Once a year, at (SCENE) Metrospace in downtown East Lansing, a group of passionate students, professors, and community members gather for a night of storytelling, music, and food. The event is hosted by MSU Languages, a branch of MSU’s Center for Language Teaching and Advancement. Normally, we share the inspiring stories of language learning happening on campus—and beyond—on our blog; at SAGA, we invite the Michigan State community to come together and hear some of those stories told in person.
Last fall, Landon Fortenberry’s animated storytelling got the crowd laughing, as he shared a story from his time abroad in China. Thanks to his Chinese skills, he made some unlikely connections. While out one night, he bonded with some of his first friends in China over their shared interest in hip-hop culture. That night, Landon’s new friends taught him—the American—how to dance.
Susie Mackel also shared a language story, which happened to be a love story as well. Her American mother met her German father while studying abroad in Germany, and the rest was history—Susie’s history. When she spoke at SAGA, she was preparing to go on the same study abroad program that her mother had been on many years ago. She left the crowd with her unique perspective on language learning, declaring that for her, “language is an expression of love.” The first love story she shared was between her parents; the second was between Susie and the German language.
SAGA will be held again at 6 p.m. on January 30th. As we prepare for this year’s event, we’re searching for new storytellers. Do you have a story of how language has transformed your life? We’d love to hear it! Send us an email with a brief summary of your experience, at firstname.lastname@example.org.