Students exchange language and culture

Kunal Mehta, Staff Reporter

De Anza College offers “The Language Exchange,” a program that gives students the opportunity to learn a new language by sharing their own native language, in the Listening and Speaking Center. For example, students seeking to learn English as native Korean speakers will be matched with English speakers who aim to learn Korean.

“I strongly recommend this program to other people, since this program could help students with not only academics, but also their future lives,” said former Language Exchange participant Haiyin Jin, 25, economics major.

Participants not only learn a new language, but also about their partner’s background. Most participants of the program are ESL students.

“This program makes students learn each other’s language and culture. It means you can also advertise the good things about your culture,” Jin said.

After being matched with a partner, the program allows participants to create a schedule that works for them.

Kanako Suda, Instructional Support Technician (IST) at the Student Success Center, said she wanted ESL students to feel empowered learning a second language.

“Oftentimes, they lose confidence because they can’t do what they used to do in their own language,” Suda said. “I want them to be feel empowered by helping other people [in] their native tongue.”

The program is available every quarter except the summer. Anyone enrolled as a De Anza student can participate by going to the LSC website and signing up.

The LSC also offers other programs such as workshops, individual tutoring and software programs. They also provide tutoring in languages such as Japanese, French and Spanish.

“Workshop with other people is always nice and fun,” former ESL student Tam Nguyen, 21, nursing and communication major said. “You get to know [individuals] more personally.”

Nguyen is now a tutor at the LSC. “The LSC gives you a safe and non-judgemental environment to practice,” he said.