City Times

Students armed with language skills speak out


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A classroom on the City College campus houses young, vibrant students striving to obtain a well rounded education.

The City foreign languages department encompasses Arabic, Latin,  Chinese, French, German, Vietnamese, Japanese, Russian, Tagalog, and Spanish. With many options to choose from, students take language courses for many different reasons.

“I believe communication is the key to reducing tension among countries and cultures. I have taken Spanish and Arabic classes. When I meet people from countries that speak these languages, I feel the tension dissipate,” said Laura Tate a Russian 101 student.

In the R building, students enrolled in a Russian class prepare for the course instructed by Professor Sofia Laurein, Department Chair of History and Political Science.
This introductory Russian 101 course is designed to stimulate student’s minds in a fun and interactive way.

Laurein focuses on basic grammatical rules which she says can be slightly tedious. As a way to escape the tedium, Laurein introduces amusing anecdotes that lighten the mood and offer entertainment to the students.

“I find her to be more interesting than all of my other instructors at City College. I like her method of teaching and the various topics she discusses,” said Jeffrey Seper, her student.

Laurein has been a professor at City College since 2006. She received two degrees in Philology from Odessa State University and a P.h.D in World History from Moscow Humanities University.

“ Professor Laurein is one of my favorite professors and has a very good method of teaching a foreign language. I work in the healthcare field and it makes me feel good when I can help patients that speak other languages. I currently speak English, Spanish, and Korean. Russian just seemed like an interesting language to learn.” said Mario Gonzalez her student.

Several walks of life cross paths in the classroom. Students taking Russian for mere interest converse with students learning the language for their careers. It’s a mix of varying motivations that come together in a productive, thought provoking way.

“The main reason I took Russian 101 was because it seemed the most appropriate foreign language for my degree in aerospace engineering since Russian air and spacecraft tech is as modern as the USA. Also I am very interested in the Russian culture and the Cyrillic style alphabet.” said Seper.

Foreign language classes at City College offer curriculum ranging from introductory courses to advanced levels of study thus enabling students to expand in their ability to communicate on a global scale.

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Students armed with language skills speak out