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Featured Bilingual Bronco: Zachary Zaleski, Spanish Major

Photo of Zach Zaleski

What do you like about the Spanish Program at Boise State?
I appreciate how immensely student-focused and supportive the teaching faculty were at all levels of the program. I feel like they matched and encouraged my learning intensity and I really do owe a lot of my success to the quality of professors in the program. They also do really well at making the language learning experience a very human one; that is to say their social and cultural knowledge elevated the classes and extracurriculars to another level.

How has learning Spanish impacted your view of the Spanish Speaking world?
Obviously with some 500+ million Spanish speakers in the world there are some incredibly diverse and wide-ranging cultures and subcultures across the entire globe. I think a lot of the power associated with learning a language, and perhaps specifically Spanish in this case, is understanding the varying sociopolitical spectrum people come from not only in the United States but other countries as well. Seeing how other people in other languages and cultures deal with injustice and other social issues is always empowering and inspiring to bring about meaningful change in the world.

Has learning Spanish helped you in other aspects of your life? What are some benefits to learning Spanish?
Knowing Spanish and a few words/phrases in other languages really helps me connect with other people on a personal level, and native speakers of other languages are always very appreciative and grateful when the effort is put in to learn about their culture and language. It’s also a fun mental puzzle to figure out the various linguistic challenges that present themselves across different languages.

What advice do you have for incoming World Language students?
Go to class!