National Learn a Foreign Language Month 

Max O’Connor , Staff Writer

December is National Learn a Foreign Language Month! Join me on a series to learn more about why MPA puts so much emphasis on language learning by interviewing our language teachers. Today’s interview is with Madame Blue, an Upper School French Teacher:  


What was your journey with learning languages? 

My father was a language professor, so language has always been a part of my life. When I was about six my father took a sabbatical from Hamline University, and we went to live in Cameroon in West Africa. My parents sent me and my brother to school in French, so we just started learning French through immersion. I don’t remember having a feeling or an opinion about it, it was just a part of my life. We came back to the US after two years and I didn’t study language again until I was in high school, but again language was just part of the household. When I started studying French in ninth grade, it just came back to me even though I hadn’t studied it. I just loved it, speaking another language, understanding another language, and the more I studied, the more I loved it.  

Why should MPA students learn another language? 

I think learning another language teaches you about other cultures, about the world. It can also teach you a lot about your own language and make you a better English writer and speaker because you understand the structure of the language better. Beyond that, even if you’re never going to use French or Spanish in your life or your career, having that ability to look at things from multiple perspectives that language gives you is a really great skill to have in all situations. It’s a different way of thinking. I think it’s really valuable to have as many ways of thinking available to you as possible. It keeps your mind bright and lively and agile.