Oakwood High School Linguistics students spent the day in Monterey meeting with several individuals at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Soon after arriving, the group sat down with Lama Ranjous, a graduate student in International Policy and Development, to discuss the role of language and cultural competence in her work and studies. Lama began her studies in Syria, but could not complete her degree because of the war that ravaged her country. She is now finishing grad school here in California. Students had the opportunity to ask her questions about her unique experiences as a Syrian in America and hear how she overcome misogyny to get to the place she is today.
The group met with Thor Sawin, a professor of teaching English and second languages. He gave a fascinating presentation on applied linguistics and changes in language over time. His passion for languages and teaching was evident, and the students were fascinated by what he had to say.
They wrapped up the day with a Q&A session with Holly Mikkelson, a professor of Translation and Interpretation. Holly is a professional translator and court interpreter, and she shared her expertise and her love for her work.
All in all, it was a day well spent. Everyone who attended went home that evening inspired by the words of the individuals at the Middlebury Institute.