ARMONK, N.Y. – When Byram Hills parent Becky Molloy visited H.C. Crittenden Middle School this week to talk to a seventh-grade exploratory class, her introduction was all that was needed to get students’ attention.
“I am a counter- terrorism intelligence analyst and work as a consultant for the CIA and FBI,” she said, standing in front of Arabic script written on a blackboard. Students were left with dropped jaws and plenty of questions. Molloy’s explanation was the main reason for her visit.
“You can really do cool things when you learn a foreign language!” she said.
Molloy spoke to groups of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students as part of the district’s World Languages Week activities.
Her talk about the Arabic language was designed to introduce students to non-Romance languages and “to show students that it’s important to expand horizons and learn to accept differences,” World Languages chairman Melissa Stahl said.
Parent Kerri Lowe said Molloy’s talk made a huge impact on her daughter, Siobhan.
“I've never seen her so excited academically,” she wrote in an email the next day to Ms. Stahl. “She was still talking about it this morning!”
Molloy, who also speaks Hebrew, also visited the school earlier this year to talk to sixth-grade linguistics students about Hebrew.
Other visitors promoted German, Chinese, Russian and American Sign Language as part of the push to promote foreign languages.
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