Paloma Soria, Spanish instructor at the Pella High School arrived in Pella 25 years ago from Madrid, Spain when her husband obtained a position at Central College. She spoke no English at the time. She learned english, and eventually graduated from Central College with a teaching degree. She knows a lot about the importance of learning another language. Here are some of the points I learned from our interview.
1. Our location in the midwest tends to buffer us from the rest of the world. We often don’t recognize the great cultural and linguistic diversity around us. And it’s our loss.
2. Learning another language helps us know our own.
3. Learning another language and culture helps us appreciate each other.
4. Children should start learning another language as soon as possible, and it is never too late to start.
5. The more cross cultural communication that we have, the more shared languages we speak, the less the chance we will engage in conflict in world affairs. Conflicts between people who know each other and who can communicate directly are less likely to happen.
Paloma is very excited for kids to learn another language–any language, and her excitement shows in the interview. I hope you enjoy it.