My name is Brianne Loya. I am a Latina woman in the United States. I have many personal and professional reasons for wanting to learn Spanish.
REASON 1: MY STUDENTS
I work as a high school science teacher. Many of my students are newcomers to the United States from a variety of Latin American countries. The students I work with speak Spanish and are learning English and some have grown up bilingual but their parents speak only Spanish. I want to be able to communicate with my students and their parents in both English and Spanish. I want to encourage their multilingualism and make them feel welcome and comfortable in my classroom. It is well researched that learning a new language can improve skills like problem solving and dealing with abstract concepts. Learning a new language can teach and encourage respect for other people, can expand one’s worldview, make us more flexible and tolerant and can lead to an appreciation of cultural diversity. These are the kinds of lessons I strive to instill in my students and hope to become a better teacher through language learning.
REASON 2: BIODIVERSITY AND GEOGRAPHY
I am set on studying Spanish in Colombia, specifically, because the nature and science geek in me is so excited by the incredible biodiversity and varied geography found in Colombia. I want to hike in mountains and rainforests, snorkel in the Caribbean sea and count all the different birds, butterflies and orchids I can find!
REASON 3: THE CULTURE AND PEOPLE
I have grown up with very “American” values. I take pride in overloading myself with to do lists, meeting deadlines, doing all things independently and working hard to gain some greater material good. However, as I have grown older and have become more curious of my Latin American roots, I have begun to admire the Latin American way of life. I think I once read that the people in Colombia were the happiest people in the world and that headline really stuck with me. I want to study Spanish in Colombia because I want to be immersed in a culture that values social relationships. I want to be surrounded by the Colombian people, who are well known for being resilient, warm, open and appreciative of what they have. I want to eat Colombian food, listen to Colombian music, admire Colombian art and dance alongside some of the happiest people in the world. I want to learn more than just Spanish in Colombia!
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