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Junior Ema Karakoleva tutors sophomore Anna Timmis in Bul­garian. Katie J. Read | Col­legian

Hillsdale College’s Inter­na­tional Club relaunched its foreign lan­guage lessons this semester, offering nine lan­guages stu­dents can only learn outside of the formal classroom at Hillsdale. The club also has tutors for stu­dents who speak English as their second lan­guage.

Although the foreign lan­guage program dwindled in past semesters, Inter­na­tional Club Pres­ident junior Ema Karakoleva said, it is putting this facet of the club first. She said she wants to respond to the demand from stu­dents wanting to learn tongues not taught in Hillsdale’s class­rooms and sees a special oppor­tunity in stu­dents prac­ticing a new lan­guage with peers who hail from the country where that lan­guage is spoken.

“When you learn a lan­guage from someone from that country, not only can you learn the vocab­ulary and the grammar, but you can also learn about the culture,” Karakoleva said. “You learn details you can’t always pick up from a book.”

The classes will include Arabic, Bul­garian, Croatian, Czech, Hebrew, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Swahili, and Ukrainian.

In addition to the foreign lan­guage lessons, Inter­na­tional Club Sec­retary senior Andrea Sommer, Sec­retary and Lan­guage Class Coor­di­nator senior Rebekah Molloy, and senior Rachel Molloy are tutoring stu­dents who learned English as a second lan­guage. Rebekah Molloy said she and her col­leagues will help ESL stu­dents with a range of issues, from crafting emails to their pro­fessors to proof­reading their essays.

Karakoleva, a Bul­garian student, said she hopes the club will help all ESL stu­dents improve their English. There are 28 inter­na­tional stu­dents on campus.

Inter­na­tional Club tutors hold lessons in A.J.’s Café, offering both group and one-on-one ses­sions. The teachers and stu­dents organize lessons, according to their mutual avail­ability.

Inter­na­tional Club Vice Pres­ident sophomore Nour Ben Hmieida teaches Arabic and has three stu­dents com­mitted to lessons, which will begin soon. Although Arabic is her mother tongue, the Libyan native speaks English flu­ently, having lived in the United States since she was 11 years old.

Hmieida said she starts her beginners by teaching the Arabic alphabet, before advancing to common vocab­ulary and col­lo­quial phrases. She also shares infor­mation about the culture of Arabic-speaking nations.

“Hos­pi­tality is a big thing in our culture, like it is in most cul­tures,” Hmieida said. “But Arabs take it 10 steps past what they need to. They’re very hos­pitable with their food and their kindness to their guests.”

Rebekah Molloy said learning even a little of the lan­guages offered by the Inter­na­tional Club tutors will chal­lenge Hillsdale stu­dents to grow — espe­cially because Hillsdale only teaches French, German, Greek, Latin, and Spanish as well as a few courses in Hebrew.

“Words are all we have,” Rebekah Molloy said. “You look at the world in a dif­ferent way through dif­ferent lan­guages. Lan­guage is an incredible way to embrace dif­ferent cul­tures.”

Stu­dents inter­ested in signing up for the Inter­na­tional Club’s lessons can email Rebekah Molloy at rmolloy1@hillsdale.edu.