Quotes for language teachers

This post brings to you a range of quotes relevant to language teaching and learning that might provide inspiration and food-for-thought for you and your students.

I have taken some of the quotes and created classroom posters using black text on white background with a simple colour image which will hopefully allow teachers with limited budgets to print the materials. The images are  for the most part provided by the various contributors to http://www.freedigitalphotos.net. Please keep the author attributions when displaying the posters.

fellini turkish-proverbsmith
You can download these posters FREE from my TeachersPayTeachers page.


And, if that’s not enough, here are some more quotes for you to ponder.

❝Change your language and you change your thoughts.❞
‒Karl Albrecht

Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt [The limits of my language are the limits of my world].
‒Ludwig Wittgenstein

❝If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.❞
‒Ludwig Wittgenstein

❝Kolik jazyků znáš, tolikrát jsi člověkem [As many languages you know, as many times you are a human being]. ❞
‒Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

❝Learning a foreign language not only reveals how other societies think and feel, what they have experienced and value, and how they express themselves, it also provides a cultural mirror in which we can more clearly see our own society.❞
‒Chancellor Edward Lee Gorsuch

There is the fear, common to all English-only speakers, that the chief purpose of foreign languages is to make fun of us. Otherwise, you know, why not just come out and say it?
– Barbara Ehrenreich

To have another language is to possess a second soul.

Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiß nichts von seiner eigenen
[Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own].

‒Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.
‒Geoffrey Willams

❝You live a new life for every new language you speak.  If you know only one language, you live only once.❞
‒Czech proverb

❝Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.❞
‒Dave Barry

❝The man who does not know other languages, unless he is a man of genius, necessarily has deficiencies in his ideas.❞
–Victor Hugo

❝No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality.❞
–Edward Sapir

Learning a foreign language, and the culture that goes with it, is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy and imaginative sympathy and cultural outlook of children.❞
-Michael Gove

❝No man should travel until he has learned the language of the country he visits. Otherwise he voluntarily makes himself a great baby, so helpless and so ridiculous.❞
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

❝So the monolingual lifestyle, for me, is the saddest, the loneliest, the most boring way of seeing the world. There are so many advantages of learning a language; I really can’t think of any reason not to.❞
-Matthew Youlden




*What’s your favourite language learning quote?
*Do you display quotes in your classroom?
*How have your students reacted to quotes about language learning?

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Image courtesy of Boykung at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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