Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fall 2010 French Recital

 The Fall 2010 French Recital took place on Thursday, December 2. Students from FRE 315 Introduction to French Studies performed their very first recital pieces, dramatic monologues in which they portrayed historical and fictive characters from their cultural study of the French experience of the Second World War. These characters included children from the movie Jeux interdits, figures of the Resistance such as Lucie Aubrac and Gabriel Péri, for example. Students from FRE 320 French Short Story and Composition performed an original sketch based on Guy de Maupassant's short story, Aux Champs. Their sketch depicted two women whose friendship became strained after one allowed a rich family to adopt her son for a monthly allowance.

Elsa Richardeau, the department's French Assistant, and Dr. Myers would like to highlight this semester two students from FRE 315 whose first recitals are great examples of student achievement.

Rosemary Loehr portrayed Lucie Aubrac, inspired from the movie based on her life and Lucie Aubrac's later years in humanitarian work. Rosemary spoke clearly, knew her material well and immersed herself in her character, a woman who would dare anything and risk her own life to save her beloved husband.

Brianna Swift portrayed Paulette from the movie Jeux interdits. Brianna, whose French was also fluent and whose material was well communicated, captured Paulette's youth, her feelings of abandonment and need of social support, as well as her need to understand the death as she experiences the loss of her parents and her pet dog.

Congratulations to all our students who performed so well. The Recital was well-received by all French students and their faculty.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Arabic Area Studies Minor Approved

At this week's meeting, the Jewell faculty voted to approve the proposed Arabic Area Studies Minor. Students pursuing the minor will have completed the intermediate sequence (both Intermediate Arabic I and II) and then study abroad in Rabat, Morocco. While in Morocco, students will study language and culture during their immersion experience. The Languages Department is proud to add Arabic to our list of minors. Students at Jewell can pursue a minor in every language we offer on campus: Arabic (Arabic Area Studies minor), French (French minor), Greek and Latin (Classical Humanities minor), Japanese (Japanese Area Studies minor), and Spanish (Spanish minor).

Downtown Rabat

Monday, December 6, 2010

French Evening Movie and Chocolate

French Evening
Movie and Chocolate
Thursday December, the 9th in Jewell 225 at 7:30 pm
We will watch the movie “Asterix et Obelix contre Cesar” and eat some chocolate we do in France during Christmas time.

Asterix or The Adventures of Asterix is a series of French comic books written by René Goscinny. The series first appeared in French in the magazine Pilote on 29 October 1959. As of 2009, 34 comic books in the series have been released.
The series follows the exploits of a village of ancient Gauls as they resist Roman occupation. They do so by means of a magic potion, brewed by their druid, which gives the recipient superhuman strength. The protagonist, the titular character, Asterix, along with his friend Obelix have various adventures. The "ix" suffix of both names echoes the name of Vercingetorix, a historical Gaul chieftain. In many cases, the stories have them travel to various countries around the world, though other books are set in and around their village. For much of the history of the series (Volumes 4 through 29), settings in Gaul and abroad alternated, with even-numbered volumes set abroad and odd-numbered volumes set in Gaul, mostly in the village.
The Asterix series is one of the most popular Franco-Belgian comics in the world, with the series being translated into over 100 languages, and it is popular in most European countries.
Plot of the movie with details. So don’t read everything if you don’t want to know everything:
Julius Caesar is celebrating his victory over all of Gaul, but Lucius Detritus has kept from him the setback that one small village is holding out against the invaders. Detritus travels to the garrison near the village where Crismus Bonus, the garrison's commanding Centurion, explains that the Gauls have a magic potion brewed for them by their Druid which makes them invincible. Detritus decides he must capture the potion for himself, and hearing that the clever Asterix and permanently invincible Obelix are the backbone of the Gaulish forces, attempts to eliminate them, though his first attempt fails.
A false soothsayer arrives at the village and predicts the arrival of Romans and treasure; despite Asterix's protestations, the village is taken in and when a Roman tax collector arrives, they drive off his forces and take the gold. The "soothsayer" later drugs and hypnotises Asterix to create a diversion while he makes off with the tax money, but news of the theft reaches Caesar, who comes to the garrison himself, demanding the legion attack. He witnesses the defeat of his army and is taunted by Asterix and Obelix; he demands Detritus subdue the village or be fed to the lions.
Detritus disguises himself and some men as Druids and kidnaps Panoramix (Getafix) as he is attending a Druid conference. Asterix disguises Obelix as a legionnaire, and they enter the garrison to rescue the Druid, but are separated. Asterix joins Getafix in the dungeon, and the pair resist Detritus' demands to make the magic potion until he tortures Idefix (Dogmatix). Detritus uses the potion to throw Caesar into a cell (locked in an iron mask), and takes command with an oblivious Obelix as his bodyguard. Eventually Obelix helps Asterix, Getafix and Dogmatix escape, and they also bring the prisoner in the mask.
Caesar makes a deal with the Gauls to help him defeat Detritus, who mounts an all-out attack on the villagers using his own magic potion.

