Hola Amici y Bienvenue to Decatur Schule


Languages like Latin have been taught since the 17th century, and for good reason. “Language always sets you apart,” senior Rachel Glasser said.“[Languages] fuel an international mindset and global perspective.”

Sometimes learning a second language isn’t as much of a choice as it is a necessity. Maura Burke works with ‘English as a second language’ students, helping them adjust to and learn English.

She got the idea to do ESL when she began helping a Polish woman. “Her hand was shaking as she wrote in her booklet, and I realized ‘This is really important. I have to do this right,'” she said.

Burke is one of many teachers who understand the bearing of learning a new language. At Decatur, not all bilingual students are in ESL; some merely speak a different language at home, or have been taking it all of their life.

No matter the situation, languages play a large role in anyone’s life, especially at Decatur.

Languages offered: Decatur offers four language classes: German, French, Latin, and Spanish. Students also have the opportunity to take online language courses, such as Russian or Arabic.



Students can also take languages online. Vice principal Rochelle Lofstrand is in charge of helping students sign up with Georgia Virtual School an, online class, not only limited to languages.

Senior Amel Alyamani has taken two years of Arabic. “My dad is from Libya and half of my family speaks Arabic. I always felt awkward not being able to talk to someone,” Alyamani said.

Being able to take languages not offered at Decatur is great, but online classes don’t always fill in for the real thing, Loftstrand thinks. “I think it’s a harder way to take a language, and a harder way to take a class,” Lofstrand said about online classes.

Students like Alyamani have new problems arise. “I have to manage my own time and there’s no teacher talking to me. I get zero interaction with people,” she said.

Alyamani (center) visited her family in Libya when she was young, but had trouble communicating because of the language barrier. Today that’s less of an issue.

Learning Arabic has open up lines from Alyamani to her father, family and future. “I know I can make bank because it’s needed today in places like the Middle East,” she said.



Decatur’s teachers have come here to teach what they love and help open doors for students. “In college you get those classes that make you teach and it’s that interaction with students that gets you hooked up forever,” Spanish teacher Jesus Martinez said. The classes range in size and difficulty, but all widen students’ global views. (https://www.thinglink.com/scene/427141262844362754)

HELLO, HOW ARE YOU? Learn how to greet someone in all the four languages Decatur offers.


These a just a few examples of bilingual students at Decatur, spanning three continents.

Voice Recorder >> Julia Mota is an exchange student with the Council of International Educational Exchange (CIEE) program. From Brazil, she speaks Portuguese, a language similar to Spanish. She is saying “My name is Julia. I am sixteen and my favorite food is pancakes.”














Record music with Vocaroo >> Rolf Terhokoski is a junior and speaks Finnish, learning it alongside English. “I spent second and third grade there plus I go every summer,” he said. “My name is Rolf. I am 16 years old. My favorite food is makaronilaatikko,” he said. Makaronilaatikko is a popular Finnish dish similar to a macaroni casserole.
















Audio and voice recording >>Chloe (Zhao) Binhxin moved to Georgia, from China, in 2012. She speaks Chinese with her mom. She is saying “My name is Chloe (Zhao) and I’m 17 years old. My favorite food is pizza.”