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Jessica Lawlor

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Roughly three thousand miles separate Peru from the United States, but no distance is too far for Etowah’s newest world language teacher. Leaving her childhood home in Peru, Carmen Hoo-Wolf came to Georgia for a better life. 

Prior to landing in the U.S., Carmen Hoo-Wolf (pronounced ‘who-wolf’) worked as an English professor in PeruTeachers there are paid less than in fully developed countries, so Hoo-Wolf worked at several colleges, seven days a week to make ends meet. The accommodations and technology were less advanced than in the United States.  

Hoo-Wolf’s first job here was teaching Spanish at Kell High School where she learned how to use online learning platforms. Along with technologyshe adjusted to teaching in a more open environment. 

Here, you have a lot of freedom. Over there, you don’t have that type of freedom, and you start to value more stuff,” Hoo-Wolf said. 

While Hoo-Wolf adapted to change in maturity level between high school and college students, she also noticed how different their attitudes were towards school. When growing up in Peru, she was grateful for her education. Hoo-Wolf saw children working every day to do their best in school. They saw education as something that was earned rather than given. She feels like learning languages can introduce Etowah’s students to the culture and customs of people in other parts of the world. 

It will help them in the future to get a job, to learn new culture, interact with other people..there are so many benefits,” Hoo-Wolf said. 

Hoo-Wolf speaks several languages. Growing up speaking Spanish, she learned English, so she could be a teacher. When earning her bachelor’s degree to becoma foreign language teacher, she also became qualified to teach French. Even though Spanish was her first language, Hoo-Wolf had to do additional training once in the U.S., and is working toward her master’s degree in teaching foreign languages. 

I actually want to be multilingual. That is on my bucket list,” Hoo-Wolf said. 

Currently, Hoo-Wolf is using Rosetta Stone, an online language program, to learn Japanese. She finds Japanese more difficult to learn than other languages because it uses a different alphabet. 

“I want my students to learn something new that they could use in the future,” Hoo-Wolf said. 

 As the school year ends, Hoo-Wolf is continuing to spread her passion for language and first-hand experience as a native Spanish speaker to the students at Etowah.