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Of language and barriers

It’s common to hear people having a conversation in another language. You might be intrigued or even bothered by it, since this America, and in America we only speak English. Why should it be that way?

Knowing a foreign language is important and beneficial because it enhances job opportunities, is useful when traveling, and improves our overall verbal skills.

There are a lot of businesses looking to hire those who speak more than one language. Those who speak more than one language get paid more than those who only speak one language. According to Auburn University College of Liberal Arts, “Business skills plus foreign language skills make an employee more valuable in the market place.”

Businesses are most likely to employ those who speak more than one language because they want their customers to feel satisfied with their service and make them feel important.

Knowing a foreign language comes in handy when traveling to another country. Being able to communicate with locals in their native tongue enriches the experience of traveling, just like tourists who come to the U.S. and speak English when they are visiting. Unfortunately, many American tourists travel to other countries and don’t speak a single word of the local language.

Knowing a foreign language can help people improve their native-language skills. When learning a foreign language people learn new sentence structures, like verb tenses. The process helps people improve their vocabulary. It also helps people’s comprehension and communication skills.

Therefore, knowing a foreign language is crucial because every day the world is becoming multilingual and people need to stay up to date with languages to break down verbal barriers.

Jocelyn Paz Mendoza

Santa Maria

Thank you for help restoring Cadillac

On March 9 my father-in-law, John Shuffield, was in a car crash. John was airlifted to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara for treatment of injuries, from which he is recovering. His classic 1959 convertible Cadillac was badly damaged in the crash.

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Our family has been receiving donations to help restore the Cadillac from every direction. The outpouring of support from media as well as the community has been tremendous. Everyone, from car club members who have been going to shows with John for many years, to employers of family members, have offered to help. Our family has been so touched to hear comments like, "John is such a nice man, he's an Orcutt legend," and "Shuffield and his Cadillac are iconic."

James Jepsen, with the committee that organizes the Knights of Columbus St. Patrick's Day car show, even allowed John's grandson, Chad, to tow the damaged car to the car show on March 18 so the family could fundraise in John's honor.

John is currently at Marian Extended Care improving every day. He is strong and we know he will be home soon. We have vowed to restore his Cadillac, no matter what it takes. On behalf of the Shuffield family, we thank you.

Lesly Shuffield