Woman Starts School to Help Break Language and Culture Barriers in Danville

Danville,VA - Being bilingual has its benefits, like being more marketable when it comes to finding a job.

Silvana Miller from Danville is using her multi-lingual skills to help anyone who wants to learn a new language.

Miller started Sur Language and Culture School. They teach five different languages. Miller is also using her skills to help the city break language barriers.

Born and raised in Uruguay, Miller has always been around different languages.

"Almost everyone that's from Uruguay knows Portuguese because of Brazil. I took four years of English back home, but I learned most of my English here in Danville," said Silvana Miller, President of Sur Language and Culture School.

On top of that, Miller knows Spanish, French, and Chinese, and wants to spread her passion for language to folks in Danville. In April, she opened Sur Language and Culture School.

Miller has five certified teachers who help her out.

"We start with cards and then we start with vocabulary and memorizing and then we slowly start doing sentences," said Miller.

She'll also be working with the city's Economic Development Office to help break language barriers with the many international companies moving to Danville.

"If we don't have someone that can help with interpretation, we can't communicate effectively with each other," said Jeremy Stratton, Director of Economic Development for the city of Danville. "It's helpful when you've got someone there that can understands the culture and can help you be more business-like with them."

Miller's team also works with the Danville Parks and Recreation after school program. She said the best time to learn a language is when you are young.

"I think it's a good opportunity, they're not just learning a language but they're learning the history behind the language," said Shanette Jenkins, Out of School Program Director for Danville Parks and Recreation.

Miller said it takes about three months to learn the basics of language. Her school caters to adults and children.

If you'd like to sign up for a class, call Sur Language and Culture school at (434) 429 6667

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