Thursday, December 17, 2009

FRE 320 French Women Writers

I have had the great opportunity to teach French Women Writers this semester to our advanced French students. This literature course covered narrative expression from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Students had the experience of reading Chèvrefeuille by Marie de France, two "nouvelles" from Marguerite de Navarre's L'Heptaméron, La Princesse de Clèves by Madame de Lafayette, George Sand's Indiana, Colette's Chéri, followed by Élise ou la vraie vie by Claire Etcherelli. Our last novel was Kamouraska by Anne Hébert, our visit to Québécois literature. We studied narrative style and genre developments in the novel. Our class discussions focused on women's expression of their experiences in relationship to themes of transgression and tabou. The class also had the opportunity to research a French female figure of their choice and learn about her life and contributions, which they presented at the Recital. I congratulate the FRE 320 students this semester for their willing participation and their insightful understanding that made this class so successful.

Christmas in Martinique: News from Britney Holtgrewe

Britney is learning all about Christmas in Martinique as she teaches English in the collège in Martinique. She helping the students speak English by conversing about books, pictures and songs. For the lycéens, she's reviewing an important book that they will have to know to pass the baccalauréat test. She's thrilled her family is visiting her and that the weather, while still hot, is sometimes very agreeable when the wind blows in from the water. Here's what she has to say about Christmas in Martinique: "Ils chantent en créole et mangent beaucoup de la viande (je suis une vegeterienne et donc je ne profite pas!) et boivent du rhum et une boisson qui s'appelle Shrub, c'est le rhum et l'arome orange. Il n'y a pas le meme esprit du noel ici comme aux Etats-Unis. Pas beaucoup de decorations ni la musique de noel. Ici la grande fete est le carnaval!"

Joyeux Noël à tous!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Languages Department Recital

December 2, 2009 marked the Languages Department Recital. Hosted every semester by the Languages Department, the recital gives advanced students in languages the opportunity to present creative works or research projects to their colleagues in a formal setting. This semester, students in Introduction to French Studies: World War II presented dramatic monologues based on historical or fictional characters they encountered in their studies, while those in French Women Writers researched contributions by significant French women and presented their findings in either a formal presentation with PowerPoint or in a round table discussion with Marion Moreau, our French assistant, as the interviewer. Students in Introduction to Hispanic Civilization presented skits based on modern-day renderings of issues covered in their studies. Congratulations to Chriska François, whose dramatic monologue was chosen for this blog for her clarity of French and dramatic representation of Antigone, from Anouilh's play of the same name and to Brittany Duncan, whose round table interview as Catherine Deneuve showed great ease in the language.

Chriska François

Brittany Duncan

Monday, November 9, 2009

Britney Holtgrewe, French '09, in Martinique

I was so glad that Britney Holtgrewe, one of our French majors who graduated May 2009, corresponded with me last month. Britney is enjoying her teaching assistantship through the French Embassy in Ducos, Martinique. She is teaching English in this small town not far from Fort-de-France to lycéens and collégians (junior and high school aged children). She is adjusting well to the martiniquais accent and her students seem very sweet. While the weather is hot, it's very beautiful there, though this time of year, it rains 15-30 minutes a day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Diana Ranchal, Spanish Assistant

Desiree Marmon, Psychology and Spanish Education major, interviewed Diana Ranchal, our Spanish Assistant for 2009-2010.

This year's Spanish lab assisant is Diana Ranchal Fernandez. Diana is from Cordoba, Spain. She graduated from the University of Cordoba in 2009 where she majored in translation and interpretation. She plans on getting a Master's degree in international relations. During her free time she likes to be outside, hanging out with friends, dancing, and reading. She has been enjoying her experience at Jewell. The food was better than she had expected. In the beginning she did have troubles finding activities to do on the weekends. While she is in the United States she plans on traveling to St. Louis, California, New York, and Miami.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Marion Moreau, French Assistant 2009-10

Aimee Smolczyk, French major, would like to present Marion Moreau (on Aimee's left in the picture), our French Language Assistant for 2009-10. Here's what she learned about Marion after their interview:

Marion Moreau, 27 years-old, is our new French language assistant. She is extremely qualified, as she has been teaching students of all different ages for quite awhile, even in Senegal. She is simultaneously studying to receive a Master’s Degree in Education and a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Nantes; this is her fifth year of study. After she earns her degrees she might like to return to Africa to teach French and English, because they have a real shortage of qualified instructors. Marion has taught students of all ages; despite this, she reports no age preference. She just wants to help children!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Visitors from Quebec in Intermediate French

We had a lot of fun in Intermediate French, I, last week. The students in the course interviewed M. et Mme Robert Mance, natives of Montreal, about Quebec and specifically culinary customs and traditions in Quebec. The Mances described traditional Quebecois foods, such as poutine, tourtiere and tarte au sucre, but the students were particular fascinated by their description of their travels in Africa. They liked hearing about how their hosts beheaded, dressed and cooked a chicken in their honor (and Mme Mance is vegetarian), and about how the only Quebecois restaurant in west Africa served Cheez Whiz on the poutine--a culinary horror in their eyes.

Our whole course is built around interviews with native speakers. The students listen to recorded interviews with French speakers from around the world, then each unit of study culminates in an interview they conduct with guests invited to the course.

Rebecca Killam's travel blog from Japan

Rebecca Killam, a self-designed International Business and Japanese major, would like to share her travel blog with you at the following link: Please stop by her log and say hello and see her many adventures learning to get around Tokyo and waiting out typhoons.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Joy Mason's Study Abroad Journal

The Center for Cultural Interchange has published part of Joy Mason's journal that she kept while studying in Antibes, France, this summer. Joy won a Hall Summer Enrichment Grant that allowed her to pursue her study of French towards the completion of a French major at Jewell. Congratulations, Joy! To see her journal, use this link:

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Middle Ages at South Valley Middle School, Liberty

Friday, October 2, Dr. Susan Myers visited the seventh grade classes of South Valley Middle School, Liberty School District for a presentation on the life and times of the Middle Ages. Mrs. Marie Goeglein's social studies students were attentive, curious and polite! They enjoyed the pictures and discussions on clothing, castles, churches, music, festivals and warfare and games. They asked great questions and enjoyed drawing a fortress's dungeon and learning about its role in protecting the noble family in times of siege. Dr. Myers enjoyed her time with the SVMS students. Thank you, Mrs. Goeglein and students! (Picture: Mrs. Goeglein and Caitlin Myers)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Perfume Creation Event

During Orientation Week-end, the Languages Department hosted a Perfume Creation Event. First year students had the opportunity to make their own perfume to take home with them, meet the faculty and ask questions about classes, majors and study abroad. The department welcomed about 15 students to the occasion. We are happy to introduce Dr. Jennifer Colón as the new Spanish faculty to the department as well as Marion Moreau and Diana Ranchal as language assistants.


Welcome to the the William Jewell College Languages Blog for faculty, students and alumni of the Languages Department of William Jewell College to maintain relationships and contacts of the Department's friends and to share departmental news.