Friday, December 14, 2012

Intermediate Spanish Students Engaged in Service-Learning

Dr. Colón's students in Intermediate Spanish I participated in service-learning activities throughout the semester. We'd like to feature for you three students' experiences from fall 2012. These students shared their service-learning projects with their classmates in a PowerPoint presentation at the end of the semester.

First is Gabby Brooks who worked at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church teaching English to adults.

Next Dominic Bisesi talks about his ESL experience.

Elisa Bulger Wolf worked with migrant farmworkers.

Lastly, Cassy Nicolay talks about her work at the Iglesia Camino Verdad y Vida where she made various contributions.

We're pleased to offer such rewarding service-learning experiences to our students. It's great when students engage wholeheartedly in their projects and not only help others but make a difference in their own lives.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Intermediate French Students Present Cultural Themes

Michael Foster, our new assistant professor of French, reports on the work of his students in Intermediate French I class.

In the Intermediate French class (FRE 211) this semester, we covered lots of cultural material dealing with food, art, music, literature, history, sports, and politics. The students have a weekly discussion lab component for the class where they discuss these items with the French language assistant. For their final project, each lab group decided on a particular theme in French culture that they wanted to research and present to the their peers. The first lab group chose to focus on local cuisine for the different regions in France. Appropriately enough, they brought croissants and citronade in for the class to enjoy. The second lab group focused on French art, architecture, and sports.  They presented on various landmarks, musuems, and sports teams in France. It was apparent that both groups learned new and interesting facts about French culture and society.
Dr. Foster's FRE 211 students

Dr. Foster's FRE 211 students

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fall 2012 French and Japanese Recital

On Thursday, November 29, 2012, the Languages Department at Jewell hosted the French and Japanese Recital. In our recital, we had advanced-level students representing both classes from four courses.

Students in FRE 315 Introduction to French Studies performed dramatic monologs based on fictional and historic characters they've studied in the history, culture, film and literature of World War II. We would like highlight Jenny Nelson, a first year French major, who chose Gabriel Péri, hero of the Resistance, for her skills in both French and interpretation.

Students in JPN 350 Advanced Japanese Language performed a skit about traveling in Japan, asking directions and visiting a temple. We'd like to highlight Paige Bolduc and Susan Peoples who perform with their instructor, Ai Namima, for their speaking skills in Japanese and their enthusiasm for the language and culture. Here's their "Trip to Kamakura."

Students in FRE 320 French Women Writers were inspired by historical women who made significant contributions to French culture throughout the ages, choosing to perform interviews, dramatic monologs or research presentations. For this class, we'd like to highlight Allie Lach for her research skills, the clarity of her French and her poise in formal presentations. Enjoy her presentation, "Aliénor d'Aquitaine, reinde de France et puis d'Angleterre."

Lastly, we have a new category at the Recital. Kristin Eaves is our first official student to add a service-learning component to her French minor in the tutorial FRE 411: Service-Learning in the Francophone Community. We'd like to highlight her achievements as well by featuring her presentation, "Apprentissage par le service communautaire francophone."

Congratulations to all our participants! Thank you for your enthusiasm, hard work and courage in presenting in a formal venue. We had a great recital!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Department of Languages Wins Learning Environments Grant for Language Lab Renovation

This fall semester, the Languages Department at William Jewell College won a grant for "Leveraging Learning Environments." Our grant proposal centered on a renovation project for the Language Lab in Jewell Hall, room 203.

The Language Lab was not effective in  fulfilling its function as a language learning center as part of the mission of the Languages Department at Jewell. We began the redesign of this learning space by reconceptualizing the role of the language lab in our language curriculum, repurposing the space to meet language learning goals, researching the computer hardware and software, as well as reorienting the physical space and considering furnishings such as chairs, tables, desks, in addition to pedagogical aids: viewing monitor, media access and marker boards, for example.

The language lab as it once was.

When the language lab was updated in the late 1990s, the lab was essentially a computer lab that focused on individual work. At this point, most students have access to the computer-assisted language learning sites through their own devices and the lab because underutilized. Additionally, the lab has become outdated, using a projector and drop down screen, older computers, and a chalkboard.

With the grant, work is underway to renovate the lab. Here's where we are now:

The language lab prepared for renovation.

