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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW club uses food to explore different cultures

By Devin Simkins/reporter

Haylie Jones/The Collegian  Students like Amber Chadwick and Eduardo Martinez participate in Conversations Across Countries on NW Campus. The group meets to discuss the different traditions of various cultures while sharing many types of food from different countries and help non-native speakers improve their English skills.
Haylie Jones/The Collegian Students like Amber Chadwick and Eduardo Martinez participate in Conversations Across Countries on NW Campus. The group meets to discuss the different traditions of various cultures while sharing many types of food from different countries and help non-native speakers improve their English skills.

Most students appreciate free food, and some NW Campus students are learning different cultures at the same time.

Students meet at 5 p.m. every first Monday and third Saturday each month to try food and discuss the different traditions of various cultures in Conversations Across Countries in the Clubhouse on NW.

“There are different cultures to learn about and languages half of the students do not know are out there,” said LaCretia Olague, the student organizer of this group.

She has not been alone in her quest to help others. Alma Humphrey, a NW Campus English Writing Techniques instructor, also has helped keep this group going by contributing when she can.

“I noticed that several of my students were international students who needed a greater knowledge of and practice in speaking English,” Humphrey said. “Also, some American students are interested in learning about other cultures and languages.”

The group not only helps students learn about other cultures and languages but also helps those who know other languages to learn better English.

“My father was a professor at Lamar University, where he was the sponsor of the International Students Club, so I guess I inherited some of my interest in other cultures,” Humphrey said.

Besides different languages and traditions, many types of food go along with each culture. Food is provided from each culture discussed so students can literally get a taste of what they are learning about. Humphrey tries to provide different food for them to try.

“I have provided specialty cheeses from England and Ireland,” she said, “spaetzel and eggs from Germany and chocolates from Belgium.”

This group is open to all students with the desire to learn and explore different cultures. The students in this group also attempt to help students in actual language classes at TCC, or they try to help find someone who can.

A year ago, this group was formed to attract other students with the same interests and passion for learning as Olague has.

“My dad’s side is Mexican/Native American, so I wanted to learn my native language but was also interested in others,” she said.

Olague has the desire to learn her father’s culture.

“We are just at NW Campus right now but want to be on all campuses one day,” she said.

Olague hopes this club will attract enough students on all campuses to require more meeting times and groups. It is a small group at the moment, but it has the potential to really expand, she said.

The group focuses on learning but having fun at the same time by also having holiday parties. They want students to enjoy discovering new cultures.

“At our Christmas party, two students dressed in traditional costumes from their countries and explained how they related to traditions from their countries,” Humphrey said. “Other students explained Christmas traditions from their native countries and shared food from their native cultures.”

Melissa Sanchez, a student in the group, said she has made new friends because of this group. Her favorite experiences so far include trying a variety of meals from different cultures.

“I enjoy being able to connect with people from different backgrounds and sharing mine as well,” she said.

The group meetings are interactive with discussions and food tastings. Students have the floor to ask as many questions as they want.

“All students need to bring is themselves,” Olague said. “Expect to try new foods and have a great time.”

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