Monday, February 27, 2017

Susan Myers Presents De Gaulle's Speeches at a Teaching Workshop at CCFLT 2017

Dr. Susan Myers, professor of French and Chair of Languages, presented a pedagogical session entitled “Les Appels de Charles de Gaulle” at the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers Conference in Loveland, CO, February 25, 2017. The session presented pedagogical materials appropriate for students in Honors French, AP French, and advanced college-level students and included reading assignments, a listening assignment, discussion topics, and research questions. These activities integrate cultural knowledge, such as the role of Charles de Gaulle during World War II and the values of the French Resistance, and linguistic skill development based on a study of rhetoric and structure of persuasive speeches. During the session, participants discussed how to adapt the lesson for students of various skill levels, how to properly scaffold the activities, which language functions to target for specific skill levels, and what additional study topics for which this lesson could act as a foundation. The session ended with a review of the expansion activities such as presentation and essay topics, a role-playing scenario, a debate topic, and journal writing assignment, and a creative project.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

FRE 211 Intermediate French I Students Share Original Stories

This semester in FRE 211 Intermediate French I, students completed a final project using Storybird. In this story project students had an opportunity to be creative while they demonstrated their abilities in description, narration, and dialogue. Thanks to Megan Moore and Jacob Marlay who are sharing their stories with us today. Enjoy!

Aubrey Churchman Reports on Service-Learning with Glory House

Aubrey Churchman with his Glory House sponsor, Idalbert Joseph
This semester, Aubrey Churchman completed his French minor with a service-learning experience with Glory House. Below is his reflection on his experience.

In order to complete my French minor at William Jewell, I needed to take two level 300+ classes in order to get all of the credits I needed for the minor in this last semester. So, on top of being enrolled in FRE 320 Contemporary Arts & Film class, I was also fortunate enough to be enrolled in an independent study that had be involved with the French speaking community here in Kansas City. For my independent service learning, I’m partnering with the Glory House KC, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping Haitians in Haiti and to help Haitian refugees assimilate into American culture. My sponsor's name and head of the Glory House is Idalbert Joseph, a Haitian man who moved from Haiti to the United States 16 years ago, right before his oldest son was born. 
My duties for the Glory House were mainly in communication and research for supplying the island with clean drinking water. One of the biggest problems Haiti has is they have a shortage of potable water, so a part of my job was to research the cost and effectiveness of Iodine filters that can filter out toxins in undrinkable water and make it potable. As for communications, I was in charge of helping spread awareness of the recent Hurricane that tore through Haiti and to create social media pages that will help the Glory House grow on the internet in the form of an instagram page and a facebook page. 

Our main goal for communications was to attempt to create partnerships with large organizations and benefactors to Haiti so that the Glory House could send aid to the Northwest side of the island, a part of Haiti that receives little to no help from large organizations such as USAID and UNICEF. We’re currently filling out the paperwork needed to partner with these organizations as it is a tedious and long process that often is denied. We’re asking for partners because the Glory House sponsors teachers in Haiti and pays some of their salary. With the recent Hurricane destroying most of the schools, we’ve been in charge of developing a funding account to building a school in Colin, Haiti. Our Gofundme page for the school is doing quite successful and I urge anyone reading this to help benefit a great cause. 

My affiliation with the Glory House has placed me in situations that I couldn’t possibly predict. Being on the phone with representatives from organizations like UNICEF, USAID, and the Global Orphan Project was pretty crazy and I’ll have the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Haiti in March for a week to help rebuild schools, talk to children, and perform any task that they might need help with. Here are some pictures of the school we will be providing funds to and a couple pictures from Haiti itself. 


FRE 111 Elementary French Students Complete Video Projects

This semester's FRE 111 Elementary French I students completed a video for their comprehensive project. In their video they had to use important vocabulary and grammar to accomplish the skills they've been learning, like describing friends and family, talking about their studies and the campus, and describing their activities and plans. Today we're featuring videos by Haley Sloan and Cara Ellman. Thanks, Haley and Cara, for sharing!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

FRE 315 Final Presentations

The final presentations in FRE 315 Introduction to French Studies took place last week. We had two presentations that asked students to share their creativity with the class.

Lydia Hanman's presentation topic was inspired by our study of monuments in remembrance of those lost in the Second World War. Lydia explained to the class how she wanted to highlight solidarity and sacrifice. In her depiction, we see Marianne, a figure of fighting France, holding a laurel wreath in celebration of the solidarity of the two soldiers helping a compatriot who has been wounded. In the background, she drew a wall of remembrance where the names of those who gave their lives would be inscribed. Above her image she chose these verses from Victor Hugo's Hymne to express remembrance and sacrifice:
Ainsi, quand de tels morts sont couchés dans la tombe,
En vain l'oubli, la nuit sombre où va tout ce qui tombe,
Passe sur leur sépulcre où nous nous inclinons;
Chaque jour, pour eux seuls se levant plus fidèle,
La gloire, aube toujours nouvelle,
Fait lui leur mémoire et redore leurs noms!

Lydia Hanman's depiction of her imaged war monument
For her presentation inspired from Paul Élaurd's poem Faire vivre, Jessica McGowan wrote a short poem about the tragedy of war and shares it with us here. We hope you enjoy her wonderful images.

Nous contemplons tristement les tombes rigides
Même si le ciel devient sanglant doucement
Nos yeux sont graves; nos cœurs tournent dans le vide
Les cendres tombent comme neige, silencieusement.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

French Recital Fall 2017

Thursday, December 1, the students of FRE 315 Introduction to French Studies, FRE 320 Contemporary French Literature and Film, and FRE 411 Service-Learning in the Francophone Community participated in our biannual recital.

FRE 315 students presented dramatic monologues based on historical and fictional characters they have studied this semester. Featured today are Erin Allen playing Ismène, from Jean Anouilh's Antigone and Brooklyn Matlock playing Saint-Exupéry from his novel Pilote de guerre.

Aubrey Churchman talked to us about his experiences in service-learning with Glory House, in particular, the work he did for Haiti after the hurricane, but he also participated in the Recital with his classmates in FRE 320. These students had the opportunity to make their own films with the help of Lilia Merdzhanova, our French Assistant. In their recital pieces, they talked about the process and challenges of creating a film and showed a short selection of their film.

Congratulations to all our students who participated!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Lisenby and Wells Participate in the MACHL Conference

Drs. David Lisenby and Robert Wells, assistant professors of Spanish, attended the Mid-America Conference on Hispanic Literature at the University of Kansas in Lawrence on November 4-5. Dr.  Lisenby presented his paper “From the Plantation to the Palenque: Translating Human/Cuban Rights in Gerardo Fulleda’s Ruandi” and Dr. Wells organized and chaired a panel titled “Seeing is Believing? — Cultures of Visibility.” As part of the panel, he also presented his paper, “Hidden in Plain Light: Reframing and Refracting the Mexican Uncanny in Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux.”

Dr. David Lisenby
Dr. Robert Wells