 Everything is gone! The walls have been repaired and repainted, the floor will be vacuumed and shampooed. The next step is to add electrical lines for the new technology stations.

While we don't want to give the surprise of the new design away in this post, we will let you know two things. First, the purpose of the lab is to encourage collaborative learning and interpersonal communication. We've decided to make the language lab a more student-centered place with pleasing furnishings. Our primary colors are Jewell colors, black and red! Second, the language lab will now host the lab sessions led by our language assistants from Spain and France, rather than in other classrooms. The space will have computers for language learning, but there will also be a community area for conversation, so that the language lab will now have the facilities necessary for the varied activities done in these lab sessions. In order to accommodate both approaches to language learning, we've designed the lab to hold 12 students in each of the areas, the cap of the lab sessions.

We will keep you posted on our progress! We're planning to open the lab for spring semester 2013.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Service Learning for French: Kristin Eaves Reports

This semester, Kristin Eaves became the William Jewell College's first official service learning student in the French Department. To complete the requirements for her minor, Kristin volunteered at the Jewish Vocational Services, Kansas City. In this report, Kristin talks about all she learned from her experience.

    This semester I completed a service learning experience as a part of my French studies and it ended up being what I believe will be the most memorable experience of my college years. 

    For my service learning, I worked as an intern with Jewish Vocational Services, or JVS, in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. JVS is responsible for resettling refugees from all over the world on the Missouri side of Kansas City. Dr. Myers and I thought this would be an interesting way to experience French because JVS regularly resettles refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR), a former French colony in central Africa which has retained French as its official language. Like many former European colonies, the CAR has been struggling with poverty, corrupt governments and lack of governmental infrastructure, as well as abuses of human rights which has led to thousands of people fleeing from their home country into refugee camps in neighboring countries. 

    I was extremely excited to begin my service learning experience at JVS. I went through a three hour orientation with other interns to learn about the organization and all of the things that they do. I thought it was going to be fun—I would improve my French, learn about how French colonization affected the CAR, and gain new insight into the plight of refugees. However, my experience turned out to go far beyond what Dr. Myers and I had expected!

    My official role at JVS was as a school liaison. I would enroll recently arrived refugee children into school. Simple enough, right? Actually, it wasn’t simple at all! I had to fill out forms, chase down signatures, find school supplies, walk children to bus stops, and even pick them up from their first day occasionally. It’s important to mention here that these were not just children from the CAR. These were families from all over the world—Burma, Bhutan, Iraq, Iran, Nepal, Cuba, several nations in Africa, and others. So not only did most of them not speak French, most of them did not even speak English. The first time I truly felt overwhelmed was the day I sat in on an orientation meeting and listened as the interpreters translated what the instructor was saying in English into about 7 different languages. I was supposed to be helping with the CAR family, but I couldn’t focus. Each language had its own sounds, rhythms, and pitches and I was fascinated…for a while. Then I got a headache from trying to learn 7 languages in 2 hours!

Kristin accompanying new friends on a trip to the zoo.
    During this experience I regularly had to try to communicate with people with whom I had no common language. Once, I sat in the apartment of an extremely large Burmese family for twenty minutes, when all I had gone there for was to drop off a few backpacks for the children. They pulled me into their home and sat me down on their couch, and to be honest, I wasn’t even sure if I was in the right apartment! They were smiling, and seemed to understand that I was from JVS, so I just went with it. Eventually, I was able to leave, but not without a hug from every member of the family (most of whom, I later learned, were due to be treated for symptoms of tuberculosis…don’t worry, I’ve been tested!). It was in moments like this that I was thrown farther out of my comfort zone than I have ever been. I’m generally a very cautious person, and so for me, a girl from a rural hometown with a population of just under 2,000 people, to be walking around neighborhoods in inner-city Kansas City, walking into what I would consider to be creepy apartment buildings and knocking on doors of people I had never met and knew I would have no way of communicating with?...How could this experience not have caused me to grow as a person? 

