I am a firm believer that learning a new language goes beyond the idea of being able to communicate with others. Behind the grammar and the linguistic competencies of a language are found a different value system; a different degree of what is true and false; a singular repertoire of emotions; a distinctive structure that allows us to exteriorize our ideas, thoughts and convictions with a voice that might not exist in our mother tongue.
I have always had deep respect for students who learn foreign languages with a higher purpose, other than acquiring a new set of syntactic structures. I admire students who learn a language to use it as an extension of their personas, just as they would use a pen instead of a pencil; as an element of choice that would allow them to broaden the worldview they already own.
So, needless to say, I am always intrigued and enthralled by students who use their voice to criticize the reality around them; who borrow elements of the foreign languages they speak to nuance the issues they like to discuss, describe or want to contribute to.
Thus, to satisfy my passion for reading students reflections and beliefs, I do not try to make learning happen, I let it happen, and I allow it to take the shape and form its author desires.
In this entry I present a student who is the female voice of India in my classes; someone so brave and courageous when expressing her points of view that she always makes me want to read more. I respect Saachi, someone who truly owns her voice even in a foreign language – Spanish.
Student’s work and her image have been posted with her permission.