Hope Communities was delighted to celebrate with multilingual youth residents at the Youth Language Festival, organized by Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning. All youth in the community were invited, and over 150 turned out to participate in various activities where tickets were exchanged for reading, writing, and speaking in a language other than English. Youth were able to dunk staff in the dunk tank, run in giant hamster balls, enjoy pizza and face paint.
Many youth in this community are refugee, and speak more than one language. The Center for Applied Linguistics notes that there are multiple benefits to being multi-lingual, especially for children. It has positive effects on their intellectual growth and can enrich and enhance mental development. Not to mention being able to learn multiple languages is a true asset in the job market, and in increasingly multi-cultural communities.
Spring Institute encouraged youth who attended to wear buttons saying, “I’m bilingual – what’s your superpower?”