Happy faces on a day trip
    While I learned so much about so many cultures that I could go on for days, I suppose I should dedicate some of this blog entry to my interactions with those that allowed me to practice my French! First off, not everyone from the CAR speaks French, although most know at least a tiny bit. Speaking French means one is educated and education is not something everyone had access to in the CAR. Those that did speak French did not speak the French I was used to hearing. They have different accents and different ways of pronouncing things. One thing that threw me off in the beginning was their use of the trilled R, like in Spanish, instead of the French guttural R. Another issue I ran into was that words from other African languages are thrown into French like they belong there. I would be racking my brain to try to remember what a word meant before coming to the conclusion that it simply didn’t exist in French, which would then be confirmed by the person I was talking to. I also learned about the lives of the refugees which was often heartbreaking. I often wondered, especially when talking to CAR teenagers or people closer to my own age, how a person could suffer so much and still have such a positive outlook on life?

    This thought brings me to what were probably the most important things I learned this semester. First, America truly is a great nation and second, I have had a lifetime of blessings that I never even thought about! America is great. Seeing America through the eyes of the refugees was truly eye-opening for me. They are so grateful to be here and they love everything about America. I was told once by a Cuban woman that, “Americans do not appreciate the gift of citizenship,” and she was right! At this point, we were in the midst of election season so that statement was even more true than usual. Regardless of our political stances or who the president is we are Americans! We live in a country that these people hope and pray to be sent to. This is something I have never truly thought about. Another time, we were at the home of an Iranian family who fled Iran because they were Christians and were being persecuted. They had hung a giant American flag in their living room and I was telling the mother what a beautiful flag it was when the father looked at me and told me that the flag was the most beautiful gift he had ever been given because it meant he was free to worship God however he wished. I have been blessed to live in a country where I can worship, or not worship, however I want. I don’t live in fear of communicable diseases or dying during childbirth, and I don’t have to worry about a rebel army coming in the night and burning down my village. I worry about homework at a rather expensive private college. I live in fear of not getting into the graduate school I want to go to and I stress about what to buy my family members for Christmas. I complain about food in a cafeteria and refuse to eat it even though it’s prepared, paid for, and available. I felt ridiculous at times around the refugees, and that is another reason I am so thankful for this experience. 

Kristin accompanied a group to the zoo as part of her service learning experience.
    I really could talk all day about my semester at JVS. There are so many important things I haven’t covered, like our day at the zoo and being laughed at for not knowing how to say lion in French…it’s “lion” by the way. I could talk about the times that I got to watch kids get so excited over a backpack and a few school supplies, all of the times I gave someone a ride to the grocery store so they wouldn’t have to walk, or the few tears I shed the day I went with parents to pick their child up from his first day of school and the mother cried because she was so happy that her child was actually getting to go to a school after being born and raised to this point in a refugee camp. My semester at JVS went far, far beyond what I had envisioned. It became more than a project for my French program and ended up being something that really changed the way I thought about the world and the people in it. I am extremely grateful to the language department and Dr. Myers for allowing me to be the first Fre411 student and supporting this amazing experience!

Monday, November 26, 2012

French Meets Art History: Katelyn Bennett

Katelyn Bennett, who graduated with a French minor in May 2012, recently caught up with Dr. Susan Myers this November. After a lovely chat, Katelyn agreed to share with us how her studies in French contribute to her career goals in art history. Thank you, Katelyn, for sharing your story with us!

Having been both a student of Art and French during my years at William Jewell, I had my hands full. Time was spent dividing my attention between both subjects as I sped across the quad from labs to studio classes day in and day out.  My head was constantly spinning and my plate was more than full, but I was grateful for every minute. At Jewell I was able to pursue what I loved as I progressively developed and worked toward my post-graduation dream of utilizing my French and knowledge of art. Now after graduating, I have found myself exactly where I want to be. I have traded in classrooms and studios for galleries displaying countless exquisite masterpieces. It is no longer Jewell Hall, but Kirkwood Hall that I stroll through as I carry out my responsibilities as a French Catalogue Research Assistant at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

As a student at Jewell I was fortunate enough to begin an invaluable friendship with the Associate Curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Nelson-Atkins. Now, as an intern, I work as a part of a small team to complete the French Paintings Catalogue. The museum undertook this complex and detailed project relatively recently, and due to the expansive collection of French art, it will take several years to complete. The nature of the catalogue is to document every single thing we know about a piece of art within the collection. This entails provenance research, conservation, exhibition history, and bibliographical references. The list goes on. My primary focus on this project is to track down and document all bibliographical references made to any one of the French paintings in the collection. As a result, I make an effort to acquaint myself with the artist and the painting on which I am carrying out research. Truth be told, it’s a lot like detective work in the art world. In the end result, once our team is able to gather all the information we can about the pieces in our collection, these findings will be published.

