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Language Exchange JH Goes Virtual

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The Language Exchange JH program connects two people who want to learn each other's language. So, for example, a native English speaker with a native Spanish speaker. In the past they would meet once a week at the library for an hour speaking each language for 30 minutes.

But now, the program has gone virtual due to the pandemic. And Lina Collado, who helps coordinate it, said they've gotten more applicants this year than expected. She said it allows people to find a community to practice a language.

"You're automatically always going to gravitate to the people that speak your same language...people you meet from your community," said Collado. "And our program, the most incredible thing about it is that you branch out, it forces you to branch out, and it forces you to meet people that you naturally would not meet and speak another language."

Collado said there are not many other opportunities to practice second languages in Teton County. One other opportunity in the area is Spanish or English at Central Wyoming College.

"So language exchange is a great opportunity for someone to be able to polish those skills, to not be scared to make mistakes in that language that they're trying to learn because of the safe environments," she said.

Collado said currently the program consists of English and Spanish participants but they have participants who are interested in French, Italian and Turkish. Language Exchange JH started almost five years ago as a partnership between Central Wyoming College, Teton County Library and the Teton Literacy Center.

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