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

Smartboard and Language Learning

This year Jewell Hall has acquired two Smartboards, one in the Jewell 207 that is often used by the Languages Faculty. While we are excited about the possibilities, it did create a stir, since they arrived right before classes and weren't ready for use the first days of class! It was fortunate that we could move classes to the Language Lab until we learned how to use them.

The Smartboard's features are audiovisual with a touchscreen and we are still discovering ways to use the board effectively. For the moment we can use it for PowerPoint and DVD playing and there is a way to use it for writing like an instructor would use a whiteboard (but there's no ink! It's an electronic image only). What's cool is that the instructor can highlight certain items being projected, use a spotlight feature to really draw attention, pull up or down a blind so that students only see parts of what is being projected, or circle certain items in different colors.

We'll have to keep in touch and let you know what special things we come up with to help students learn language, but for now, here's a picture to give you an idea of the Smartboard.

New Smartboard in Jewell 207

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.