For Jessica Gonzalez, learning a second language was not a choice. She was raised by parents who immigrated to the United States from Mexico, who only spoke Spanish at home– and the same was true throughout her surroundings. Living thirty minutes north of the border between Texas and Mexico, nearly everyone in Jessica’s community was a native Spanish speaker. In school, however, classes were taught in English, which is how Jessica became fluent in both.
Few people have the same level of passion for languages as Stephanie Saba, a former MSU student who graduated with a degree in Arabic, English, and Secondary Education last year. For Stephanie, though, the language learning experience was not about her time in the classroom, but about the communities she formed– in Arabic classes and student groups at MSU, and in Morocco, where she spent her senior year.
Language can take you to places you could never imagine–which is exactly what happened to Chris Murphy. Chris, an MSU alumni, is now attending Peking University in Beijing pursuing a Master’s degree in Political Science. As he is now pursuing his passion for Chinese, we talked with him about what gave him that spark.