Sandy Shaw

Professor of Modern Languages
On faculty 1976-1985; since 2007





PhD, Cornell University, 1975

BA, Middlebury College, 1967


Professional Interests

I have been teaching French and Spanish at the college or high school level since 1968, when I was a graduate student in Romance linguistics at Cornell. I have always been especially interested in applying the principles of linguistics to foreign language teaching, in order to make classroom learning more organized, effective, and proficient. I like to balance challenging teaching with kindness, encouragement, and patience.


Personal Interests

Since my early childhood I have been fascinated by classical music; I have played the piano and sung in choirs and choruses since elementary school. I am currently singing bass in the Bach Choir of Chattanooga and Choral Arts of Chattanooga, and I still practice the piano regularly.

I love to go walking, hiking, and jogging in the fresh air on Lookout Mountain. I jog along
Scenic Highway frequently, and I go for hikes along the Bluff Trail and in Cloudland Canyon State Park.

I have enjoyed reading all my life; I am presently savoring What's So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D'Souza, The Buried Mirror by Carlos Fuentes, and The Known World by Edward P. Jones.


Professional Memberships

  • American Association of Teachers of French
  • American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
  • North American Association of Christian Foreign Language Educators


Drew Nelson '16 describes some of the highlights of his time at Covenant - including the benefit of studying linguistics, the understanding attitude of faculty, and total immersion in French culture during a semester of study in Aix-en-Provence.

"I’ve always liked studying languages and I love that I get the opportunity to speak in Spanish every day. The professors in my major are great, too. There have been several times when I’ve met with them to discuss my plans after graduation and they’re always willing to give me advice and talk about their experience with continuing their Spanish education after college."
 - Spanish major Holly Randolph '17
Jeremy Mosley and three language lab tutors discuss the benefits of students practicing conversations with native speakers in Covenant's language lab.