So what’s the next step? What started during my time at Jewell now continues with my work at the Nelson-Atkins. As I work toward realizing my dream, I plan on obtaining an MA specializing in seventeenth to nineteenth century French and British art. Eventually, I hope to return to Europe and look after a collection based in a prominent European museum. Until then, it’s one step at a time, beginning with the French Paintings Catalogue.
Even art scholars know how to have a good laugh. Here is a snapshot of the Nelson-Atkins European Department’s award winning attempt at portraying Rodin’s Burghers of Calais for the museum’s 2012 Halloween costume celebration in honor of the recent Rodin exhibition.

A portrayal of Rodin's Burghers of Calais

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

William Jewell College Languages Department Launches Facebook Page

Our New Facebook Page

On November 2, the William Jewell College Languages Department launched a Facebook page to better connect to prospective and current students, alumni and friends. Blog postings will be featured on Facebook. We're hoping you'll come visit and share with us! Like us at the William Jewell College Languages Department Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

William Jewell approves Chinese Area Studies Minor

At this month's meeting, the faculty of William Jewell College approved the Chinese Area Studies Minor proposed by the Languages Department. This minor will build on the language skills developed in the beginning and intermediate level courses in Chinese language held on campus. To complete the minor, students will take CHI 212 Intermediate Chinese II and a spend a semester of study of Beijing or Shanghai, Jewell's two approved IES programs in China. The Languages Department is very excited about adding a Chinese program to curriculum.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Classics at William Jewell Adds New Capstone Courses

The Roman Forum

This week the faculty of William Jewell College approved two new courses for the Classics program. The Languages Department currently offers a Classical Humanities Minor, an interdisciplinary course of study in classical languages and literatures, either Latin or Greek, history, and other related elective courses. With the new addition of the two 301 Survey of Latin or Greek Literature courses, the 415 Capstone Project course is for students completing the classical humanities minor (or a self-designed Classics Major) with either a Latin or Greek emphasis in which they will use their knowledge of ancient Roman or Greek history and their abilities to read original Latin or Greek authors to pursue research in an area of special interest, culminating in a formal paper and some sort of public presentation.

Temple of Olympian Zeus (Athens)

William Jewell College approves IES program in Shanghai

Views of Shanghai

At this Monday's business meeting, the faculty of William Jewell College approved two IES programs in Shanghai, 21st Century China and Business in China, submitted by the Languages Department in support of the Chinese program. This year marks the first offering of beginning Chinese at Jewell, and with the faculty approval of the intermediate level, these courses will be offered next year. Under consideration in the next few weeks will be the Chinese Area Studies minor in which a student takes the first two years of Chinese language courses at Jewell (through the entire intermediate level) and then completes a semester abroad in either Shanghai or Beijing. We anticipate an enthusiastic response to this important addition to the Department's offerings.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

French Program at Jewell integrates CEFR assessment standards

The French program at William Jewell College is currently integrating CEFR (or the Common European Frame of Reference for Languages) assessment tools into the major curriculum as part of its ongoing efforts to encourage and support student achievement.

In 2008 Dr. Myers revised the French assessment plan to include the language portfolio as recommended by the Council of Europe. Each student has on file with the Department a dedicated electronic portfolio in their name. The portfolio has three components: a language passport that describes the student's self-assessment of his or her language skills, a language biography that narrates interactions with the language and culture and serves as a reflection on the learning experience, and a dossier replete with supporting files of written and oral French, such as essays and recordings of recitals. It was hoped that moving to an assessment program such as this would increase student participation in the learning process and become more aware of their progress, since the students had to submit the language passport and biography in FRE 315 Introduction to French Studies and then had to reassess those documents in FRE 415 the French Studies Capstone. With such participation, there was reason to believe that insights resulting into actionable suggestions would occur. Indeed, when the first senior class graduated under this assessment plan, the use of labs led by our French Assistant, generally of Masters level student from the Université de Nantes, was added to the curriculum of FRE 415 to support interpersonal communication, because students felt that even in a research-oriented class, having that time to work on oral expression with the assistant was to valuable to miss. This in turn let the instructor integrate assessment of the skills of interpersonal communication into the class to complement the assessment of writing and oral presentational skills.

