About CLRC Modern Language Classes
In addition to a rigorous program of study in Classical Greek and Latin, the Classical Learning Resource Center offers instruction in 6 modern languages — Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Our instructors include native speakers, Ph.D.s, and educators with years of experience in imparting the gift of language to young and old. The goals of CLRC modern language courses are both linguistic and cultural. A wide variety of educational strategies are employed including conversation, writing, audio files, music, grammatical exercises, games and more.
CLRC Modern Languages Instructors
In addition to PhD obtained from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, he has a BA in Philosophy and World Religions from the University of Tennessee, an MA in Early Christian History from Miami Ohio, and MA in Language Teaching and Linguistics from Georgia State University, Atlanta. He now lives in Tennessee with his wife Kaori, and their daughter Aurelia, whom they are raising to be bilingual (English and Japanese).
Mary Danial received her bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Cairo, Egypt. She later received her master’s and doctorate in solid state physics from Cairo University, as well. With over 15 years of experience in teaching physics and math courses for college students, she has also taught engineering courses in renowned institutions like Concordia. Mary is currently tutoring college students in the subjects of math and physics from her home in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Danial has always enjoyed teaching at all levels, from elementary to university. She adapts herself to her audience and goes above and beyond to get the appropriate information through to her students.
Hannah Wegmann received her Ph.D. in Modern French Studies from the University of Maryland in 2018, following a M.A. from UMD and a B.A. from Hillsdale College. Her research focuses on narratives of urbanization within the nineteenth century French novel, exploring ways that the historical phenomenon of migration can function as a theoretical lens to revisit canonical narratives and understand the social, moral, and physical evolutions present. Her other interests include the intersections of art history, religious intertextuality, the history of Paris, and teaching the quirky details of French grammar to students. Hannah lived in France for a semester of college, a year following graduation, and has spent several summers in Paris conducting research, teaching summer courses, and enjoying French culture and history. Hannah has taught a variety of French language and literature courses at the University of Maryland since 2011. Before teaching at the university level, she spent several years teaching at the primary and secondary levels, both in traditional and classical schools. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, son, and daughter.
Miriam Nelson is a German-American living and working in Freiburg, Germany. She grew up bilingual, often traveling overseas. A love of Classical Music, and the German language have been prominent factors in her life and career path. She has more than fifteen years’ experience teaching many age groups, one-on-one and in larger classroom settings. After graduating from a Homeschool K-12 Program, she attended Texas Tech University, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance and a minor in German. Next, she moved to North Carolina to complete her Master’s in Music, often highlighting German poets and composers in projects and performances. Miriam, and her cat Molly, have lived in Germany for more than three years now.
Currently volunteering as a Soprano in the Freiburg Theater’s Opera Chorus, she also assists the group with language and music coaching. Traveling, singing, writing, learning Italian, as well as hiking and photographing the picturesque Black Forest are favorite pastimes.
Sue Ellen Turscak has been a teacher of Great Books, Literature, and Composition at Heritage Classical Academy in northeast Ohio since 2006. Prior to that she taught English for ten years at Western Reserve Academy, an independent college preparatory school, and before that, Russian language and literature at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia.
She earned her A.B. In History and Literature, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1986, and a Master in Humanities, summa cum laude, from Tiffin University in 2009. Her thesis was on the forms of contemporary classical Christian education.
During the summer months, from 2010-2017, she was the director of her own Merely Players Shakespeare Camp, a two-week day camp for 7th grade through early college focused on exploring Shakespeare thematically through performance. In 2013, she was the recipient of the American Shakespeare Center’s Words in Action Award “to deserving teachers to honor their commitment in bringing Shakespeare to life for their students.”
Sue Ellen homeschooled her two children through high school. Her son works as a data scientist for a major consulting firm, and her daughter is a software developer for Microsoft. Sue Ellen resides with her husband and one very grumpy cat in Northeast Ohio, and attends St. Elia the Prophet Orthodox Church. She enjoys reading, cooking, international travel, and all things Russian and Slavic in general.
Anna Shkireva is from Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. She received her MA degree in International Relations from the State University of Nizhny Novgorod and completed her second MA degree in TESOL at the University of New Mexico. Now, Anna is working toward her PhD in Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies. Her main interests are second language acquisition, instructional communication and classroom applications that support the development of students’ interest and persistence. Anna is passionate about teaching and learning foreign languages, sharing Russian culture with students, hiking, snowboarding, running and kayaking. Her next personal goal is to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Shawn Barnett has taught Latin, history, and theology at Immanuel Lutheran School, Alexandria, Virginia, since 2017. Previously, he taught 5th grade at Seven Oaks Classical School in Ellettsville, Indiana. Mr. Barnett has a Master of Arts in Systematic Theology from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, having also studied for two semesters at the Lutherische Theologische Hochschule in Oberursel, Germany. Beginning in the fall of 2021, he will pursue doctoral studies at the University of Hamburg where he has been granted a fellowship in the program Interkonfessionalität in der Frühen Neuzeit. Mr. Barnett is married and has two young children.
Arely Isela Briones Cruz de Mattson currently lives in Texas, but has lived in and traveled to many parts of the world, including Spain, France, Macedonia, and Germany. She is originally from Mexico and enjoys sharing about her ancestral country’s incomparable beauty and cultural wealth. She also fell in love with Spanish culture while living and studying in Madrid.
Ms. Mattson earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Religious Studies and English with a minor in Spanish from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and a Masters in Theological Studies in Religion, Ethics and Politics from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
She enjoys a quiet existence in the company of her family, many books, pets, and flower and vegetable gardens. She also loves camping and hiking and travelling to remote parts of the world. Interesting note – she is currently trying to learn Nahuatl.
Marcella Kerrigan received her B.A. from Hillsdale College, graduating from the Honors Program with a double major in Spanish and English. While at college, she was part of the Spanish Department’s tutoring program. Following graduation, she spent a year teaching English Literature at a bilingual school in Mexico and then worked at an elementary school as a reading aide for struggling students. After her daughter was born she took a break from formal employment but was able to spend a year living in Spain when her husband received a Fulbright Grant to do research in Madrid.
She currently lives in Wayne, Nebraska, where she homeschools her two children and volunteers with a program that provides instruction for community members who are learning English. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking sourdough bread, reading about theology and novels in Spanish and English.
Rima El Chami Zafaran is a Lebanese native speaker, who was born, raised, and educated in Lebanon. She graduated from Balamand University and has taught the Arabic language to a wide variety of age levels for more than 8 years. Rima moved to the United States in 2005. She and her husband, who is a Syrian Antiochian Orthodox priest, have four beautiful children.