French restaurant

What a beautiful day to go out and taste french cuisine!

Saturday december the 4th, some students studying french and their french assistant went to "Café des Amis", a french restaurant in Parkville.
In a room decorated with paintings of Paris, they tasted snails, crepes and french cheese while listening to french music and speaking in french to the waiter.
They also appreciated the french bread and good dessert like the "crème brulée" and the "mousse au chocolat". Then, after a very good french coffee, they finally went back to the campus with I hope the feeling they had been in France for a while.
I would like to thank everyone for coming. It was a pleasure to spend time in France with you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Elsa Richardeau, French Assistant 2010-2011

Cassie Dinges

Cassie Dinges, FRE 211 student, introduces Elsa Richardeau, William Jewell College's French Assistant for the academic year 2010-2011:

Elsa Richardeau, French Assistant

            There are a plethora of creatures in the animal kingdom. From fierce lions, playful monkeys, graceful deer, each species is associated with certain characteristics; personality traits that we often see in ourselves.
Struck by the slightest pang of imagination, children and adults alike have often contemplated where they could see themselves in the world’s seemingly infinite catalog. Elsa Richardeau, French lab assistant here at William Jewell College, says, while passing up all others, she would be a bird.
            Elsa, who is from L’Aiguillon sur mer, France, is currently studying and teaching at the College. Having been in the country a few months already, she is quickly adjusting to life in the United States. Free from the assumption that we could eat burgers, fries, and an ice-cold Coke at every meal, Elsa feels like she is starting to understand the United States’ culture.
            Trying to grow an appreciation for peanut butter—“French people do not like to mix salty and sweet things a lot,” she assured me—is one cultural thing she has grappled with. She much prefers the sweet chocolate and hazelnut spread, Nutella. As far as our cuisine goes, she misses “real French baguettes,” our version is too sweet and not crispy enough when you bite into it.
Not all of our baked goods pale in comparison, though. She informed me that our cookies are much better than the ones back in France. The cookies in the United States are softer and much sweeter than the ‘cookies’ she is used to eating. (No one tell her that the biggest name in chocolate chips in the U.S. manufactures their chocolate in Switzerland. I like victories, even the small ones!)
Elsa left a lot to come to study in America—a temporary au revoir until May rolls around. She left the luxury of a mother and father, from all stories I’ve heard are charming, lovely, and supportive.
“I have a close relationship to my parents. They are very protective of me,” Elsa stated.
She left the comfort of having her two dogs at her side, ready to lick her face when she wakes every morning. She left her friends, who she thoughtfully includes in the ‘family’ category. All this, and still, she left something much larger behind: the doubt that a life-long dream would come true.
“I remember when I was eight years old, and I saw pictures of San Francisco and I knew I wanted to come to America. At 10 years old, I fell in love with the English language. My dad, who knew coming here was my dream, taught me some English that he knew,” Elsa told me.
Wanting to come to America, wanting to experience life here seems deep-rooted in the person of Elsa Richardeau. The zeal of the words zipping airily of her lips makes this part of the world seem brand new again. To exchange monotony for ravenous senses, eager to take it all, it seems like perfection.
“America is not all wealth; it is not all about ‘The American Dream,’” Elsa told me. I find it such a curiosity that “The American Dream” would come so effortlessly from a foreign person’s vocabulary. “It’s like every other country, with unhappiness, and homelessness, which is not what every one believes.”
It’s nice—to me, at least—that people are still hungry for travel, for knowledge, and for understanding. That hunger, that dream, spawned from pictures seen over a decade ago, and today, Elsa Richardeau is at William Jewell College, home of Cardinals. She is in the heart of the country that enthralled her. Elsa Richardeau told me she’d like to be a bird—so she could see the world.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Phi Sigma Iota hosts a game of pétanque

