This week, we are sharing the success of a young man named Zubair Farooqui who achieved the Seal of Biliteracy and has found great success in his life as a result. Zubair comes from an Indian-American family. As a child, he was exposed to many languages because both his parents spoke multiple languages. For him, this sparked an early interest in learning languages. He decided to take Spanish classes in 7th grade and has been studying the language ever since. As a student currently in medical school, he continues to learn the language!
Zubair first learned about the Seal of Biliteracy during high school. His teacher, Mrs. Linda Egnatz, was in the process of introducing the Seal of Biliteracy to the State of Illinois. He was part of the first batch of students that received the Seal of Biliteracy in Illinois.
Zubair believes that achieving the Seal of Biliteracy was a simple process and recommends that all students achieve the seal. He took 5 years of classes in Spanish, and after this, did well on his AP exams, which helped put him on the path to achieving the Seal of Biliteracy. He thinks that the most beneficial part of achieving the seal was proving that he was biliterate, which meant that he was proficient in not only speaking Spanish, but also writing in Spanish and reading in Spanish.
The Seal of Biliteracy has made me realize that language learning should not be limited to the classroom. It has pushed me to use my language skills outside the classroom. Using language in an authentic, real-world setting truly helps a person learn a language. I have used Spanish at work several times and have told employers that I have the Seal of Biliteracy, which is always a plus! It serves as proof to my employers that I am biliterate in English and Spanish
Zubair is currently a medical student at Midwestern University. You can oftentimes find him studying at the library. One might think that a medical student may not need to use Spanish in their lives, however, this is not true.
In a patient setting, Zubair uses his Spanish to speak with patients who are more comfortable speaking in Spanish. He has used his skills in Spanish as a pharmacy technician and a Certified Nursing Assistant.
I hope to use my skills in Spanish to work in the Latino community, which is known to be medically underserved. One of the main reasons behind this is the lack of doctors who speak Spanish. I hope to bridge that gap by serving the community