The Columns

‘Welcome’ in Seven Languages

— by on October 27th, 2016

Every fall, Washington and Lee University welcomes a group of foreign language teaching assistants to campus. This year’s group of seven assistants includes natives of Japan, Austria, France, Morocco, Russia, China and Argentina.

While W&L classes are never taught by TAs, the foreign language TAs do assist during classes. They also conduct language tables over lunch or dinner where students can practice speaking the languages they are studying, and the TAs will spend time this year helping to develop cultural events on campus. Some events in development include a Moroccan tea and a Middle Eastern dance event. Keep an eye on the campus calendar for more information about these events.

In addition, the foreign language teaching assistants are on hand to assist anyone in the W&L community who is planning a trip to their home country, and they help with a study-abroad advising night and orientation meeting each term.

Mark Rush, director of international education at W&L, said the TAs are a valuable addition to campus life for many reasons. He said students who are studying a foreign language benefit from hearing that language in as many different voices and speaking styles as possible.

“They are another voice, literally, that students can hear in the classroom if the teacher wants to do that,” Rush said. “That helps your ear to develop.”

This year’s crop of FLTAs brings an array of diverse experiences and interests to Washington and Lee. Each TA completed a brief Q&A to offer more information about his or her background and hobbies. Click the link to read each one, and please welcome our FLTAs to campus!