Finding Friends through Language Learning

Meet Ashley, Publicity Manager at SLE Brandeis…

My love for Japanese began in high school when I started watching anime with English subtitles. Although I wanted to learn the language, I did not know how to learn on my own.  I tried some Japanese audio lessons, which were helpful, but not nearly thorough enough for someone like me who desired to speak beyond basic Japanese conversations.

As a freshman at Brandeis University, I finally was given the opportunity to learn Japanese in a classroom setting. I did not think it was possible, but from that moment on, I fell even more in love with the language and my desire to achieve fluency only grew stronger. The reason I enjoyed learning in a classroom environment so much more than learning on my own is that I was surrounded by classmates who understood that learning a language while is extremely rewarding, can at times be very challenging. Most importantly, what made my experience learning Japanese at Brandeis unforgettable was that I was introduced to individuals who shared my interest in Japanese culture. If it was not for my Japanese class, I would not have met many of my best friends.

Essentially, learning a language is not just about memorizing words or grammar points. Instead, it is a process that involves interacting and socializing with others.  Learning new languages, not only gives you the opportunity to meet others interested in that same language, it also allows you to meet and interact with individuals from a different culture.

I am so enthusiastic about joining the Student Language Exchange (SLE) because it focuses on the needs of its students as well as creating a productive environment for learning a new language. SLE provides a stress-free and fun environment for busy college students who wish to learn a new language.  For other individuals, who like me, had tried unsuccessfully to learn a language on their own, but feel ambivalent about trying a formal language class at Brandeis; then SLE is the perfect place to start!

IMG_1678Ashley is from New York and is currently a junior at Brandeis University. She is majoring in Psychology and East Asian Studies. Ashley loves to learn languages. She can speak conversational Japanese and plans to study abroad in Tokyo, Japan this spring 2015.


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