Chris Jacobs (Messiah ’11) is currently a language educator at Temple University in Philadelphia. In his teaching, Chris seeks to prepare students to complete real-world tasks by making extensive use of both the latest educational technology and authentic materials prepared for target language communities. He believes in employing a varied approach to reach different kinds of learners, and also works to create a positive, welcoming, and interactive classroom environment. Chris displays a strong commitment to students’ professional and personal development, and is a faculty adviser to the Temple University Spanish Club. His research interests include the use of authentic materials in the language classroom, as well as the effects of the classroom environment on students’ language learning success. In addition to a B.A. in Spanish and a B.S. in biology from Messiah, Chris holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Penn State. He is also currently working toward both a Ph.D. in Spanish (Applied Linguistics) at Temple and an M.A. in French (Pedagogy and Linguistics) at Middlebury College.
While at Messiah, Chris had the opportunity to increase his Spanish proficiency through a variety of courses in Hispanic linguistics and literature. Coupled with his biology major, and the strong general education curriculum, Chris was able to obtain a well-rounded education that has continued to shape him as an individual, both professionally and personally. During his junior year at Messiah, Chris studied at the University of Barcelona, where he took advanced Spanish language, linguistics, and culture classes alongside local students. Through living with a host family, and travelling throughout Europe, he had the opportunity to expand his linguistic and cultural competency. At Messiah and beyond, Chris has learned French, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, German, and Mandarin Chinese.
In addition to a fascination with other cultures, Messiah College had instilled in Chris a strong commitment to service to others, and upon graduating from Messiah, he worked as a medical translator and interpreter (English-Spanish-French) at Mission of Mercy, a free clinic for the uninsured, as well as at the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center, a non-profit legal services organization. While in graduate school at Penn State, Chris taught Spanish at Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania, a language-centered charter school, and also worked for Penn State, providing customized individual and small group Spanish, French, and Italian lessons to university students looking for extra support in their language classes.