A man smiles at the camera against a wooden wall.

The Language Schools are excited to welcome Matthew Guiffré, Assistant Director at the Arabic School

American College of Greece, MA in Applied Linguistics

Niagara University, BA in African Studies

Monroe Community College, Associate Degree


What has been your most exciting adventure so far? 

Fresh out of college, I moved to Alaska and worked at a radio station for two years. That experience changed my understanding of what life was “supposed” to be. Everything was cool: nature, the job, the people, the culture. I got to see moose, polar bears, musk ox, sea ice, the northern lights, crazy fog, days of only sunsets, and days with no sunsets at all. 

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? 


How did you decide to attend the School of French?

I was fascinated by my ESL learners and, as a language teacher myself, I thought it would be beneficial to me to try to put myself in their shoes and experience learning a new language from scratch. 

How did you apply what you learned at the Language Schools?

I was writing my thesis for my master’s degree on the topic of translanguaging, which is when you use your entire language repertoire to learn a new language. I worked with refugees who were living outside of their home countries. They were able to start learning a new language with the assistance of their L1. Being a student at the Language Schools gave me the opportunity to feel the discomfort and vulnerability of not always understanding what was being communicated to me. 

Why did you decide to come back and work for the Language Schools? 

The Language Schools were an extremely impactful experience for me as a student, and I see the benefits that happen for each person as they ripple out into the world after leaving the Language Schools. So, to be given the opportunity to apply to be a part of this community felt really exciting.

What are you most looking forward to as Assistant Director at the Arabic School?

I am looking forward to learning from everyone who works at the school and the remarkable students who come to study here. I am also excited to explore Vermont! 

What do you hope students take away from their summer at the Arabic School? 

I hope they take away lifelong friendships and relationships. 

Apply to the Arabic School here