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Claudia Prieto knew that she had to make a choice when her husband, Juan Olivo, told her that he wanted to embark on a doctoral program in chemical engineering at Ohio University.

The recently married couple decided that they wanted to stay together and that they would both travel from their home in Mexico to live in Athens, Ohio. That transition was difficult for both of them, but it has been especially difficult for Claudia, as she did not speak English when she arrived in her new homeland.

It has been seven months since the couple began their new journey in America. Not only has Claudia been immersed in a culture much different from that of her home in Mexico, but she has also had to completely reinvent the way she interacts with people.

Claudia understands the difficulty of the task she is up against and how important it is for her future. “I need to communicate with other people here…my first reason is survival,” she says.

Claudia is fluent in her native tongue of Spanish, but had scarce interactions with the English language in Mexico. This language barrier has posed the greatest difficulty for Claudia, and she is meeting the challenge head on.

I need to communicate with other people here… my first reason is survival."


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    > Spanish
    > Spanish Creole
    > Ladino

    Other Indo-European:

    > Germanic languages, such as German, Yiddish, and Dutch
    > Scandinavian languages, such as Swedish and Norwegian
    > Romance languages, such as French, Italian, and Portuguese
    > Slavic languages, such as Russian, Polish, and Serbo-Croatian
    > Indic languages, such as Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, and Urdu
    > Other - Celtic languages, Greek, Baltic languages, Iranian languages

    Asian/Pacific Islander:

    > Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese
    > Hmong, Khmer, Lao, Thai, Tagalog, Pilipino
    > Dravidian languages of India, such as Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam
    > Other languages of Asia and the Pacific such as Philippine, Polynesian, and Micronesian languages
    > Indigenous languages of Central and South America


    > Uralic languages, such as Hungarian
    > Semitic languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew
    > Languages of Africa
    > Native North American languages, including American Indian and Alaska native
    > Indigenous languages of Central and South America


    > Spanish
    > Spanish Creole
    > Ladino

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literacy infographic