Everyone divides into two teams.

Students trying to close in on the target ball

Chris takes his turn

John show great technique!

Grace takes aim.
Which team wins the round?
Dr. Myers tries her best.

Monday morning was a beautiful sunny, clear day perfect for playing pétanque on the quad. Phi Sigma Iota hosted a game of pétanque, or boules, November 15, 2010. Dr. Susan Myers and Elsa Richardeau, our French Assistant, had fun helping students learn the basic rules of the game. With a set of eight boules, everyone had a chance to participate and the rounds became more challenging as students developed a feel for the weight of the boules and the techniques of the game. We had some close calls for gaining points, and the winners won by only a couple. Great game, guys!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dr. Susan Myers visits French classes at South Valley Junior High School

Title page of Dr. Myers's Presentation

Friday, November 5, 2010, Dr. Susan Myers, French professor at Jewell, visited Ms. Barb Adam's 8th and 9th grade French classes. Students were in their first or second year of studying French. Through a PowerPoint presentation filled with pictures and images of French art, they learned about the plastic arts in France. They recognized ceramic pieces, appreciated cubist sculpture and learned how to read stories depicted in paintings and tapestries. They learned how to determine the message conveyed in a photograph. They reviewed elements of Gothic architecture and stained glass windows, ending the day by coloring their own stained glass windows designs. It was a great day meeting all of Ms. Adam's students. They were very welcoming and joined willingly into the activities. Dr. Myers enjoyed meeting the French teachers at South Valley and conversing with them in French over lunch and throughout the day.

Thank you, South Valley JH, for a great day!

Dr. Myers

Caitlin, French 1 student, and Madame Adam

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Manuel Ríos Bonilla, Spanish Assistant for 2010-2011

Ashton Long

Ashton Long, student of both Spanish and French, introduces our Spanish Assistant for the year 2010-2011, Manuel Ríos Bonilla. Our French and Spanish assistants aid students in special labs designed to reinforce and develop language and content skills from their major courses. They are an important part of our program and we are fortunate to have native speakers to work with our students.

Manuel and students in Spanish labs
                  Manuel Ríos Bonilla is the Spanish lab assistant from Spain. He assists with all levels of classes from beginning Spanish to advanced Spanish. He aids the students by reinforcing lessons learned in class, providing review when necessary, and teaching about the traditions and customs of his native country of Spain and other Spanish speaking countries. He accomplishes these goals through worksheets, speaking activities, partner activities, games and occasional short lectures. Most of the work is done through student participation with a lesser emphasis on lecture than in an ordinary class. Under his direction, the students participate in speaking activities or partner work to strengthen speaking skills. Manuel will also often explain at least one or two short grammar concepts that relate to what the students are either learning in class, or will need to know in order to be successful in class in general. Worksheets and/or speaking activities will follow in order to help reinforce the grammar concepts reviewed in class. Manuel will often use games, worksheets or simply short lectures with open student discussion to explain aspects of culture or tradition.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Intermediate Arabic II Approved

