It was so inspiring to talk to one of our facilitators Eliza about volunteering with LPBC and learning languages. We talked about what makes our programs special, and what it’s like to participate in the community.
Eliza grew up speaking French. She did her undergrad degree in Spanish, and now she is learning German and Portuguese. She loves practicing her languages, because “it’s not like riding a bike, when once you learn it, you’re good. With languages you have to keep practicing, keep learning.”
Eliza has been working with LPBC for about two years now. Over that time, she has facilitated several programs. She says that what brought her here is love of languages and wanting to participate in a local community life.
Here is are some selections from Eliza’s interview:
“The practice of exchanging languages helps you to get you to know your partner, and it forms a bond and sometimes a lasting friendship. Some of the people I met through the program I’m still in touch with.”
“Now when no one is allowed to travel, people are really loving to get together virtually, practice a foreign language feeling like you’re traveling again, and experiencing different cultures. It’s a great chance to connect to community every week, have fun, meet some really cool people.”
“There is such a variety of our backgrounds. People are from all over the world and different cultures, so we have really engaging group discussions in addition to our one-on-one pair learning. Every week we are bonding more and more. I love how LPBC creates a very inclusive and welcoming environment. We have a curriculum, but it’s very collaborative. We love to get people’s input, when they share their experience and ideas, creating their own program for their group.”
“Facilitating different groups is always a unique experience, because it’s always a new group of people with different backgrounds, learning different languages. They join LPBC for different reasons. I’ve had a chance to facilitate enough times to see some familiar faces too. We have participants that come back, sometimes even with the same pair they bonded with and would like to continue their exchange. It makes me so happy for them.”
“When people sign up, they think they are just going to learn a bit of the language, but there is so much more that you can get out of these programs. That’s what I love the most. You don’t just get a chance to practice a language, you are able to learn about people’s various backgrounds, expand your knowledge.”