From high school Spanish learner to high school Spanish teacher

Matthew Yale’s discovery of career found through love of another language

By Miya Liu

Our new  Spanish teacher, Señor Matthew Yale, said he instantly connected to Spanish when he learned it in high school. 

“I wanted to be serious about it because learning the language is the real passport,” Yale said.

Because he is able to fully immerse himself in other Hispanic cultures, he has a deep appreciation for the language, he said. 

Yale’s Spanish “passport” has led him on an incredible journey throughout his life.  Yale met his husband, an Ecuadorian native, while he was in Ecuador during his time with the Peace Corps, he said. They fell in love and a couple years later, Yale proposed.

“My feelings for him were that strong,” Yale said. “I wanted to be with this person and share my life.”

Yale said he now lives in a bilingual home. His other Spanish interactions, such as teaching students, have also changed him. 

“[I realized] the power of my teaching,” Yale said, “because I’m passing on a language and knowledge that is hundreds of years old.”

Although knowledge is power, there are even more benefits to learning another language, he said.

“Studies have shown that the brain transforms and you utilize more of the brain,” Yale said.

In fact, according to Gigi Luk, associate professor at Harvard, bilingualism is an experience that shapes the brain for a lifetime. 

“It’s all the things we would want for our students,” Yale said.