Goals of the French major, from the William Jewell College 2012 catalog

In 2010 the assessment plan was modified again when Drs. Westlie and Myers revised the goals of the French major. The major now has four learning outcomes targeting literature, history and culture, competencies for life-long learning and language skills rated at the C1 level, Proficient User on the CEFR scale, aligning the assessment plan with the learning outcomes. Then in spring 2012, the first senior class to graduate completely under the new assessment plan enrolled in FRE 415 and it was time to build assessment tools to evaluate student achievement on the activities of the capstone course.

After a careful review of the Council of Europe's website and documents provided there, four assessment tools were developed in spring 2012. The process included three steps: (1) to find language both the instructor and the student could understand and work with, (2) to format the standards in a comprehensible ways, and (3) to align the standards with letter grades needed for course work. These assessment tools are clearly inspired by the CEFR materials, yet adapted to meet the needs of the academic nature of a college French program and, more specifically, to the needs of the Jewell curriculum.

The first assessment tool designed targeted writing skills. While creative and reflective writings are incorporated into the French major program, the dissertation explicative is the heart of academic writing in the major and is included and evaluated in every major course through research-based papers and essay exams.

CEFR assessment tool for writing

The second assessment tool provided guidelines for the French assistant leading the lab portion of the capstone course. This new lab asked the students to recommend and research a topic of discussion each week as well as questions to spur conversation. The instructor worked with the assistant who could then guide the conversations with questions designed to elicit skill development. At the end of the semester, the assistant held a final oral interview with the students that would provide an assessment of their interpersonal communication skills.

CEFR assessment tool for interpersonal communication

The third assessment tool would provide an evaluation of oral presentational skills that could be used at the Recital, held at the end of each semester, and for in-class presentations.

CEFR assessment tool for recitals and presentations
It became apparent that a fourth assessment tool would be necessary for Recitals. Some recitals are creative, some are presentational, and some are truly recitative in which students portray a scene from a French play or recite a French poem. In this case, the language is not their own or it is written beforehand and memorized, and since an assessment tool should adequately relate to the goals of the activity, a sketch assessment tool should evaluate interpretation and use of customs and accessories.

CEFR assessment tool for sketches

Our thanks go to the students of the capstone course who were willing first subjects and these documents did go through revisions based on that first experience and I suspect that they will most likely be updated as they are integrated throughout the curriculum. Thanks as well to the spring 300-level students who first tried out the presentational assessment tool at their Recital after one test run at their midterm in-class presentation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Technology in Languages Seminar Room in Jewell Hall

Students of FRE 315 in Jewell 212
    Last year, the Languages faculty was awarded an Integrating Digital Resources Grant, resulting from our participation in the Innovations in Teaching and Learning Symposium in order to give access to media resources in Jewell 212, the Languages seminar room located in Jewell Hall, home of the Languages Department. Students in French and Classics seminar classes will now benefit from media-supported lessons and discussions without having to meet in over-sized rooms. The newly equipped space will provide a more intimate classroom for courses such as FRE 315 Introduction to French Studies and FRE 320 French Women Writers, which typically enroll 6-10 students. This semester, FRE 315 students will enjoy speeches, songs, videos, films, documentaries, virtual tours and other audio-visual materials as part of their course of study, encouraging engagement with the material and participation in oral expression activities and discussions that can be intimidating in an overwhelming space. Thanks to the students of FRE 315 this fall for accepting to be featured in the blog posting!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Honoring our Asistants and French students at William Jewell Commencement 2012

Saturday, May 12, we celebrated Commencement at William Jewell College. We'd like to celebrate with photos of our language assistants, Miguel Peñeranda Olmeda and Clémentine Bastin, who recieved certificates of successful study. Congratulations as well to Megan Dennis, French major, and Katelyn Bennett, French minor.
Clémentine and Miguel lead the processional

Katelyn adjusts her tassle as a graduate

Megan shakes Dr. Sallee's hand

Our Languages international assistants, Ai (Japan), Miguel (Spain) and Clémentine (France), celebrate with friend Mahamadou Sissoko (France)

Friday, May 4, 2012

French and Japanese Spring 2012 Recital

French and Japanese Spring 2012 Recital Program

We had a very talented group of students perform in the Spring 2012 French and Japanese Recital. Shawn Davison, a self-designed major in Entrepreneurial Leadership and Japanese, discussed haiku and recited examples.

