Global Affairs Web - Member Spotlight: "Realjunesun"

International Member Spotlight: Global Affairs Member Making A Difference

In the veritable global community of nations that the world has become—a growing range of social, cultural, economic, and political ties is creating an unprecedented interdependence among countries—communication is key to navigating this community effectively.  If communication can be compared to the bloodstream that nourishes this new community of nations, the world’s languages comprise the heart that drives this bloodstream.

At the beginning of the 21st century, a person who possesses knowledge and understanding of multiple languages will enjoy among the most favorable prospects for fully realizing the its increasingly global opportunities. One member of the Global Affairs club, Judith Meyer (Yahoo! ID: Realjunesun), is playing an active role in helping make it possible for people to more effectively learn languages and unlock the opportunities made possible by this knowledge.

She has created a basic and rapidly growing website that she calls the “Sprachprofi”: .Briefly, this site recognizes that vocabulary comprises an important building block of communication in any language and aims to help one learn vocabulary in international languages easily.It draws upon a widely understood premise that learning is most effective both when it is kept simple and is fun.

This site allows students at any level to learn vocabulary through such games as Memory, Hangman, as well as Flashcards. It also employs the “Word-Drawer Principle”. Briefly, this process entails the following: Initially words are placed in one “drawer” at the Words in this drawer are practiced heavily. After they are mastered, they are placed in a second “drawer.” Words in this drawer are practiced less intensively.This process of advancement through “drawers” and reduced practice continues until words are fully mastered and placed into a sixth “drawer.” A word that is forgotten, regardless in which “drawer” it has been placed, is returned to the first “drawer.” The benefit of this method is that it places the greatest practice on difficult words making such words easier to learn.Finally, the Sprachprofi also permits students of international languages to expand their vocabularies by learning random words.

Overall, the program allows students to load extensive vocabulary files in a growing range of languages including Bulgarian, Danish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.  Students can even learn Esperanto, which is a language developed and introduced by Dr. L. Zamenhof in 1887 that seeks to permit people across the world to communicate readily with one another while retaining their native languages and cultures.

Although she might be a high school student in picturesque Kamp-Lintfort, Germany, Judith has a wealth of experiences and accomplishments that extend beyond her years. She is more than just an accomplished student.  She runs her own monthly radio broadcast that provides youth with an introduction to musical compositions, book recommendations, event schedules, biographies of influential people. In addition, she speaks six languages ¾(German, English, Esperanto, Latin, Italian, some French¾and is learning Thai and Mandarin Chinese. Moreover, she has a keen interest in world cultures and affairs. 

In spite of a busy class schedule, Judith is making a meaningful difference. In 1770, English poet and author Samuel Johnson described the world as a place “where much is to be done and little to be known.”  While these sentiments are as true today as they were yesterday, thanks to Judith’s efforts¾particularly those devoted to making it easier for people to learn the world’s languages¾the world in the 21st century will be a place where “a little less is to be done and a little more is known.”



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