We're happy to announce that the faculty approved the new course, ARA 212 Intermediate Arabic II. This course will allow Arabic students to continue beyond the language requirement and finish the intermediate level with our Arabic instructor Rima Jawhari. This course will give the students a sound foundation in language skills before continuing their studies in Arabic language and culture in the study abroad program in Rabat, Morocco.
Rabat, Morroco

Monday, October 25, 2010

Language Lobby New Look

New picture on the main wall from Susan Myers' office

New print on the side lobby wall looking towards the corridor from Kenton Stone's office

New prints looking down the lobby hallway from Susan Myers office to Jane Woodruff's office

New print between Jewell 217 and Yayoi Shinoda's new office in Jewell 223
The Languages Department Lobby has received a new look! Pictures have added a new sense of warmth and interest to our lobby where students like to come and pass the time reading, working and where families come to visit the Department with prospective students. Thanks to Susan Myers and Jennifer Colón for donating the decorative hangings.

Monday, September 27, 2010

International Film

Thursday, September 23, the Languages Department hosted its first International Film of the 2010-11 academic year. Dr. Susan Myers hosted Les Choristes, an award-winning French movie from 2004. The students in attedance appreciated the humanity of the music teacher Clément Mathieu in helping the boys at a boarding school as well as the dramatic and comedic elements that arise from complex characters interacting with each other.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Bookcase in Language Lab

New Languages Bookcase in Language Lab

Dr. Jennifer Colón came upon a used bookcase last year that we thought might be used in our new reading rooms (see Tuesday, May 18, 2010 blog entry, "WJC Wins Phi Sigma Iota Chapter Grant"), but we found it may be better used in the Language Lab.

Our Language Lab holds 24 computers equipped with language learning tools as well as audio-visual equipment for classroom use. Our lab assistants who are student workers have language learning backgrounds and can provide homework help. Available in the lab are books, CDs, pronunciation software, dictionaries, games and videos. Some of these learning aids were placed on the teacher's desk for easy student access; however, it became clear that students didn't always realize these things were for their use.

So Dr. Susan Myers and her family went about restoring the bookcase as a week-end (well, two week-end) project and the bookcase is now placed in the lab as an easily accessible display of tools for student use.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bonne rentrée!

Welcome to a new academic year in the Languages Department at Jewell!

We're into our ninth day of classes already and it's hard to believe how fast these first weeks have gone by.

The Languages Department has already been busy, setting up classes and welcoming our new professor, Dr. Kenton Stone, in Spanish. He's teaching SPA 114 Accelerated Spanish and SPA 315 Advanced Oral and Written Spanish, newly renumbered and restructured to be the introductory course to the major. It is now required in the Spanish major and functions as the prerequisite to further work. We're happy to offer a foundational course to the major for first time students at the 300-level. Dr. Stone is teaching 18 students this semester!

Dr. Kent Stone on the Quad

Spanish is booming. Along with SPA 315, we're offering SPA 323 Masterpieces of Spanish Literature taught by Dr. Jennifer Colon. Twelve continuing advanced students are enrolled, bringing our total Spanish enrollment at the 300-level to 30.

Congratulations to all the languages for their strong numbers this semester. Japanese and Arabic are performing well, Arabic enjoying 10 students beginning their studies and Japanese 9. Greek is off to a great start with 8 and Latin is full at 24 students! French is also full in beginning (24), intermediate (22) and we have 9 students in FRE 315 Introduction to French Studies.

We are all looking forward to a great semester and we are in the process of planning a series of activities sponsored through Phi Sigma Iota, our Languages Honor Society. Keep checking in for updates on department news.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tara Moreland's Service Learning Pictures

Thanks to Tara Moreland who chronicled her experience in service learning for SPA 211. She sent us her pictures used in a PowerPoint report showing her work (and a classmate's) with English-learning students at Second Baptist Church, Liberty.