Making the Connection
A language and its cultural context are inextricably intertwined, and "diving into" that language and culture is an essential part of the Global Scholar experience. Baylor encourages students to seek out connections and relationships, whether locally or around the world, that challenge them to become part of a group of people who are a little bit different from themselves.
"It's about connections and relationships. We encourage our students to immerse themselves in another culture and really get to know the people who swim in that water every day."
- Eli Anderson Barrera, World Language Instructor
Baylor’s world language teachers work to foster a curiosity and open-mindedness that will inspire students to travel abroad, even during their high school career. Within the classroom, teachers seek to simulate an immersive environment as much as possible by using the target language from 90-98% of the time, and by designing real-world situations for students to practice their skills, such as ordering from an authentic French menu, using fake euros to "buy and sell" classroom objects at a Spanish market, exchanging messages with pen-pals in Germany, or preparing basic Chinese dishes.
"Although the classes were centered on art, the most impact that the class had on me came from the connections I developed to these kids and my newfound confidence in speaking Spanish outside of the classroom."
- Anika Iqbal '20
Whether it's the community service trip to Jamaica or an eight-week exchange with a student in Dinslaken, Germany, Baylor offers multiple opportunities for "diving in" to another part of the world. In addition to the programs outlined in links on the left of this page, world language teachers offer language and cultural immersion trips to China, France, Germany, Latin America, and Spain during the school breaks and summer months.
"We can not comprehend the world’s intangible complexities in a classroom, and the language and cultural immersion trips allow students to touch other worlds and rely on their new language."
- Creighton Arrington '21
"To immerse oneself is to dive in: to become a part of a group of people who are a little bit different from us. In the process of doing so, our students change and grow." - Eli Anderson Barrera, World Language Instructor
Anika Iqbal '20 offers art classes to young Spanish-speaking students at La Paz, Chattanooga's leading organization in working to empower and engage the Latino population through advocacy, education and inclusion.
"The classes provided both the students and me with an area in which we could learn more about each other and practice our language skills." - Anika Iqbal '20
Advanced Chinese students took tours of the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, the Great Wall, and the Terra Cotta Warriors, and visited a local school in Shanghai where they participated in a cultural exchange program with students.
"This trip gave me much needed perspective and exposure to the outside world." - Creighton Arrington '21