Choua Lor Xiong
English and Southeast Asian Studies
I attended Edgewood College to get my teaching license in English and also pursued a Master’s Degree in Education TESOL and K-12 ESL/Bilingual Licensing.
In 2014-15 I taught in a charter school, the Hmong American Peace Academy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, teaching grades 6-10 Hmong culture and language. It was an amazing experience because I was able to use my language in a classroom setting.
Hmong is my native language. I wanted to explore more about my language and get a deeper understanding of it. I also wanted to learn more about the Hmong culture, values, customs and religion.
I took Thai for one semester because I wanted to experience the difference between Hmong and Thai. After taking the course, I realized that Thai isn’t that different from Hmong and that the Hmong language borrows some words from Thai.
They helped me value languages more. Languages help us identify who we are as individuals. They also made me love my language so much more and acknowledge my language from the past, present and future.
Hmong Culture Night was a great experience. I got to see many students use the language and saw my parents’ faces light up with happiness because their children were learning and speaking Hmong.
Language is an art made up of oral and written skills. We need to value language and love the language we speak because it makes us who we are in special ways. By learning a new language, it helps us to love one another and acknowledge those who speak a different language.