Stagg Online

Learning languages aids communications skills

She remembers hearing stories from her grandmother in Malaysian, and soon enough she started getting a grasp for that language. Senior Mew Kusakul knows English, Chinese, Malaysian, and Thai. Kusakul’s native tongue is Thai, being that she was born in Thailand. She has been in the United States for five months as an exchange student. Luckily for her, she had learned English back home.

In Thailand Kusakul learned Chinese since it’s a common language to know there. Since she got here, she began to get a taste for Spanish, and so far it hasn’t been easy. She said, “Spanish is rare in Thailand so I had never really heard it. I’m going to keep practicing it, though.”

Not only does Kusakul know multiple languages, but she has also had the fortune of traveling to many places, taking advantage of her skill. She visited Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, and Switzerland. “Every country is wonderfully unique in so many ways. Knowing multiple languages lets you communicate with people around the world and it’s amazing,” she said.

Maha Kamran, a junior, is also gifted with the ability of knowing multiple languages. She knows Urdu, Arabic, Punjabi, and English. She was born in Pakistan where she learned Urdu, the mother tongue. She moved here with her family two years ago. Just like for Kusakul, Kamran also learned English in school.

“English is the universal language. Wherever you go you’ll find people who speak it or who know it a little,” she said. Despite knowing the language, Kamran struggled a bit in her AP English class, but that didn’t stop her from keeping her grades high. Both girls agree that a key factor to learning multiple languages is hearing, observing, and practicing. Kusakul said, “Watching YouTube videos and seeing how they pronounce words, then making sense of them lets you actually use the word. It’s a step-by-step process.”

 

Her grandparents taught her Punjabi and she had to learn Arabic too since it’s the language of her holy book, the Quran. She is now learning French, and she plans to add Spanish to her language list later on.

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Learning languages aids communications skills