Student response: What does speaking a foreign language mean to you?


by Aksinya Kichigina

Reporting Correspondent

The college is home to many students from multiple cultures that share their interests, life stories and traditions with American students. Many of the international students come here to learn how to speak the English language fluently and discover interesting aspects of American culture firsthand. With foreign language programs available in 12 languages, students have plenty of opportunities to take up a new language.

Jonas Birkel, student, was raised in a Cuban family and has always had someone in his family that he could communicate with in Spanish.

“Besides English, I speak Spanish fluently. I love to study foreign languages, and I think the language that I would want to learn next is probably French,” Birkel said.

However, Birkel does not want to stop developing himself, and wants to continue to learn new languages. He said that he would want to keep studying foreign languages because there are people in certain counties that can speak five languages.

“It’s really weird that we don’t care about speaking or learning the other cultures and languages as much as other countries do,” Birkel said. “I think knowing a foreign language is one of the important things that a person may know. It helps you to meet other people from different cultures. I wish everybody knew more than one language here.”

In addition to Spanish and French, the college also has programs in American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese and Russian. The Language Resource Center, located in LIB 225, is also open for all students currently taking a foreign language class. It provides many services to assist students outside of class. There are also language tutors available in GEB 316.

Another student, Lorena Coleman, a journalism/communications major, also thinks that knowing at least one international language is great for future employment opportunities.

“I am interested in studying international languages. I took two years of Spanish in high school, but I really would love to get back to learn Spanish, or even Italian,” Coleman said.

Coleman also mentioned that it’s great to speak with people who might know different languages. She feels that with any job nowadays, an individual stands out more when they are able to speak more than one language.

“I think in the future, people will be interested in learning foreign languages because there are many people who come here every day, and it will be good to interact with one another no matter what culture you are,” Coleman said.

International student Jorge Castro also shared his opinion on what it means to him to speak multiple languages.

“As a Spanish speaker, I am interested in learning maybe French or German languages because of the history of countries and part of the World War II. It will be amazing to go to the foreign country and talk to people over there,” said Castro.

While Castro enjoys learning new languages, he looks at the experience more as a hobby than something he is seriously pursuing. However, he shares the sentiment of his fellow students in believing a foreign language is helpful for any person because it provides the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and develop relationships.

“But I think in the future, no matter which language will be more important for people, they will definitely learn international languages. In my opinion, people have to manage at least two languages in their lives,” Castro said.

For more information on the Language Resource Center, visit LIB 225 or their website.


Contribution by J.T. Buchheit, News Editor. 



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