Samuel Grose is a recipient of the Summer 2016 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
As a student of linguistics, I’ve been exposed to many languages of the world. Efforts made by linguists working to document endangered languages led to my search for cultures of the world I could help to preserve. Having already acquired Spanish and Portuguese, I observed that a language from a non Indo-European linguistic family might be in greater need of representation. Documentation of non-Mandarin varieties of the Chinese language is my eventual goal, and will likely be carried out as part of a doctorate program in linguistic anthropology. The Global Studies FLAS fellowship enabled me to intensively study second-year Mandarin at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus during the summer of 2016. The long hours of practice in class were immensely beneficial, and improved my reading, writing, and conversational abilities. The foundation of knowledge I’ve gathered, thanks to FLAS support, will be essential for effectively eliciting linguistic and cultural data from speakers of minority languages throughout most of China, and other speech communities around the world. I look forward to continuing my education, and hope to encounter many unique cultures along the way.