Multilingual is the Norm at Global Discussion Lunch
As the world is becoming more interconnected, it is becoming more important for people to understand how multilingual individuals deal with daily life. That is part of the reason for Brandywine’s global discussion.
The luncheon session included a panel of two Brandywine students and two Brandywine professors. They opened up about where they were from, and their first/native languages. The panel members then talked about how they became fluent in other languages, mainly English.
One of the faculty members, Professor Mendez-Gallardo, originates from Puerto Rico. Her first language is Spanish and her secondary language is English. It was mandatory for her to take an English class in school, much like it’s mandatory for many students in American to take a Spanish or other language class.
Professor Mendez-Gallardo describes learning a new language similar to, “being in another world.”
Professor Mendez-Gallardo also said, “when I first moved to the U.S. in 2005 I could understand English but couldn’t speak it very well.”
A student who participated on the panel was Ivy. Ivy is from Russia but moved to China and then to America. Her mother is Russian and her father is Chinese. Ivy described her multilingual experience as, “a hard transition.”
Ivy also said that among all of the languages, English might be the most complex due to the emotion that has to be put into it.
Overall, the global discussion allowed students to understand the experience of people who speak multiple languages but live in America.
This event also helped promote the global and international programs of Penn State Brandywine
Dante Laws, Djl5710@psu.edu, Lionseye Staff Writer