Language Learning Tag

Posted On December 4, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Russian

Crashing Chisinau: My Summer in Moldova

AJ is from Elk River, MN and participated in the Russian Summer Program 2019 in Moldova.  AJ has always enjoyed learning about languages and linguistics. The first non-native language he learned was American Sign Language. He acquired this skill at the young age of five or six. As he got older, his interests shifted more to verbal languages. He studied French at an immersion school, picked up Hebrew at Shabbat services, and developed a taste for Soviet classics and Italian rap, among other examples. AJ went on to explore theRead More
Pablo Gutierrez’s music teacher gave him his first introduction to Chinese language and culture. To further this interest, he attended Mandarin Startalk summer language learning programs two years in a row. It was through StarTalk that he also learned about NSLI-Y and decided to apply. He participated in the 2016-2017 academic year program in Taiwan. Pablo was first struck by how different things were in Taiwan. From humorous things like garbage trucks playing whimsical music to more challenging aspects such as standing out as a foreigner, there was much toRead More

Posted On November 19, 2019By Ligaya BeebeIn Arabic

Bringing Down Barriers: Nicholas in Morocco

Nicholas Wade’s future changed unexpectedly when he met a Foreign Service Officer at a career fair during his freshman year of high school. She described to him the life and work of a Foreign Service Officer; he immediately became interested in the career. When he asked what languages would be most important to learn, he was told that Arabic was in high demand. The officer also told him about the NSLI-Y scholarship to study less commonly taught languages. Because of that conversation, he began studying Arabic on his own afterRead More
Pierce at a Pagoda in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Posted On November 7, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Chinese (Mandarin)

My Best Advice: Worry vs. Reality

Pierce is from Virginia Beach, VA and participated in the 2019 Chinese summer program in Taiwan. The best advice I got before spending the summer in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, was from the handbook I received pre-program. It implored me to “expect everything to be much harder than you think it will be. Even basic daily tasks, like ordering food, are more difficult when done in an unfamiliar language and place.” At the time, this worried me. Had I gotten myself into something that I couldn’t handle? Was I in over myRead More
Gilda in traditional Korean dress

Posted On October 31, 2019By Meike FaberIn Korean

What I Learned Studying Abroad

Gilda is from Mastic, NY and participated in the 2018 Korean summer program in South Korea.  Having the opportunity to study abroad is a real blessing for anyone who loves to learn foreign languages and cultures. I studied in China as an exchange student when I was in elementary school, and the experience was so positive that I wanted to study abroad again. I found out about the NSLI-Y program when I was 13 and was immediately attracted to the idea of a program offering full immersion. NSLI-Y was a longRead More
Jacob: Alumnus of the 2012 Morocco program

Posted On October 25, 2019By Meike FaberIn Arabic

Alumni Spotlight: Jacob

Jacob is from Malaga, New Jersey and participated in the 2012 Arabic summer program in Morocco.  Jacob is using his language skills to help the next generation learn Arabic. After returning from the NSLI-Y Arabic program, Jacob carried on his Arabic studies at high school during his senior year. He was so determined to continue studying that he had to drop his lunch period to fit Arabic into his tight schedule! It was during this time that his knack for Arabic linguistics began to take hold and the language became,Read More
Maryam in Russia

Posted On August 20, 2019By Meike FaberIn Russian

From до свидания to new friendships

Maryam is from Mankato, MN and participated in the 2019 Summer Russian program in Russia. Русский язык очень трудно. Russian is very difficult. Whenever I tell people I am learning Russian, this is usually their first response, including Russian people themselves. I knew about the difficulty of learning Russian going into NSLI-y Russian Summer program as a complete beginner, but this fact became apparent for the first time when I started the first Mango Languages lesson a few weeks prior to departure. When applying to NSLI-y the only Russian wordRead More
New Semantics: Student Language Magazine
Vanessa is an alumna of the 2018 Summer NSLI-Y Persian program in Tajikistan and editor of New Semantics, a language blog-magazine. Vanessa recently organized the virtual event, NSLI-Y Alumni Insights (NAI) in collaboration with New Semantics.  New Semantics, is a blog-magazine that showcases student creative work and expert interviews, highlighting student passion for language and culture. Contributors have studied 16+ languages altogether, hailing from Kentucky to the United Arab Emirates. New Semantics thus illustrates the multitude of perspectives in our diverse world, joining them in this forum for cross-cultural dialogue. New Alumni Insights (NAI) isRead More
Shelby with her NSLI-Y friends

Posted On May 28, 2019By Meike FaberIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Being a NSLI-Yian

Chelby is from Frankfort, Illinois and participated in the 2018-2019 NSLI-Y Chinese Academic Year program in Taiwan. Being a NSLI-Y student is extremely bold. It’s bold and awkward and sometimes even comical. With each language gain, there is accidentally asking a grocery store clerk for a “stomach” in Chinese instead of a “bag”. With every connection with friends and family in your new country, there is joining your school’s Beatbox Acapella Club as the only African-American member and being thanked for your race’s contribution to Hip-Hop. And veiled behind everyRead More

Posted On May 14, 2019By Meike FaberIn Hindi

Hindi Classroom Connections

On April 30, NSLI-Y Interactive hosted the virtual event “Hindi Classroom Connections.” Five current NSLI-Y Academic Year students in India shared recordings of their presentations with a 16 Hindi language learners at the Central Junior High School in Euless, Texas. The students in the U.S. are in 9th grade and in a level two Hindi class. This year, they have learned about Indian food, the Indian government and pollution in India. Before the classroom connection event,  the junior high students submitted questions about family life, the Indian school system and Indian foodRead More