Knight Spotlight: World Languages


Maria Ferrari, a Spanish teacher, began her teaching career in 1996. She earned her degree in Spanish from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also is a Portuguese teacher. She earned her degree in Portuguese from Universidade Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has taught students from all over the world (Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Chile, Germany, Holland and Japan). And she has an International Certification in Spanish from Universidad de Salamanca, Spain. In addition to her teaching duties, she helps in the International Club.

“I think that the Food Lesson helped students learn the Spanish words for different types of food. Students create their own plates of food. This year we cooked a healthy breakfast (desayuno), snack (merienda) and smoothies (licuados). Also, we do different role play real-life situations in which they would have to use Spanish food words. We went to a Mexican restaurant, and they asked for their food in Spanish, it was a good practice,” said Ms. Ferrari in describing some of her favorite parts of an instructional unit.

Allison Poock, a French teacher, began her teaching career in 1991. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in French from Meredith College and also studied at l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne in France. Mrs. Poock later completed requirements for Spanish teacher licensure from North Carolina State University. In addition to her teaching duties, she coordinates the junior/senior prom and is a faculty adviser for the International Club.

“I enjoy lessons created around thematic vocabulary units in French. One lesson I enjoyed this year was a unit “Quand j’étais jeune” when we talked about activities students used to do when they were in elementary school. A lot of the vocabulary focused on playground activities and watching cartoons. It was interesting and enjoyable to hear students reminisce about different television shows they enjoyed watching as kids (some of the shows they mentioned were even ones I watched as a kid). Everyone seemed to have good memories of childhood experiences.  I think lessons like this are important to help students use the language in a meaningful way, and it also helps build a rapport with one another,” said Mrs. Poock in describing an enjoyable lesson.