Immersed in language

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Heimbuch
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

The Presidio of Monterey is home to the renowned Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, which hosted its annual Language Day, an event dedicated to celebrating the languages and cultures represented within its schools. This event offers students a chance to showcase their linguistic proficiency and deepen their understanding of the diverse societies they study.

"Students aren't just learning a language here," said Col. Jennifer L. Saraceno, 517th Training Group commander. "They're also learning about culture; because that is a key element to language. You can't really grasp the language aspect if you really don't understand the culture associated with it."

For the students enrolled in the intensive language programs, Language Day serves multiple purposes. It offers a much-needed break from the rigor of their studies, allowing students to rejuvenate while still immersing themselves in an environment rich with linguistic and cultural diversity.

"It's a chance for them to show off everything that they've learned," said Saraceno. "And we all know that if you spend 100% of your time in the books studying all the time, you're gonna lose a little bit of your edge. This gives them the opportunity to show themselves and others that they've learned."

Language Day also acts as a reward for the students' hard work. It grants them the chance to exhibit everything they have learned and acquired throughout their language courses.

“Language day is a chance to show the skills I've developed in my classes here,” said Airman 1st Class Hannah Foger, 517th TRS Modern Standard Arabic linguist student. “It's so much fun to see the performances of people who are passionate about the culture they are studying and sharing their language with all the people who visit the fair”

For students like Airman Foger, Language Day serves as a platform to proudly demonstrate their linguistic abilities and engage with others who share their passion.

Language Day at the Presidio of Monterey is more than just an event; it is a celebration of the power of language and culture. By providing an outlet for students to immerse themselves in the languages they study and share their knowledge with others, this occasion fosters a sense of pride and camaraderie within the language learning community. It reinforces the belief that language development extends beyond words and phrases; it is a gateway to understanding and connecting with diverse societies.