La Salle students often think of 8605 Cheltenham Avenue as a second home, a place where they feel connected, where they understand others, and where they are understood. It is our hope, as educators, that our students leave our campus ready to lead organizations with the values they have learned from their home here at La Salle; that they stand for compassion, inclusion, and respect for others. With languages, our students will not only feel at home, but they will build homes for their communities unbound by geographic or linguistic restrictions.
“With languages, you are at home anywhere.”
British artist and author Edmund de Waal...
But home construction is not easy. Besides the dedication and hard work required of any technical skill, learning a language requires students to express ideas in new, different, and previously inconceivable ways. Students must trigger the imagination of their childhood and constantly adapt their new and swirling knowledge to communicate clear and precise ideas. They must also learn to listen, and deeply so. While studying new vocabulary and language structures, students are also learning to listen to stories of people and places very different from their own, thereby growing their own cultural competency. Though cultivating this skill takes time, it results in a student who communicates with empathy and an understanding of broader cultural contexts.
And we, as the World Language Department at La Salle, have the team to get you home. With a combined 206 years in the classroom, an average of just about 17 years per department member, teaching languages is an essential part of who we are. We understand that learning language isn’t only about drills, homework, and grammar, but that it’s also about sharing stories of our first-hand experiences in places like Vietnam, China, France, England, Ireland, Spain, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Colombia, the list goes on. And despite many years abroad and in the classroom, we continue to be students of language ourselves. We are happy to accompany and guide our students on the lifelong quest to be at home, wherever that may be.