To swim and not drown

Anette Folden, a German teacher at the Freshman Campus, shares what it was like to grow up in Germany and why it’s important to learn foreign languages


Michalina Sotka

Frau Annette Folien sits at her desk during AIM at the Freshman Campus on January 13. Folden teaches all four levels of German at both the Freshman and Upper Campuses.

Kennedy Tetour, Managing Editor

A woman walks through the doors of the Freshman Campus, donning knowledge of a completely different life from anyone else there. Her experience helps her to teach students about the German language and culture, as well as what makes life so different across the world. 

This woman, Anette Folden, is a German teacher at the Freshman Campus. She was born and raised in Germany, but ultimately decided to move to the U.S. after meeting her husband, a member of the U.S. army who was stationed in Germany at the time. 

Folden began her college education at Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg, Germany. She later transferred to a school in Hessen, Frankfurt to study English and Biology, which she eventually got her Masters degree in. 

“It’s such a different experience, but I learned there to swim and not drown.” Folden states. 

Folden says that you shouldn’t depend on other people’s knowledge to keep you afloat. Although English is a very common language across the world, Folden says that it’s important to learn other languages in order to connect with the culture behind them. 

“Language is not just words, right?” She said, “There’s so much more to it, there’s so much culture, there’s so much out there for other people to experience to see something besides the bubble we live in.”

She says that in other countries like Germany, it’s incredibly common for students to begin learning foreign languages in Elementary school. Folden says that many German college’s won’t even accept students who don’t know at least two foreign languages. 

“I think languages are so enriching in so many ways. And it’s fun to play with them. It’s fun to experience them.” Folden states.

She says that we’re in an international time. With the connection that the internet brings across the world, it’s important to understand other languages and cultures in order to connect with the people you may interact with. 

“I don’t think we can sit here and be like, ‘we don’t need that’ because I think we’re not doing ourselves a favor. That’s just not today’s world anymore.” She says, “I mean, there’s so many opportunities that if we don’t do something about it, we’re going to miss out. We’re going to be left behind.”

The woman walks through the halls with a purpose. She understands the modern world. She has an opportunity to teach students not only about language, but also about how to connect with the world around them.