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The Odyssey- Online http://theodysseyonline.

November 2014

Greeks Speak More Than Just Greek

By Megan Neely

As students at Purdue University, we are apart of a campus of students from over 130 countries. Just this year, Purdue placed second
in highest enrollment of international students for public colleges and universities, with approximately 5,000 international students.
Through our Greek community, the more we study a language while were here, the more opportunity we have to expand our
community to students beyond the Greek system. We all recognize the fact that our country consists of many different races,
ethnicities and languages, but I dont think we realize the importance of learning and accepting those differences.
Its important to be open to learning the language and culture of others, the same way others strive to learn ours. Ill be taking
SPAN302 this semester in hopes of a Spanish minor when I graduate. My opinion on the importance of learning a language comes
from my own studies, so I did some research and found what the experts have to say, and examined the thoughts of the foreign
language learners we have on our campus.
According to a study by Carmen Muoz in the Journal of Language Awareness, foreign language learning for children in all parts of
the world has become an unavoidable part for their education. Yet, as these students get farther into their education, language
requirements become less and less.
Anges C. Stillmen, the author of an article explaining the importance of learning another language, explains that given the
international stature of American colleges and universities, theres no reason for us not to be learning another language. Cooperation,
friendship and communication are important aspects of success in a university, as well as the professional setting, and thats not
possible if were surrounded with people who dont have these skills.

After talking to some students from our campus, their opinions seem to be the same. Learning a language is no longer an interest, but
is now something that is beneficial to everyone, no matter where youre from.

Its important to study a language in college because it really opens students eyes to other cultures, says Lauren Morton, a Phi Mu
taking SPAN241 with the goal of a minoring in Spanish. She believes that learning a language is one of the main ways to achieve a
glimpse at another cultures literature, art and tradition. Also taking SPAN241 next semester, Pi Phi Shannon Castek thinks that its
important to be able to recognize that in every country across the planet there are different languages being spoken and language
barriers to overcome. For working in healthcare, Ill be able to avoid those barriers. Ill be able to empathize and better help any
people I come in contact with. We need to put forth the effort to learn other languages and not just expect the rest of the world to make
our lives easier and learn English.
Coming from another angle, Fiji Sho Enokido, taking JAP402, wants to minor in Japanese because all of his family members live in
Japan. Its important for me to maintain my native language.
Alpha Phi Emily Castaares, who will be minoring in Portuguese for her third language, says that its super important to speak more
than one language because the world today is so connected and in order to broaden your spectrum of the world and its people, you
should know another language.
Taking CHNS202 this semester, in hopes of a Chinese minor, SAE Rehan Siddique explains how learning another language expands
the mind a different way. Its similar to how math is comprehended completely differently than reading. Everyone should try to learn
another language for this reason. He also believes that this teaches you better study habits. Because of his studies in another
language, he says, my memorization and analytical skills have drastically increased since college began.
In conclusion, consider learning a language. Its not the easiest thing to do, but can definitely qualify as a beneficial skill for life now
and in the future. Lets broaden our connections as a Greek community and have these connections continue into the real world as we
graduate. Lets recognize the differences and use the opportunity Purdue gives us to bring our campus together.