• About Rebecca


    One of Our Pillars: Volunteers

    by  • July 9, 2013 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    “Hej! Salut! Wie geht’s?

    My name is Daniel and I’m a volunteer here at the GLN. I work in the Marketing and Communications department, which involves thinking of creative ways to get students more engaged in the GLN community and increasing the GLN’s exposure in the DC area. From writing blog entries to setting up video shoots, there are tons of ways to get involved.

    Volunteering at the GLN has been great — not only am I learning new skills, but I’m also glad knowing that my time spent here is fruitful and helpful for others. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet a bunch of fun people brought together because of their love of languages. It’s not often you get to meet people who have taken Yoruba or Georgian just for kicks.

    I’ve studied several languages myself, both in an academic setting and through self-study. Swedish has been a current favorite, though I find the vast vowel system to be pretty intense, not to mention the weird pitch accent system. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe a bit during my undergraduate years, where I learned that I should have been born in beautiful Vienna (sorry, Chicago!). I can’t wait to get back and explore some more.”

    Хотите изучать русский язык? Meet Susannah!

    by  • July 5, 2013 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Всем привет!

    Hello everyone, my name is Susannah Powell. Neither I nor my family is Russian, but thanks to a wonderful woman named Faina Piven, I have a lifelong fascination with Slavic culture and languages. Along with teaching high school Russian, Ms. Piven was a survivor of the siege of Leningrad, a certified yoga instructor and practiced African dance in her spare time. Also, under hypnosis, she discovered that she was a light bulb in a former life. I learned little grammar or vocabulary from Ms. Piven, but I quickly decided that, if her compatriots were half as eccentrically intriguing as she was, I had to learn Russian in order to get to know them better.

    Two study abroad trips to Moscow, three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine and a year of grad school in St Petersburg just confirmed the unpredictability of Eastern Europe and its people. I spent the following three years as a Russian translator in a very dry, technical field. My new job better fits my personality, but I miss using foreign language on a daily basis. Teaching with GLN helps fill that void.

    Georgian Culture: Not a ‘Southern’, but a Caucasus State.

    by  • May 7, 2013 • Uncategorized • 1 Comment

    I am Georgian and I was raised in western Georgia so I represent the western Georgian culture. I majored both in psychology and linguistics and usually like to connect these two fields. I love animals and feel very strongly about protecting them.

    Why someone should take Georgian over the summer!?- Because Georgian is just as good as any other European languages.Georgian is very interesting language – as many of my students say it is not like any other languages – it has evolved and developed in isolation from other language families and it also has very old unique script which according to new research dates back to several millenniums. There is one fact that very few people know - there are 4 Georgian languages – not dialects, but actual languages - only one of them is officially used for education, but other languages are also spoken and used.

    I actually speak 3 out of 4 Georgian languages which is not very common among Georgians. I am also native in Russian and speak some German, Italian and can read and write Farsi–at least I could at some point! I loooove Italy and Italian culture. I adore french poetry – Francois Viglion is one of my favorite poets ever. I feel very connected to Polish culture and history, and the place where I feel completely at home is Istanbul.

    Favorite phrase in Georgian is “ramdeni enats itsi, imdeni katsi khar” -” რამდენი ენაც იცი, იმდენი კაცი ხარ”- which means you are as many men as many languages you know. So if anyone wants to raise a little Georgian inside them – I want to support that. :) )

    –Anna Petriashvili Pastore


    Meet Ben, Student, Director, GLN-Extraordinare!

    by  • May 7, 2013 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    I have been interested in learning Chinese since I was about 16. I was lucky enough to have a world affairs history teacher in high school who focused on the impact of the rise of China and the other East Asian economies for an entire quarter, and it piqued my curiosity. Two years later, as a senior, I took an East Asian history and culture class, and that got me into Chinese history and culture as well.

    Like a lot of people, I started formally studying Chinese in college, but never had quite the time to devote to it that I wish I had. I have been studying it off and on in the 8 years since. My basic fluency improved a lot during the year I spent in Beijing right after college, but I like to take courses here and there to refresh what I know.

    I have been involved in GLN as a student for about two and a half years, now. I heard about GLN from a friend at GW, and it sounded like a good way to keep working on my Chinese while in grad school. I really liked the classes, and at the suggestion of one of my classmates, who was a director himself, I applied to be the Director of Teacher Support. I have been in that position for about 8 months, and it’s been a fantastic experience. I’ve met some of my best friends through working for GLN.

    My favorite word in a foreign language is naturally from Chinese. It’s “马马虎虎/mama huhu”, which literally translated, means “horse-horse tiger-tiger.” Somehow, this phrase means “so-so,” as in “my Chinese is so-so.” One explanation I’ve heard is that you are saying that something is neither a horse nor a tiger, it is somewhere in-between. It is apparently an intensely colloquial phrase, and while I was in Beijing, locals always found it quite odd to hear a laowai like myself using it.

    Accepting Teaching Assistant Applications for Spring 2013

    by  • November 13, 2012 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Have you studied or lived abroad and want to help others learn a language? Did you grow up learning a language and want to share your linguistic and cultural knowledge with others?

    Then you’re in luck!  The GLN is accepting Teaching Associate applications for the Spring 2013 semester! We will be offering a plethora of languages–chances are if you’re fluent in a language, we’ll likely be offering it! (If we aren’t, we are always looking for new languages to add!) Check out the application here. Deadline to apply is December 2nd.

    Foodie Friday–Chilled cucumber soup!

    by  • July 20, 2012 • Friday Posts • 0 Comments

    Howdy, Lovelys!

    Since this week has been filled with the summer heat, perhaps, today’s post can help you get some refreshing relief…

    Recently, I had a delicious chilled cucumber soup at Zaytinya.

    Even though I do not have their recipe, here’s a yummy alternative:


    • 3 cups plain yogurt
    • 1 large English (hothouse) cucumber, peeled,
    • halved, seeded and coarsely grated, plus 6
    • paper-thin cucumber slices with skin intact for
    • garnish
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
    • 2 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill, plus 6 dill sprigs
    • for garnish
    • 2 cups milk
    • 3 Tbs. white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


    Line a sieve with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the sieve and let drain in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Discard the captured liquid and place the yogurt in the bowl. Add the grated cucumber, garlic, olive oil, mint, chopped dill and milk and mix well. Stir in the vinegar. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Before serving the soup, season with salt and pepper. Ladle into chilled individual bowls and garnish each serving with a cucumber slice and a dill sprig. Serve well chilled. Serves 6. Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Summer, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).


    P.S.  Cucumbers hail from Asia, but do you know which cuisine chilled cucumber soup originally comes from?

    (Have a recipe you’d like to share? Tell us about it and we’ll feature it on a Foodie Friday!)

    Travel Thursday–Vatican!

    by  • July 19, 2012 • Thursday Posts • 0 Comments

    Hello Everyone! Whether the Vatican has a religious meaning for you or not, surely you can enjoy these pictures.  A friend took them while the locals were setting up for the Easter service.  They include shots of the Sistine Chapel, which are prohibited…..  Shhhhh….   (Have a travel story you’d like to share? Send...

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