being exposed to different cultures is very important for your personal growth and the better understanding of this world.

Tom dos Santos The main argument of my essay is that languages can empower people.

Jorge The idea that I tried to bring up with my essay is that we should think of every language as a key. A key will most likely grant us access to a room, and that, of course, is a metaphor for different cultures.

Matthew I can tell you that, in my case, I have been exposed to a whole new world of books, of films, of people that I wouldn’t have otherwise been in contact with.

Tom dos Santos It allows people to understand that what is not known doesn’t have to be feared.

Federico For me, this is a really relevant issue, and I feel really connected to it because, in my family, my great grandparents escaped persecution in Europe in the 30s and came to Uruguay. So for me, this is a really relevant issue.

Tom dos Santos I think language has the power to unite us.

Matthew It really does foster cultural understanding.

Amani I hope that my ideas will impact the people, will spark the initiative to feel the belonging in the larger community.

Rind To sum up, I’m here to share a small testimony about a country that’s used multilingualism to its benefit and encourage others to follow the same path.

Tom dos Santos And that’s why I wrote the essay, and that is what I believe in.


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The winners of the 2016 Many Languages, One World (MLOW) contest are happy to share their ideas. Amani and Maria Jose both go to universities where they have friends from many countries. Learning about different cultures has helped their personal growth. Shazana thinks that learning about cultures creates understanding. And Tom dos Santos believes that learning languages can give people the power to make changes.

Each MLOW winner has different experiences. Federico’s family moved many years ago in order to escape persecution. Matthew uses languages to study many different stories in books and on TV. Jorge thinks that each language is like a key. These keys can open many new rooms that have wonderful things in them. Rind shares her testimony about her country, where many different people live happily together. At the end of the month, these winners will use these ideas to make action plans. Then, they will present these plans to the United Nations.

How does learning language make you more culturally aware? What would you write about in an MLOW essay?



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Learning Languages is among my hobbies…Right away I’m focused on learning english & French,I love being aware of other cultures around the world,It’s something fun and interesting,which I enjoy alot.For me english is like a passion,It changed alot in my life..With English I made friendships,and met people from different communities…

It’s my first time to hear about MLOW.

08:56 AM Jul 11 2016 |


Saudi Arabia

This sounds very interesting. I agree with what they say, to learn more languages can help us understand others better.


ola3Super Member!


Well, nowadays, you don’t really need to learn the language in order to be close to the culture you want to know unless you’re a linguist and get fascinated and excited by the language rythm and structure. Like I want to learn more of the Estonian culture and I started not with the learning of Estonian, but with their cultural crafts technique like Estonian shawls. Somebody here once mentioned that shawls are for oldies. Well, the fashion goes in cycles, plus you’ll never get wrong with something culturally classic.
And want to add as well thanks god every one can speak its magesty English today which is the key to the other people’s cultures. But still French, Spanish, Estonian, Ukranian are the languages I want to master, just to read their literature in original which is of course available in English. I’m also into Chinese tea culture very seriously but not that crazy like some people I know learnt Chinese to be close to it. I need to face the reality and grasp what I can like Gong fu cha – tea with the great skill which is in Chinese culture also escape from the pressures of life.

04:07 PM Jul 08 2016 |

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