World Language Day
20 Languages Under One Roof
View the music video of World Language Day 2016 produced by English Language Institute (ELI) instructor Hugh Le, flip through the photo gallery and get to know the international students attending ELI and becoming part of the Sacramento State community.
Three Students Share Stories of Language in Their Lives
A chef from India, a financial consultant from Indonesia and a university teaching assistant from Saudi Arabia were among the scores of participants at Sacramento State’s World Language Day. For Mahesh, Janita and Amal, learning a new language put them on the path they’re following today.
Mahesh Kalyankar, India
At 33, Mahesh plans to introduce “authentic Indian food in the U.S.A.” and as he prepares for his culinary degree, he’s mastering English. “The whole world is adapting to globalization and opportunities are on the rise everywhere,” he says, “and it is useful to learn languages to communicate effectively.” Mahesh learned four languages growing up in India – Hindi, Marathi, Telugu and Punjabi – and now his fifth language is English. If you ask Mahesh, though, cuisine counts as a language unto itself so perhaps he’s learning a sixth.
Janita Marissa, Indonesia
When she looks at America, Janita sees “a big country where people around the world want to come” and all the more reason, she says, for “Americans to learn other languages.” She suggested Mandarin, Korean or Spanish as possibilities, while her choice was English. “In my opinion, everybody should learn another language to raise their value” and so at 30, Janita took a break as a financial consultant at a bank in Indonesia. “I want to improve my English to get ready for my master’s degree.” And she’d like to earn her international master of business administration at Sacramento State.
Amal Hadadi, Saudi Arabia
For as long as she can remember, Amal had a knack for numbers. She earned her degree in accounting and taught accounting as a teaching assistant at a university in Saudi Arabia. While she still plans a master’s degree in accounting, Amal has turned her attention to language, learning English at 25 so she, too, can continue her studies in America. As with numbers Amal found the logic in language, that learning a new language means learning a new culture and in turn, “being open to accept new people with different backgrounds and beliefs.”
Mahesh, Janita and Amal are students at the English Language Institute at the College of Continuing Education and their instructor Hugh Le encouraged them to participate in World Language Day.
When 20 different languages are spoken in the same place at the same time, Hugh says, something meaningful happens. “It helps rid any stereotypes” for starters, and “helps Americans and international students understand that even though we may have our differences, we can still live and work together in peace.”