By: Blake Allen, Vanguard Staff Writer
As a student entering a culturally diverse world, learning a language opens doors for career and personal success.
SVSU offers courses for students who want to experience other cultures through language.
The University offers language courses such as Spanish, French, Arabic and Chinese.
“In order to learn a language you must learn a culture, the two cannot be separate,” said Yang Liu, international student adviser and Chinese language instructor.
Speaking a different language tends to open doors for students that otherwise would remain closed.
“My goal is to gather interest in the language and with the language you get the culture as well,” Liu said.
She has been teaching Chinese to students since 2007 and believes that learning a language is crucial.
Learning a foreign language can have an effect on a student’s travel plans, cultural insights and business opportunities.
“Because I really like the idea that Chinese is one of the most fluent languages,” said junior Julie Harbuck. “I wanted to be able to say that I am able to speak both English and Chinese.”
Sommaya Alayan, an adjunct faculty member, teaches the Arabic Culture and Language course.
“The reason to learn Arabic is that it has such a rich culture, and you form a bond by being able to speak their language,” she said.
Alayan suggested that learning a language allows students to better understand a culture.
“Without culture you cannot learn the language, the culture I find is the biggest motivation for students who want to learn more about the language,” she said.
She added that many concepts and suggestions from the media can be misleading or wrong and that she wants to “have the ability to present my culture and spread my knowledge to people.”
Foreign language has become a qualification for many jobs as employers ask if interviewees have any experience in a second or third language.
The more languages people are fluent in, the better their capability becomes with handling people of other nationalities, and becoming a part of a larger group in their careers.
“A foreign language can help you achieve positions in really any job prospect,” said Elizabeth Calloway, a theatre junior.
“For instance if you work for a business based in Mexico, by speaking Spanish, you’ll be able to effectively communicate with their partners, customers, and employees which in return helps their business,” she said.