Communication Divide

Editorial Staff

At Lakeland the opportunity to meet peers from other cultures draws in many students who are curious about the world around them.

However, we have noticed that these diverse populations of students rarely speak to each other. If such conversations exist, they are forced by the Conversation Partners Program or other groups.

International students have confided in professors that they want to have more conversations with American students.

So why isn’t this happening?

Unfortunately, We think the blame falls back, in large part, on these same international students.

We see international students flock together in the cafeteria or Campus Center in groups from their own cultural heritage and speak amongst themselves in their native tongue.

Don’t misunderstand me; their native languages are beautiful and should be spoken even when overseas.

But when almost all of an international student’s public interactions are in his or her native language, how can they expect a student from any other background to approach them and join in the conversation? Not to mention, how do they plan to get to understand the American culture?

We would encourage international students to speak more English when they are in public areas because it is our common language here.

Many new friendships could blossom if we all simply spoke in a way that others could understand.