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Auburn’s multilingual communities provide a robust backdrop for the work of Auburn University faculty members in the College of Education and College of Liberal Arts. Valuing the beauty of these different languages is at the heart of the work of Jamie Harrison, an associate professor in the English to Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, program in the College of Education, and Iulia Pittman, a professor of German in the College of Liberal Arts.

Working with community volunteers and the Auburn Public Library, Harrison and Pittman are committed to promoting and celebrating the sounds of the languages spoken in the Auburn community. One way they do so is through community events such as Multilingual Story Time, an annual community event hosted at the Auburn Public Library on March 16 at 2 p.m.

Community members read stories in a variety of languages during last year's Multilingual Story Time

“Multilingual families deserve to hear their languages being enjoyed and celebrated out in the community,” Harrison said. “We all benefit from knowing about other languages spoken in our community and around the world. An event like this builds bridges between people and helps highlight language as a key aspect of our identities.”

In its third year, Multilingual Story Time includes community volunteers reading stories in different languages, followed by an informal reception. This year’s event will feature 15 different language backgrounds, up from 10 languages offered during the 2022 event. The story-based event is offered each spring and a Multilingual Game Hour is offered in the fall.

“Our dedicated volunteers are members of these multilingual communities and each semester willingly give their time, energy and expertise to read stories and play games,” Harrison said. “We see many of the same families each time and this event has created a much-appreciated space for interaction that normalizes linguistic diversity in our community.”

For more information about Multilingual Story Time, contact Harrison at or Pittman at

Auburn University faculty and community volunteers read stories in a variety of languages during last year's Multilingual Story Time