One goal of the thinking cafe is to provide opportunities for communication and collaboratiom.  Click on the link below to share  ideas, srategies and suggestions on loving one another across languages and cultures or to ask for help from others on a challenge that you may be struggling with. 

Love, Language & Communication

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   As a social scientist, I have focused on the connections between language, thought and culture in my teaching.  I often emphasize the important relationships between these three spheres with my teacher education students as well as with my own children.  It is only through an understanding that none of these can stand alone, that each depends and is heavily influenced and even created by the other, that we can truly appreciate how amazing our abilities as human beings are to shape our own understanding of the universe and everything in it.  
  Many researchers have looked at the connections between language, thought and culture and have come to varying conclusions along a continuum of how much, in fact, each is influenced by the other.  As a researcher, I am not particularly interested in the exact degree to which one influences or is influenced by the other, nor I do I think that this is a measurable quantity. What interests me is in acknowledging this relationship, and looking further in to how emotion plays a part in all three areas. I am particularly interested in how we love in terms of our language, thought, and culture and how we show that through our relationships.
   Perhaps the primary function of language is to communicate with others.  In order to produce language we need to be able to think and imagine. If we did not have the capacity to remember the past and imagine the future, we would never be able to do anything but speak in the here and now.  Our thinking process influences the grammar we use, the vocabulary we choose and the meaning we give as we communicate.  Similarly, we have nothing to talk about unless we have a cultural context in which to talk.  We need a shared set of understandings with others in order to have intelligible communication.  When we communicate with those who we love, whether they come from a different cultural and linguistic background or not, we need to do more than simply understand one another's languages.  In order to truly understand each other and develop loving relationships, the language we use goes far beyond the word.  Those of us in bilingual and multilingual relationships need to understand and negotiate two or more cultures. If we try to communicate without the collaboration necessary to negotiate meaning, we will make assumptions that lead to misunderstandings, and we will create overgeneralizations about others that lead to stereotypes, prejudice, heartbreak and confusion.  
   In order to become good communicators and collaborators, it is important to realize how closely linked our cultural viewpoints are to the way we think and how we use language, and to accept that our way is not the only way nor is it necessarily the best way.  When we are in romantic relationships that cross cultures, these considerations become paramount to harmony and trust. 
    Currently, I am studying how bilingual and multilingual couples communicate regarding their language choice and usage in different sitiuations. If you are in a bilingual or multilingual couple relationship and would like to take the survey and participate in the study please contact me for more information!

Here is a video on the brain in love, but what if the brain belongs to a bilingual or a multilingual person in a relationship with another bilingual or multiingual person? Do our languages change our brains in love?