Members of Loyola’s campus community are already incorporating multiple languages and their appreciation for them into their work. Learn more about their approaches below. To share your experiences, please complete this form.
“Multilingual learners are essential to the success of my classes and the college as a whole. Having a liberal arts education, like the one that Loyola provides, is contingent on being able to include different voices and experiences into the conversation. It is these voices that really help to make a university thrive, now and in the future.”
Victoria Barnett-Woods, Ph.D.
Lecturer-Visiting Affiliate Assistant Professor, English
“In an effort to encourage a multilingual classroom that resembles in some small ways the tremendous and vibrant diversity of Latin America, I teach students how to greet each other in Spanish and Kaqchikel Maya. Thereafter we begin each class by greeting each other in Spanish, Kaqchikel, and English. That sets the tone for thinking about diversity in Latin America and the classroom. I also encourage students to bring their own language skills to class. If they prefer to express themselves in those (or other) languages, I invite them to do so. I explain that we will figure out if we need such expressions translated or not as we go along. That also makes the organic nature of teaching and learning more explicit.
“In many ways, it is productive for monolingual English speakers to experience incomprehension of a foreign language to give them a sense of what it is like to be a Latin American (or other non-English-speaking) immigrant in Baltimore and the United States. The uncertainty of trying to navigate comprehension with imperfect communication is a valuable learning experience.
“I also offer students the opportunity to write their papers and take their examinations in Spanish. In those instances, I explain that while my feedback on grammar and writing style may be limited, I will engage as fully with their ideas, evidence, analysis, and arguments as I do with papers composed in English.”
David Carey, Jr., Ph.D.
Professor and Doehler Chair, History
“At the beginning of every class, I welcome students with enthusiasm and respect, inviting them to share their insights. Students come from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and our class discussions are enormously enriched by the thoughtful, generous contributions made by students who are expert in AAVE, Spanish, Chamorro, Igbo, Akan, and many other languages. Welcoming multilingual students is an important aspect of a commitment to anti-racist pedagogy, and a joy for me and for my classes.”
June Ellis, Ph.D.
“Having multilingual students in the classroom is a great asset. As a literature professor, I try to get my students to pay attention to word choice and to the subtle meanings in a text. Multilingual students are some of my best readers because they’re used to making conscious choices about words rather than taking them for granted.”
Stephen Park, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, English
“Multilingualism is essential to my writing classroom, whether multilingualism across world languages or within versions of English; it is necessary to understanding our writing choices in a broader linguistic context. I like to start the semester by having students evaluate their spoken voice(s) and finding ways to bring them into what they have been taught 'academic' language is. It is always a joy to see the different grammatical structures, vocabulary, and colloquialisms that students can bring to their writing and their analysis of writing, to deepen the personal and cultural context of their work.”
Emily Dillon, M.Ed. and M.F.A.
Assistant Teaching Professor, Writing
“This question of multilingualism is very close to my heart for many reasons and I would be delighted to support our multilingual learners as well as continue to be a voice for foreign language education and ESOL education. This is something that I have worked with for over four decades now. As a native of a small country, learning languages and having an international outlook was an essential part of our upbringing. I am proud of being an immigrant myself and a head of household in which we speak two languages every single day.”
Maiju Wetzel, Ph.D.
Director, Pre-Health Programs