The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Language skills benefit job search

By Amanda Gomez/reporter

From FBI agents to posters, South students learned the importance of using language in the workplace during Discover Languages … Discover the World Feb. 19.

Different posters showed the languages of different countries, and segments from Personal Reflections — A Collection of Short Films by Venezuelan director Ivette Diaz played in the background as guests entered the event.

Language opens doors, and it is important to take advantage of it earlier than later, three FBI language analysts told the group in the first of two presentations as they discussed their journeys toward working for the FBI.

“Just because you grew up with a language doesn’t make you an expert,” Marie Steilen-Ybanez said.

Steilen-Ybanez took tests and courses through the language programs at TCC, which helped her gain more knowledge about languages.

“If you know another language already, you are sitting on a gold mine,” Moazzam Shah said.

A non-native speaker, Shah said he did not know a lot of English in the beginning and would read comics and try to figure out what was being said.

“Just knowing a language is a first step, and then you have to polish it to make it have value,” he said.

Language will take people places they don’t imagine, Shah said. Language is a tool and can help people understand others and their needs.

The FBI is always looking for linguists. Applying at fbijobs.gov is a good place to start if interested, Linda A. Drumgoole said.

Cross-training opportunities are also available for those who want to learn a new language, Drumgoole said.

Fort Worth ISD’s Laramie Del Valle said being bilingual is important and helps her as the translation services coordinator and in the community.

“There is so much variety, and we can do so many things with language,” she said. “Things may not be so important, but as a translator, you give it importance in a document.”

Communication is the basis of all languages, Del Valle said.

“Be a good listener and be open-minded,” she said.

People should step outside their comfort zones and learn about other cultures, Del Valle said. Fort Worth ISD will implement a World Languages Institute for sixth- and seventh-graders next year.

“The school will focus on languages and take bilingual students from elementary schools and provide them a rigorous curriculum to learn another language,” she said. “Fort Worth ISD is teaching students to appreciate languages and cultures.”

Aracely Chavez, operations director for Fort Worth ISD, said the district has a shortage of bilingual teachers and is always looking for them. Several job opportunities at the district can be found on the district’s website.

“Teachers have a direct impact on our children,” Chavez said. “To have a better community, we need to keep addressing the gaps we have in education.”

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