LaGuardia Community College has a club for just about every interest and skill. Photography, chess, creative writing, women in stem, tabletop board games, psychology, cooking, anime, economics, are all clubs organized by students for students. Despite the presence of these clubs at LaGuardia, each offering leadership and community-building opportunities, a growing number of LaGuardia students […]
For Allison Ospina, being fluent in English and Spanish is not just a skill. It makes her who she is. An identity, that fills her with pride.
Ospina, 20, is a student at LaGuardia Community College (LaGCC) majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
“It gives a sense of identity, of who you are and where you come from,” she said. This gives her an opportunity to know her roots.
Ospina like many students at LaGuardia is bilingual.
In Fall 2019, 47 percentage of LaGCC’s students were recorded as Hispanic. The college boasts of a multilingual cultural student community, with 77 different native languages spoken on campus as of 2021.
Ospina’s idea of “knowing your roots” and appreciation for her heritage language, is a common sentiment that flowed among her fourteen teammates as they worked on Alpha Theta Phi’s (ATP) 2021 College Project; Empowering Students Through Language and Creating Inclusive Resources
The project was organized by ATP, LaGCC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, as part of the chapter’s yearlong initiative to connect and engage members in service.
The project created opportunities for students to utilize their language skills and create resources that support First Year Seminar students adjusting to English. In language teams of at least 4 members, 20 students translated five of the most used ePortfolio tutorials into five of the languages most spoken on campus.
Juan Lin, President of the Student Government Association, worked with three of her peers to translate five tutorials from English to Chinese. Lin said, “I have realized that language actually brings warmth to people, makes people feel kind, and gives people a friendly attitude especially to the international students.”
The translated tutorials will help non-native English-speaking students understand the ePortfolio system used by the college. The five selected tutorials are now available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Spanish and Nepali
Members from ATP’s 2021 officer team explained that based on their language analysis of data provided by the Office of Institutional Research & Assessment, the project has the potential to benefit over one thousand students.
David Brandt, Professional Development & Communications Coordinator at the Center for Teaching and Learning, said “It is such important work that is going to be so impactful on bringing a sense of equity and inclusion to the students who speak these languages as they work with ePortfolio.”