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World Languages

In teaching languages, the World Languages faculty aims to develop those qualities that lie at the heart of all good education: an inquiring mind, a broad-minded attitude toward other cultures, and an interest in the world.

The World Languages Department offers a variety of courses in Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish. All students are encouraged to take a language all four years. Studying two of the four languages Madeira offers is also encouraged. The World Languages Department offers several language immersion and exchanges, find the details under the Global Travel and Exchange Programs page.

Available Courses

Requirements

To fulfill the language requirement at Madeira, a student must successfully complete a Madeira third-level language course in French, Latin, Spanish or Chinese.  

Language Placement

All incoming students take a Madeira language test as part of their placement process. The chair of the Language Department and the academic dean make incoming student placements. Students who transfer to Madeira in tenth or eleventh grade must take at least one year of language even if they place beyond level III. 

Faculty

Tulio Campos, Ph.D.

Spanish Teacher

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Dr. Campos began teaching at Madeira in 2012. He is a native of Lima, Peru where he earned a bachelor's degree from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru in Hispanic Literatures and Linguistics. His interest in literature and creative writing brought him to the U.S. where he earned a doctorate from Boston University in Hispanic Language and Literatures. Before teaching at Madeira, he was a senior lecturer at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. He lives on campus with his wife Melissa and daughter Aurora.

Rita Cooley

Spanish Teacher

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Mrs. Cooley began teaching at Madeira in August 2000. She earned a juris doctorate (J.D.) from San Marcos University in Peru, and a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the American University where she also earned a Spanish/English translation certificate. She serves as sophomore advisor and Spanish Club faculty advisor. Her two daughters are Madeira graduates, Alex ’99 and Susie ’02.

Catalina Keilhauer

World Language Department Chair, Director of Global Initiatives, French Teacher, Spanish Teacher

(703) 556-8335 View Full Bio

Ms. Keilhauer began teaching at Madeira in 1997. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French Literature from Bryn Mawr College and a master’s degree in French from Middlebury College. She has been the head of the World Languages Department since 2007, teaches French and Spanish, and coordinates the language exchange programs. She is a Master teacher and holds the Melville Endowed Chair. Ms. Keilhauer earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016.

Xiaofu Ding, PH.D.

World Language Teacher

(703) 556-8334 View Full Bio

Dr. Xiaofu Ding joined the Madeira World Languages Department as a French teacher in 2014. She most recently worked at the Brearley School in New York City where she taught French and Mandarin to K-12 girls for six years. She graduated from New York University with a Ph.D. in French literature, studied at the prestigious l’École Normale Supérieure (Lyon) and acquired a diploma of advanced studies (DEA) at Paris 8. As an experienced educator with over 15 years of teaching foreign languages, literature, and western civilizations at numerous schools (which include New York University, the New School, the Brearley School), Dr. Ding believes the ultimate goal in education is to teach students how to think critically and creatively. She explained her teaching philosophy by way of a metaphoric analogy picture: she initially shows the young mind the right keys to the right doors, which would guide them to acquire the skills to find the right keys to the doors they wish to open. The ultimate achievement is that they will be able to make their own keys to unlock whatever doors they choose. In her leisure time, Dr. Ding loves outdoor activities, and is an arts, theater, and modern ballet lover. She is excited to join the Madeira community, and contribute to the enrichment of students’ lives.

Paul Bednarowski, PH.D.

Latin Teacher

703-556-8344 View Full Bio

Dr. Bednarowski joined the World Languages department in 2016. He teaches all levels of Latin. He earned a B.A. from The University of Chicago and an M.A. and Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. He has taught at the college and high school levels, most recently at The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland in Baltimore.