The Western Hemisphere

New Club Focuses on Language Learning

Rosie Dougherty-Herrmann, Interactives Editor

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The Polyglot Club is a club dedicated to learning some about different languages. The club is new this year and was started by Quinn Loftus. She said that the club, “started as a Socratic discussion of languages and shared interest and has developed into experiencing languages through linguistic history and foreign films.” She also hopes to have students and teachers who know other languages and the cultures where those languages are spoken to speak at club meetings.

Many of the members of the club are learning languages outside of school. These languages include Mandarin and Korean. In meetings, members have discussed the histories of languages and are beginning to listen to languages and learn about their cultures.

Loftus, the founder of the Polyglot Club is one of these students. While taking Latin at school, she has also been teaching herself Korean on her own time. Loftus has always been interested in learning a second language.

“It was never a question of why, but of how and which language I would pursue,” she said.

Loftus eventually chose Korean because, “My brother, being adopted from Korea, was my main reason, because if he ever wants to visit, I want to be able to support him the best I can. This is followed closely with my fascination with the spoken language.”

To learn the language outside of school, she has used many sources such as podcasts and quizlets. The podcast that she uses is from a company called Talk To Me in Korean, which makes podcasts, videos, and textbooks. She has also used language teaching programs such as Duolingo and Memrise. Although this is challenging, she said, “As I slowly move from the basics of formal vocabulary to slang and casual conversation, my passion for the language also advances.”

She also thinks that learning a second language is a good experience for anyone, and said, “There is so much to know and say in life that learning a language, I think, is well worth the struggle.”

Ineke La Fleur is a member of the Polyglot club. She has also always been interested in languages. She said that she joined the club because, “ When someone is as enthusiastic about learning about other languages as Quinn is, I thought that she would make it interesting.”

La Fleur also added that, “It’s a really good idea and I’m glad that someone came up with it.”

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