Episode 33: Curiosity, Inclusion, and Representation in Language Learning Spaces - Interview with Elle Charisse of Speaking Tongues Podcast


12 December 2022

1 hr 3 mins 23 secs

Season 2

Your Hosts

About this Episode

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Elle Charisse, the host of Speaking Tongues Podcast. Elle is a change maker in the language learning community as someone who notices issues like gaps in representation, conversations being ignored, communities being overlooked, and she does something about it, letting her curiosity of the world and of humanity guide her to creating a space for all languages, all cultures, all histories, and all voices to be heard.

In our interview, Elle shares a bit about how she grew an interest in languages growing up in New York City, living close to but separated from other cultural communities in NYC, and starting to notice some variation in languages spoken around her and wanting to just have conversations with speakers of those languages, which led to the creation of her podcast. Elle discusses how she connects with such a wide variety of multilinguals on her show and her vision for her platform and how it’s evolved because of the stories other people share with her about their languages and cultures. Her mission to add to language discussions and hold space for the speakers of indigenous, African, west and south Asian, Polynesian languages, and so many other language families – languages that many of us have never even heard of – to hold space for speakers of those languages to share their stories, cultures, and languages – is one of the most powerful pursuits in the language community.

Elle and I touch on a range of deep, thought-provoking topics seldom discussed in the largest of language learning spaces, from representative language in course material to the issue of homogenous speaker panels at language conferences to the need for inclusion of all multilinguals from all walks of life. And, of course, we chat a bit about food because, well, you can’t talk about language and culture without talking about food.

I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did, but more importantly, I hope it broadens your view of language learning and what that can mean for so many people around the world, and I hope this conversation leaves you with an insatiable curiosity to know more.

Connect with Elle:

Other Interviews w/Elle:

More Women Bridging the Gaps in Representation in Language Learning Community: