Dr. Tara Sanchez

Phone: (504) 301-2600


Degrees and Certifications:

B.A. Anthropology-Linguistics, Brown University M.A. Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania Ph. D. Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania Teacher Certification Program, Tulane University Level 3 teaching certificate, Spanish K-12

Dr. Tara Sanchez

Dr. Sanchez loves languages!  She speaks four—English, Spanish, Japanese, and Papiamentu (a Spanish-based creole), and has studied others.  Her main interest lies not in a specific language, but in the structure of human language in general (linguistics), and the ways in which humans use language to create social meaning (sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology).  In particular, she has studied language variation and change (dialects, and how dialects and languages change over time), especially in bilingual/ multilingual communities.  She is excited to introduce students to the thrill of learning a second language.  She hopes they appreciate the academic topics, as well as how awesome it is to make the extra effort to communicate in someone else’s language and be successful at it.


Dr. Sanchez has been with St. Bernard Parish Schools since 2013.  She currently teaches Japanese and Spanish, and assists with the Japanese Cultural Club.  The daughter of a teacher and a descendant of Canary Islanders, she is originally from Marrero, in Jefferson Parish.  She was Valedictorian at L.W. Higgins High School.  She then graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, with a B.A. in Anthropology-Linguistics.  She also earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and a teaching certificate from Tulane University.  With the help of a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation, she conducted fieldwork on Papiamentu (a Spanish-based creole) spoken on the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao in the Caribbean.  


Dr. Sanchez has a variety of teaching experience.  She previously taught high school Spanish and Japanese in Jefferson Parish and high school English in Fukuoka, Japan.  She taught various linguistics and anthropology courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Michigan State University, Williams College, New York University, Vassar College, and the University of Virginia.  University-level courses include Intro to Language, Intro to Linguistics, Intro to Sociolinguistics, Language in Society, Language and Culture, Language and Gender, Linguistic Field Methods, Dialects of American English, Fundamentals of English Grammar, Phonetics, Language and the Media, and Advanced Seminars in Pidginization and Creolization, Multilingualism and Language Contact, and Language and Gender.  She has also taught several courses (Spanish, public speaking, linguistics, literature, computers) in both the Upward Bound and Veterans Upward Bound programs of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and GRE prep classes for Kaplan Test Prep Services.  While she very much enjoyed university teaching and seeing the world, Dr. Sanchez is content to be back in the New Orleans area. 


In her spare time, Dr. Sanchez raises turkeys and chickens.  She is a Louisiana Master Gardner. 


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