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Two Languages and New Beginnings – A Refugee’s Success

Region: United States
Competency: Educational Development

She looked up at her teacher with tears in her eyes. “I’m reading in my own language!” she said. Asma (name changed) is a participant in our English literacy classes, and she also participates in language exchange to help build digital tools in her native language. At one point in the lesson last month, her teacher wrote out some words in the Rohingya language that had some similar beginning sounds to English words Asma was learning. As she read them, her face lit up with the realization that she was reading for the first time in her language. A language that has been marginalized for generations but through the efforts of many around the world is beginning to have a chance at flourishing.

Every language matters. Every speaker of every language matters. And through both English literacy and the development of more native language literacy tools, the Rohingya in Dallas and their language can begin to thrive. We’re partnering *with* them to build tools that provide local solutions to local problems – the tools they want to solve the problems they’ve identified in the ways that work for them. Part of that is finding creative ways to share mother language literacy so that when literature is developed, they’ll be able to read it.