Language Offerings Expand with Greek, ASL

World+Language+teacher+Courtney+Zsitek+signs+to+a+student+about+the+differences+between+being+deaf+and+hard+of+hearing.

Kayla Alexandre

World Language teacher Courtney Zsitek signs to a student about the differences between being deaf and hard of hearing.

Victoria Berube, Intro Writer

World language offerings are expanding, beginning this summer with American Sign Language (ASL) and then next school year with a full-length Greek course. Although neither course counts toward the language graduation requirement, they both provide students the opportunity to explore new languages apart from romance languages.

“We have this desire in the world language department to prepare students for the world and be global citizens,” World Language Department Chair Vanessa Spallone said.

Current Latin teacher Kyle McGimsey will teach the Greek course. While the Greek course is targeted toward upperclassmen who have completed the Latin courses, it is available for any student interested in taking it. This course explores the studies of ancient Greek culture, teaches reading and writing with the Greek alphabet, and broadens the English vocabulary of the students. According to McGimsey, Greek is currently only being offered at about 300 high schools in America.

“This is not just a course for Latin students,” McGimsey said. “This is a course for anybody who is interested in learning something new, totally different, an ancient language.”

McGimsey learned Greek while going to school for Latin and later branched off to continue the study.

“I decided to go beyond…what I knew by association, and really dived into it and took some courses and have done a lot of self-teaching of Greek,” McGimsey said.

After teaching multiple Latin classes each year, McGimsey is looking forward to the new change of a different language.

“I think [it] will add a little extra energy to my day,” McGimsey said. “And I think it’s exciting to teach students about something that they’ve never come across before.”

Only offered over the summer, ASL will be taught by world language teacher Courtney Zsitek. This will be the first ASL course introduced to the curriculum.

“I think because this is a course that has not been introduced to Trinity yet that it kind of creates a foundation where everybody’s on the same playing field,” Zsitek said.

Zsitek began learning ASL in high school and continued practicing in college, alongside Spanish.

“So it just kind of ended up being my supplementary language and also my primary second language,” Zsitek said.

Although not set in stone, Zsitek hopes the ASL course will be offered during the school year in the future.

“I think that it could be in the works maybe as a second language elective,” Zsitek said.