Orlando Language Exchange Celebrates 2 Years of Fostering Multicultural Connections
— Central Florida group offers locals opportunity to learn, meet fellow language enthusiasts —
ORLANDO, FL – February 26, 2019 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – Orlando Language Exchange (OLX) is set to welcome the local Central Florida community to its second anniversary celebration on February 28th at Redlight Redlight.
Founded in February 2017 by Puerto Rican Giovanni Bravo Ruiz, the organization is composed of a multicultural and multilingual group of people from all walks of life, from all over the Central Florida region. Through monthly meetup events for different languages, members learn and practice languages in a casual setting while engaging in meaningful social interactions with others on a variety of topics. Additionally, OLX hosts a monthly “General Assembly” at a popular Orlando-area venue where all members can meet, socialize, and share experiences.
“Developing the framework of OLX started as a whim,” said OLX founder Giovanni Bravo Ruiz. “I simply wanted a space where I could practice the languages I learned academically without the academics. A space within the community since many of us can’t afford to go abroad, and in a welcoming social setting where people can connect through language, forge friendships and strengthen the bonds between Orlando’s diverse communities,” Bravo Ruiz added.
A partnership with Duolingo, a free language-learning platform, has allowed OLX members to further expand their affinity for languages through language-specific group events.
“In many cases, language learning ends after high school graduation and many people never enter a foreign language classroom again. However OLX, in partnership with Duolingo Events, provides a space for learners of all ages to flex their foreign language muscles in a supportive environment,” said Daniel Roberts, OLX Resource Director and German Duolingo Events Host.
OLX attendees say they’ve benefited from their participation at events on both educational and social levels.
“I was a Chinese Au Pair in the states. I didn’t have any friends in Orlando at the beginning and I didn’t even know where I can go to meet people,” Bing Hua Liu, former OLX team member, said. I am a people person, and at that time, I was really desperate to meet other people and make some friends. [I am grateful] that I found OLX and met Giovanni. All the people I met at OLX were really friendly and nice. When I saw the passion, energy, and the love of language from them, I wished I could be a part of it. I met so many people and made a lot of friends from OLX. That’s one of the best parts of my life in Orlando,” Hua Liu said.
The fact that OLX was founded by a group of Latinos in Central Florida is another factor that attracts people to their monthly events, considering the rapidly-changing demographics in the region.
“An organization run by minorities who are mostly Puerto Ricans is something that needs to be highlighted here in Central Florida,” said OLX founding member Jochy Cora-Santiago. “It is a place to share ideas, network among professionals, and most importantly, practice the language you started learning in high school.”
Of course, part of the attraction to OLX is that anyone can join, from any educational or cultural background, with any degree of fluency in a specific language. From beginners to native speakers, every language learner and enthusiast is welcome.
“It has been very exciting to see how much this community has grown in Orlando in the past two years,” Melvin Perez, OLX Outreach Director and French Duolingo Events Host. “I am humbled by the many connections that have been made and how much language-learning has flourished. It makes me proud to see how much diversity and openness Orlando has, and I am glad that OLX is a part of this journey.”
Read on for more information about OLX’s 2-year anniversary event.
What: Join Orlando Language Exchange for our 2-year anniversary!
There will be a photo booth, amazing local organizations, food, and activities.
- Show up; no sign-up required. It’s free.
- Choose stickers with flags on them that identify the languages you know and are learning
- Look for people who know the languages you want to learn, or are learning, and try to have a conversation.
- Have a great time!
When: Thursday, February 28th from 8 to 11 p.m.
Where: Redlight Redlight
2810 Corrine Drive
Orlando, Florida 32803
About Orlando Language Exchange:
Orlando Language Exchange (OLX) hosts monthly events in Orlando that seek to connect language enthusiasts, linguists, and language learners in a social environment that fosters meaningful interactions and active learning. Research proves that practicing a language in a social setting provides learners with a richer, natural learning experience. Moreover, by making meaningful connections with learners and speakers our motivation for learning is increased.