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Junior speaks fluent Assyrian with mom at home

Junior+Sara+Isaac%2C+held+by+her+mother%2C+is+one+of+a+handful+of+studetns+at+Shores+who+speak+multiple+languages.+Isaac+who+is+from+Iraq%2C+speaks+four+languages.+%28courtesy+photo%29
Junior Sara Isaac, held by her mother, is one of a handful of studetns at Shores who speak multiple languages. Isaac who is from Iraq, speaks four languages. (courtesy photo)

Junior Sara Isaac, held by her mother, is one of a handful of studetns at Shores who speak multiple languages. Isaac who is from Iraq, speaks four languages. (courtesy photo)

Junior Sara Isaac, held by her mother, is one of a handful of studetns at Shores who speak multiple languages. Isaac who is from Iraq, speaks four languages. (courtesy photo)

Emmalee Dykstra

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Most students at Shores will only get the chance to learn a second language during a class, which is required to graduate.

For junior Sara Isaac, this is not the case.

Isaac was born in Bakhdida, Iraq, where she grew up speaking Assyrian, her first language. Along with that, she speaks English, Arabic, and French.

When Isaac was 11 years old, her family decided to make the move to America.

“I came to America about five and a half years ago because my dad worked for the US Army as a translator. His boss told him that we should come here because education is so much better, and so we did,” Isaac said. “People think it’s because of the ‘bad environment,’ but it’s a completely different story; living there wasn’t bad. We just got lucky before all the bad stuff happened in our home town and so people think we ran away.”

Of the four languages she speaks, two are more prominent in her life.

“I mostly speak a mix of Assyrian and English at home, especially with my mom because she doesn’t understand a lot of English,” Isaac said.

Being bilingual, Isaac said, comes with benefits that not a lot of students at Shores can say they have.

“Being bilingual is very beneficial because I’m more likely to get into good jobs and I can also travel without being completely lost,” Isaac said. “Plus, I can speak it when I don’t want people knowing what I’m saying.”

Isaac is just one of about 60.6 million Americans who is bilingual. At Shores, there are a select few who get to share the same gift as Isaac.

“I also like being bilingual because it freaks people out when I speak Assyrian, and I love seeing the reaction on their faces,” Isaac said.

While it is all fun and games to see people’s faces when a language they don’t know is being spoken, Isaac said being bilingual is more than just showing it off to her friends; she does it to make a statement.

“I get bullied and made fun of for being bilingual and from another country sometimes, but it is usually the people who are less educated about culture, so I understand,” Isaac said. “They have a lot to learn.”

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