Alumni Highlight Importance of Language Study

Two Hackley alumni visited Hackley Chinese language students and shared insights into the benefits of learning and speaking Chinese.

AJ Cortese ‘14 studied Chinese at Hackley for seven years, beginning in sixth grade as a member of Hackley's inaugural Chinese class in 2007, and continued to study the language in college. A.J. moved to China after college, and visited with Hackley Chinese V and AP classes to talk about his experience learning Chinese and living and working in China. AJ shared how beneficial it has been for him to be a Chinese speaker in his personal and professional growth. He also emphasized how important it is to continue with the language study. It was great to see how far Hackley’s language program can take you and how you can become fluent if you decide to pursue it after high school.

Roy Erickson ‘03 studied Spanish and Latin at Hackley, but then pursued Chinese in college and mastered the language when he moved to China and lived there for seven years. Speaking with Hackley AP Chinese students, he demonstrated that it is never too late to start studying Chinese. Roy also shared enthusiastically with the students about the way he studied characters, which involves breaking the complex symbols into smaller, meaningful pieces. His share inspired many students to look at characters from a different perspective and learn them in a fun and effective way. It was great to see a Hackley alum be so comfortable in a language that it is so different than English.