Good day, lovely readers! Since today is Tuesday, normally you would find some fun translation tidbit here, but today is a special Tuesday…There’s a new edition of the GPS! And with it are a featured teacher and student! Read on for their stories! (And sign up to receive the GPS, GLN’s monthly newsletter, by filling out the form on the right side of this page!)
Student Spotlight: Jill Grinager
My name is Jill Grinager. I’ve lived in DC for about fifteen years and in that time, I must have taken at least 30 language classes. German is a language I began studying in 7th grade, Russian in 12th grade, and I am still fascinated by both. It was enjoyable to learn the basics of French, Spanish and Italian through regularly offered university classes, but it was not until I discovered GLN in 2010 that I was able to sign up for Kyrgyz, Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian. Over the years my interests have broadened. I truly believe that the borders of your language are the borders of your world—therefore I try to expand my understanding of people and of the world by continually broadening and deepening my knowledge of diverse foreign languages.
I’ve always had a fascination with foreign language. When I was eight years old I loved receiving mail. I would examine maps of the US and then write away to the Chamber of Commerce in the location of interest and wait for a packet of information to arrive in the mail. As I got a little older I realized I could send away for information from foreign countries, too. I still remember my excitement when I received colorful brochures from Germany and the Soviet Union written in German and Russian with English translation. Trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art also opened my eyes to language through the ages. I spent hours studying hieroglyphics and learning the particular meaning of each symbol. At twelve, my family traveled to Québec and it was then that I realized the challenge of learning a new language and culture outside of the US. My early interest in foreign cultures and languages led me to pursue portions of my undergraduate and graduate studies abroad. In various ways, foreign language has always been a force in my life because it gives broader meaning to what I already know and challenges me to (re)evaluate who I am.
Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Zarko Palankov, President of GLN about GLN’s mission. His work to bring foreign language to a wider population is truly remarkable. Every teacher that I’ve had at GLN cares so much about the students and has created a comfortable learning environment. I’ve recommended GLN to many friends and colleagues and have no doubt that the high quality of service and instruction will attract a greater number of student applicants each semester.
Featured Teacher: Aigul Kubatbekova
Salam! (“Hi”) My name is Aigul Kubatbekova. I am from Kyrgyzstan. I have been involved with GLN since last spring and was able to teach Kyrgyz language beginner class during Fall 2011. I should say that it has been the most rewarding and memorable teaching experience I ever had. The training and the support that GLN provided me was inspiring and gave me the confidence to teach my native language and share my culture. It was also great to have motivated students and young professionals in my class who were eager to learn a rare foreign language. I have learned a lot myself and made a lot of multicultural friends through GLN. I think this is a great organization that helps people to connect and share their culture and have fun at the same time!