Hannine was sitting in her first language class at MSU when she realized she’d made the wrong decision.
Landon had been adjusting to his new surroundings in Chengdu, China, but upon walking into a local club one night, he found himself surprised once again by the different world he discovered.
For those of us who are lucky, a task that’s born out of necessity sometimes turns into a passion. Mitchel Thompson started learning French in middle school because he knew it was required in order to get his dream job one day—working in the watchmaking industry. In the process, however, he fell in love with the language and it became an obsession of its own right.
Jos Johnson has a pretty enviable job. While she points out that there is a lot more to her work than just playing video games, it’s a pretty important part of the job description– something which became possible thanks to her decision to study German as a second language.
One word continued to resurface as Hannah described her first personal encounters with a foreign language: disconnected. Though she’d taken Spanish classes in high school, she hadn’t learned much. Coming from a small town, she says, the skill just wasn’t valued highly, and the class was seen as a blow-off.
Lily has been dreaming of traveling to Japan since middle school, maybe even earlier. Her first memory being captivated by Japanese culture and language was in the fifth grade where she was introduced to a classmate who had come to her school from Nagoya, Japan.
When I reached out to Austin Kaufmann about an interview for our blog, he wasn’t sure he had a story we would want to publish, one that highlighted the transformative power of a language learning experience. He certainly had experience with languages, spending time living in Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, and Korea. His concern, however, was that since living in these countries, he had an experience shared by many learners: the saying preached by language teachers everywhere, “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” became true for Austin.