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Majors & Degrees

Students start conversations with World Languages Club

December 3, 2018

Being bilingual is a definite advantage in the job world, but for students at Dakota State University, the draw of speaking more than one language is personal.

“I want to learn German, I’m just curious,” said Seth Sando, a junior computer game design major from Colton, S.D. Because he wants to make sure he’s pronouncing the words right, he has joined one of the newest DSU clubs, the World Languages Club.

Three cyber operations majors, Racquel Meyer, Fischer Nordin, and Sascha Walker, started the club this fall for people interested in world languages. It is open to any student who wants to learn a new language or learn more about a language they have already studied. The club will not provide instruction, but will help find and provide resources and connections for members.

“The group is a means to get people speaking and learning and maintaining languages,” Nordin said, a sophomore from Houston, Texas. This appealed to Walker, a freshman from Estelline, S.D., who wanted to learn languages but didn’t want to learn alone. “I learn best in groups,” he said.

Meyer, a freshman from Madison, S.D., told the 22 people at the first meeting that the club should be what the members make it. “We want to hear what you think this should be.”

They will have large group meetings twice a month for planning or progress reports; smaller study groups can meet more frequently. Students can work on more than one language if they choose to. “That’s your workload,” Meyer said.

The group talked about technology options, including on-screen keyboards for different alphabets, the ability to change a computer system’s language, and pronunciation resources. For those interested in learning American Sign Language (ASL), video options are available.

Learning ASL is what interests Tayler Logue, an elementary/special education major from Brookings, S.D., and Anna Koisti, a freshman elementary education major from Hayti, S.D. They know that sign language will be helpful to them as teachers.

A second (or third) language like Japanese or Spanish will also be helpful for Aric Cordell, a cyber operations major from Castlewood, S.D. who would like to work at embassies.

Nordin, who is also a cyber operations major, sees the professional advantages to learning Russian or Mandarin, but knowing languages will also give him “broad opportunities to learn about other cultures,” he said, especially when traveling.

Andy Honey, a junior cyber operations major from Sioux Falls, has studied some Japanese, “enough to understand the grammar,” he said, but would also like to learn verbs and nouns. “And if I go to Japan I will use it,” he said. “I’ve thought I’d like to go there to teach English. It would be really fun.”