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Department ofModern Languages and Literatures

Why Major in a Language?

Janna Goebel, Spanish Major, Class of 2009
Lecturer in English as a Second Language

My experience as a Spanish Studies major at Santa Clara University inspired me to pursue a career in teaching English as a Second Language. The Modern Languages professors at SCU emphasize that languages are not simply collections of words, but rather they are tools, which can be used to better understand and empathize with the speakers of those languages. Studying Spanish expanded my worldview and provided me with the opportunity to learn about diverse groups of Spanish speakers. My passion for sharing world cultures as a result of my studies at SCU gave me to the courage to embrace my vocation as a language teacher. In my time as a Lecturer of English as a Second Language, I have been able to identify with the struggles that my students face because I can relate to their experiences as a language learner myself. More importantly, I celebrate the opportunity to unite diverse groups of speakers of other languages and use the English language as a tool for promoting cultural understanding among my students. When I reflect on my degree in Spanish Studies, I can say with confidence that I gained much more than an understanding of the Spanish language while at Santa Clara University.