Mixing up the Language Salad Bowl

Students Work Towards Fluency for Improved Communication


Courtesy of Sydney Solberg

Freshman Sydney Solberg signs her favorite ASL sign, “tea.”

Estefani Rios, Reporter

As society and international communications progress, learning new languages is becoming almost an obligatory thing to do. Whether it is learning a lingua franca or a vernacular language, any effort made to broaden horizon can benefit to communicate.

All languages require different amounts of time and dedication to fully become fluent. Alphabets, symbols, pronunciation and the creation of new words all vary between languages.

Freshman Sydney Solberg said how learning ASL became more difficult as time went on.

“It was very easy in the beginning,”  Solberg said. “Now that we’re expanding our vocabulary, it’s becoming harder because we are getting into more specific signs and it takes more effort to memorize all of them and practice regularly.”

There are many reasons for people to learn a new tongue. For some, it’s a requirement, and for others, it’s from an ambitious nature to deepen their understanding of communication.  

For sophomore Yanjun Williams, learning English was a necessity when she first came to America.

“When I was nine years old, I was adopted and came to America,” Williams said. “I had to learn English because I wanted to be able to speak to my family members.”

Learning a language isn’t always as simple as downloading the Duolingo app. Freshman Hadley Davis said how it is easy to get frustrated while attempting to reach fluency.

“At times there have been some days when I didn’t want to speak Spanish, but in the end, you gotta push through and keep moving forward,”  Davis said.

At the age of four, freshman Amber Chung had the urge to take on English. She was offered help from her parents and watched movies with her friends to comprehend the language better.

“I think that when you’re a child you mimic [people],” Chung said. “In a child stage, you pick up things faster and listen more.”

Chung said that it brings her closer to others who have learned a new language.

It’s like we have a secret code between us only we can understand.”

— Amber Chung

“The best thing about learning a different language is when you find someone at school and you can converse with them and no one else can understand,” Chung said. “It’s like we have a secret code between us only we can understand.”

Solberg said she was interested in language ever since elementary school when she attended an ASL camp. Now she works toward the goal of fluency and said she believes language is the gateway to connecting with people throughout the world.

“It’s very important [to learn a language],” Solberg said. “It’s an essential way to communicate with people from other countries and backgrounds, whether they can hear or not.”