Pop Stars Use Isolation to Learn (and Teach) Languages

Camila Cabello receiving an MTV Award
Camila Cabello receiving an MTV Award (MTV International / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

Cuban-American singer, songwriter, and actress Camila Cabello is teaching her boyfriend, Shawn Mendes to speak Spanish during their self-isolation period. In return, the Canadian singer, songwriter, and model is giving Cabello guitar lessons, while they sit out the quarantine period in Miami, Florida.

Posting a picture on Instagram of herself holding a guitar, the 23-year-old Cabello wrote: “Shawn is teaching me this [guitar] and I’m teaching him Spanish, in the words of dababy, LETS GOOOO (sic)”

British heartthrob and former One Direction star Harry Styles also revealed that he’s been learning Italian whilst hanging out with friends in their “self-isolation pod”.

Styles explained, “Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill and try a new hobby or something, right? We have nothing but time. I was learning Italian and doing some sign language classes.”

Cabello also asked her fans on Instagram to meditate to try to bring people together. She wrote: “In times like these, especially as young people, even if we are healthy, it’s important to practice compassion and help others that could be suffering. We are in this together, let’s not be indifferent to others risk. it’s our responsibility to do whatever it takes to keep everyone safe. Empathy to others’ reality and solidarity could make the difference in hard moments like this.”

Korean superstars BTS are being even more proactive by helping fans learn Korean during social isolation. Like most of the band’s content, lessons will be posted on Weverse, a free app that unites K-pop communities.

The series, comprised of 30 lessons, each around three minutes long, is completely free and was developed by Professor Heo Yong of the Department of Korean Education at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, who has aimed to make them as fun and educational as possible, using the boys as an international figure to rally fans.

The company behind BTS said the idea came about after the huge demand from fans to learn the language and have better access to them, their show, and the content of their songs, adding in a statement that: “We are planning Korean language educational contents to improve our accessibility… we hope that through learning Korean, global fans will be able to deeply empathize with the music of artists and enjoy a wide range of contents.”

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