The CSULB Linguistics Department and Linguistic Student Association welcomed students and faculty to the Speaker’s Platform for International Mother Language Day Wednesday.
The annual event encouraged visitors to explore and celebrate the importance of linguistic and cultural diversity through unity and awareness. A handful of interactive booths extended along the perimeter of the lawn in a circle.
Many attendees talked about the feeling of togetherness at the event, with the focus on the importance of diversity and its relationship to social connection.
“I think it’s really important because, as Americans, you see so many monolinguals and so many people that are very egocentric,” said Naomi Guzman, a fourth-year linguistics major, minoring in French. “And so with that comes a lot of ignorance when it comes to other cultures. And it’s not just language, it’s culture, it’s food, it’s everything.”
Guzman represented the French Club at a booth on the lawn where the club shared fun facts about French language and handed out candy to guests.
Organizers curated the space with immersive artistic installments, engagement-driven booths, student presentations and activities like language games and calligraphy art.
The event was an opportunity for the department to connect and observe a diverse group of people to get a sense of the socio-linguistic ecology of the campus for further social and cultural advancements.
“Essentially we are trying to map the linguistic makeup of our campus,” said Amir Sharifi, a professor in the linguistics department.
One of the event’s guest speakers included Ivy Daulo, a partnership specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau who provided assistance and information on the 2020 Census.
Daulo, along with the Center for Community Engagement, noted language as one of the obstacles blocking individuals from getting the help they need.
“We want students to know that they matter, that they are important and that their families are important too,” Daulo said.