Bruin Polyglot Society
The Bruin Polyglot Society aims to unite students who have a deep passion for language learning and the understanding of various cultures. Multilingualism is critical to thrive in the ethnically diverse world we live in today. We believe the most efficient way to learn a world language is to utilize autodidactism (memorizing vocabulary, learning grammar) and interact with native speakers in a fully immersive environment. Too often do we hear about students who, after completing their high school foreign language requirement, almost completely forget how to speak that language in real life. The issue is that language classes in school do not emphasize the goal of fluency, which as a result, causes students to become unmotivated. At Bruin Polyglot Society, we advocate for an entirely different approach to language learning. Instead of overemphasizing grammar rules (as a high school language class often would), we urge students to focus on vocabulary first. The memorization of 1000 most commonly used words in a new language will give students the necessary foundation to understand many texts. Once students have mastered these words, then they can focus on building their linguistic skills by studying grammar. For the most well-rounded experience, education tends to focus on four categories: speaking, listening, reading and writing. But consider this. In daily life, how often would a person write compared to speaking and listening? At Bruin Polyglot Society, we believe people should focus primarily on developing their speaking and listening skills the most. Writing and reading skills can be added on later. There exist several reasons why babies acquire their native languages a lot faster than people older than them. It’s because of the immersive environment they are in. Without any grammar lesson, they are able to absorb words, imitate them, then over time, with the correction of parents, form coherent, grammatically correct sentences. When we learn languages at Bruin Polyglot Society, we like to think we are babies in the critical period. People cite a plethora of excuses to not become proficient in a new language, such as “I’m too old,” “My memory is poor,” or “I don’t have time.” We beg to differ. Sure, the process is arduous and requires commitment, but we guarantee that language learning is a truly rewarding experience. There are only upsides and no downsides. With this club, we’ll teach members how to become proficient in their language of choice without taking classes or spending money on textbooks. We’ll have lessons on how to self-study languages and incorporate it into busy schedules. Further, we’ll host meetings where members can discuss strategies to tackle languages, setbacks, and resources. Once the club is more developed, we can start incorporating language exchanges and language tutoring sessions. To state it simply, we are so excited to begin this new organization at UCLA!
Signatories: Cameron Su, Charanpreet Rai, and Alexandria Wasgatt
Advisor: Ashley Pham
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