Why Learn Romanian?
A parent awereness campaign
What makes language learning so important?
Bună ziua, să o luăm cu ȋnceputul. Romanian is fun to learn because of the many similar words it shares with English. You might already have comprehended the meaning of the first phrase. If not, don’t be alarmed. Romanian is similar to Italian, Spanish and Portuguese because it is part of the same family of Romanic languages. We can start from here and then go into more detail together.
For many of us, it is really important to preserve the Romanian language in the Romanian American community. This is a goal completely similar to that of all the other immigrant communities in the US: we want to pass down the language to the next generation, in the context of the complex cultural quilt of the American society.
What Are the Advantages?
A worthwhile investment in your child's future.
Very often adolescents and adults from multicultural families regret missing the opportunity to becom fluent in their parents native languages.
Even if our children speak mainly English at school and at home, they might have already been exposed to the language. You address them in Romanian and they answer your question in English without missing a beat. This shows that the child is a learner of a language he or she understands but does not use it. It is a latent language, known in academic terms as Heritage Language (HL). It is the language inherited from the family in a natural way, but often in an incomplete form. It is not a Second Language (L2), even if it looks so on the surface. UCLA has a whole Center dedicated to developing effective pedagogical approaches to teaching HL learners. We can share with you some of their published studies, if you are interested.
At the Romanian Language School organized by Romanul Corp in Connecticut, our approach is inspired from these studies and from the experience of other Romanian language schools in the US and in Canada.
We Live in a Multicultural World
- Many children in the Romanian Diaspora are dual citizens. They have a right to their ethnic roots which can only be offered through early active involvement of parents and family members. Very often adolescents and adults from multicultural families regret missing the opportunity to becom fluent in their parents native languages.
- In the future these children can facilitate political and economic relations between Romania and the United States.
For more on the subject of being bilingual, we recommend the references below, obtained through our special consultant, Prof. Dr. Viorica Marian, Ralph and Jean Sundin Endowed Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Communication Sciences Department, Northwestern University, Evanston IL, https://communication.northwestern.edu/faculty/viorica-marian
We thank our consultants for their invaluable input!
- Marian, V. & Rochanavibhata, S. (2019). How to raise a bilingual child: Seven strategies for success. Psychology Today. March 15, 2019.
- Marian, V. & Shook, A. (2012). The cognitive benefits of being bilingual. Cerebrum Online Magazine. October 31, 2012.
- Marian, V. (2017). Two is better than one: Bilingualism benefits young and old. Latino USA, November 21,2017.
- Marian, V., Faroqi-Shah, Y., Kaushanskaya, M., Blumenfeld, H., & Sheng, L. (2009). Bilingualism: Consequences for language, cognition, development, and the brain. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Leader, 14, 10-13.
- List of publications on the subject from Northwestern University: https://bilingualism.northwestern.edu/publications/
- Video materials on the topic: