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Yale Panel Explores Effect of Many Native Languages Spoken on Campus

Valerie Stanley (director, Office for Equal Opportunity Programs), Raffaella Zanuttini, Lisette Delgado, Shylo Gonzalez, and Claire Bowen. On the campus of member institution Yale University (Connecticut), a large and diverse organization, staff, faculty, and students speak approximately 40 languages! The Yale Latino Networking Group sponsored an event March 30: “English Only Rules: Why Does Speaking My Native Tongue Make Others Feel Uncomfortable?” The panelists provided an insightful discussion on the impact of multiple languages being spoken in the workplace. The experts probed the personal experiences of colleagues, discussed the benefits and drawbacks of multiple languages, and explored the question: Is language designed to unify or divide? All shared anecdotes exposing the reactions and responses when languages other than English are spoken on the campus.

Lisette Delgado (public safety security manager) and Shylo Gonzalez (moderator) hosted the event, which also featured panelist Professor Raffaella Zanuttini (chair of the Linguistics Department) and Professor Claire Bowen (chair of Women Faculty Forum). Panelists shared valuable insight on how to maintain a comfortable work atmosphere and deal with uncomfortable situations related to speaking one’s first language. The event concluded with tips and techniques aimed at promoting diversity of language.


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