Meet Your NILA Board: Communication Chair Will West

Will West NILA Communication ChairWill West, Communications and Program Chair
French Teacher
Lincoln Public Schools

What was your motivation to become a language teacher?
My high school French teacher, Toni Theisen, motivated me to become a French teacher. Her class was a place where everybody belonged…’honor yourself’ was a mantra that we heard over and over. I believed that being a teacher, like Toni, would be the best way to honor her.
In five words or less, describe your classroom approach.
Give learning power to students
What power do you find in speaking another language?
As a teacher of world language and culture, and a speaker of several world languages, I find power in the ability to communication with other people. I find power in seeing other cultures as part of who I am – not just being an American from a square state, but a citizen of the international community. When I think of the opportunities that I’ve had because I’m not mono-lingual, I cannot even imagine where I would be right now with them! But, my favorite part is the ability to relocate. I don’t say “travel” or “visit”, because when you speak another language, and you understand and participate in the culture, you don’t visit, you live!