Redefining Language

Claire Rickly

Ohio State Social Work Intern

Academic Year 2014/15

After registering several new families for English classes and Kids Club, we are thrilled to be kicking off this new year with new faces. Despite the cold weather, we have MANY children and families enjoying Kids Club with us on Tuesday and we have excitedly welcomed these families into the Kids Club family.

I had the privilege of spending some time with one of these precious new children. My new friend is a 2nd grader who has not yet learned English. Although we were unable to communicate with words, we were able to play games together, Blog photomake puzzles and laugh a lot! She learned several new English words and I, in turn, learned several new Arabic words. What was so special about this time was that not even language could keep this girl from enjoying her time at Kids Club. The
time that I spent with this child redefined “language” for me. Language is more than just words. We used gestures and facial expressions to understand each other. We found unique and fun ways to communicate with each without using words. And this situation is not isolated. We have children from many different countries, cultures and languages who find ways to connect with each other aside from their words. I frequently watch children from entirely different cultures who connect through something other than words. They find other commonalities and invent their own new “language” to have fun together.

By the end of my evening at Kids Club, I found that without being able to speak to this child, I was still able to develop a relationship with her. I am already looking forward to spending time with her at the next Kids Club!

At SON Ministries we build up COMMUNITY one respectful, empowering relationship at a time.

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