My Favorite Language Teachers: кӯдакон

My first host family experience was back in 2014, when I worked as a fille au pair (live-in nanny) in Marseille, France. I lived with a French-Italian family, took care of Titien (three years old) and Timoté (five), and improved my French language skills whilst playing Legos or long games of cache-cache (“hide and seek”). … Continue reading My Favorite Language Teachers: кӯдакон

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Summing up the year in Vladimir

After spending 8 months in Vladimir Russia I can easily answer the questions that are asked to me every day. "Why study Russian?" Other than having the ability to travel to the largest country in the world and probably one of the most important ones at this moment in politics and history, the language just … Continue reading Summing up the year in Vladimir

Texas in Kazakhstan

I’m very clearly not a Kazakh. Whenever I meet new people, one of the first questions is almost always “otkuda,” or “where from?” I’ve found that the easiest way to make new friends is to respond with some variation of “Shymkent… I mean, Texas.” Although I no longer find it amusing, but the locals very … Continue reading Texas in Kazakhstan

The Teacher Becomes the Student

One of the best opportunities afforded me by the Balkan Language Initiative, aside from studying Bulgarian language in-country, has been the chance to return to a place that is very near and dear to my heart. A few years back, I lived in Bulgaria and taught high school English language classes in the south-central region … Continue reading The Teacher Becomes the Student

Finding Heritage in Tajikistan

A few summers ago, my sisters and I were in San Diego with my parents visiting a park. On the way, we saw a shop selling kites. My parents wanted to buy one to fly together but my sisters and I were apprehensive – we had never flown a kite. What if we spent a … Continue reading Finding Heritage in Tajikistan

The Living Tajiki Language (Tajiki vs. Farsi)

As one of the few ERLP students in Tajikistan studying Tajiki, I consider myself fortunate to be able to live life through my target language every day.  Like most other participants on the program, I came to Tajikistan with a background in Farsi, the Iranian dialect of the Persian language, but not in Tajiki.  While … Continue reading The Living Tajiki Language (Tajiki vs. Farsi)

An Everyday Adventure

The kitchen of my host family's apartment is the center of all the best moments in their home - it's where I eat quiet breakfasts while studying before classes, where we gather at night to talk about our days over sweets and fresh fruit, and it's where I have gotten to know my hosts the … Continue reading An Everyday Adventure