The students of FRE 324 Nineteenth Century French Novel and Society were inspired by the authors of the 19th century and after their introduction performed skits that reflected couple relationships in the novel or compared a situation in the novel to today. In this posting we'd like to feature Katelyn Bennett and Rosemary Loehr's presentation, "La réalité du mariage," inspired by Flaubert's Madame Bovary.

The students of FRE 415 French Studies Capstone: The Middle Ages, students researched a cultural topic and prepared an informational PowerPoint presentation. We'll be highlighting Megan Dennis who researched the Medieval Church and Ashton Wells who researched Feudalism in France.

Congratulations to all presenters! It was a very good recital for all.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hassanat Kadiri and Beth Jaeger reminisce about Arabic 212, Intermediate Arabic II

This semester Jewell has offered for the first time Arabic 212, Intermediate Arabic II for students desiring further study of Arabic, some in preparation for study abroad and for completing the Arabic Area Studies minor. This course review grammar and vocabulary learned in the first three semesters of study, building on that base with a focus on developing conversational skills.  Two of those students, Hassanat Kadiri and Beth Jaeger share their experience with us.

Hassanat Kadiri

 An Unexpected Twist
The first meeting of Arabic 212 spring semester 2012, Ms. Rima the Arabic instructor, gave her four prospective students a placement test. Each of us was tested orally on simple Arabic terminologies, grammar and vocabulary. My colleagues were tested before me and they tested well having taken the pre-requisites for Arabic 212.  With the confidence I had from my background elementary Arabic obtained more than a decade ago, I felt I was “prepared” enough to answer Ms. Rima’s questions. Unfortunately, I did not meet up to Ms. Rima’s expectations and I was told to drop the class in order to avoid a failing grade by the end of the semester. Knowing fully well that I needed a language requirement to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics this semester, coupled with the fact that as an international student, my financial and psychological budget for my undergraduate education was not to go beyond Spring 2012, I decided to do all it took to pass the class even with at least a C-.
Our first real vocal test was the following week, so I had just about seven days to prepare alongside the workload of other classes having registered for 17.5 credit units. I took advantage of resources available i.e. the Arabic tutor Ajok Deng, and also purchased the recommended text for the class. Then came the day of the test, my colleagues did very well as expected, and it was my turn next as I stared across the room to where Ms. Rima sat with her grade book and a pen in her hand:
“Arifi na bin nafsik…” pause “Tafadha…” Ms. Rima added as she prompted me to introduce myself briefly.
“Ana ismi Hassanat Kadiri. Nashaatu wa wulidtu fi Nigeria…”
I started off like a programmed robot. I did not pay much attention to my monotone; all I cared about was regurgitating word for word all I had crammed from the previous day session with the Arabic tutor. Finally I was done, back from whatever planet I had crept in as I found Ms. Rima saying:
“Ma sha Allah. Shukra!” as a compliment and expression of gratitude. “You did marvelously well!”
I heaved a sigh of relief, told her about my practices with the Arabic tutor and also the use of the dvd that came along with the Arabic text. I had convinced Ms. Rima, but most importantly, I had reaffirmed the self-confidence that made me register for Arabic 212 to continue to the end.

Beth Jaeger
  Beth Jaeger will be going to Amman Jordan fall semester 2012 to complete her Arabic Area Studies minor. Her reflection on Arabic 212 follows:

    My experience in studying the Arabic language has been very positive. The Arabic language is one that is complicated and different from many languages. It is one language that is beginning to be in demand. Studying Arabic is a great opportunity for future careers. Professor Rima expects her students to be eager to learn the Arabic language. Rima is interested in each one of her students and their progress in her class. She pushed me to levels that I did not know that I could reach. I am so grateful that I took Arabic at William Jewell. I encourage students who are interested in Middle Eastern studies to consider taking Arabic.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Phi Sigma Iota Induction Ceremony 2012

Phi Sigma Iota Induction 2012 Program

Saturday, April 21, the Phi Theta chapter of Phi Sigma Iota welcomed eleven  new initiates. Held after Honors convocation and during Family Weekend, the event allows the Languages Department to honor achievement among our majors and minors. Honored and welcomes into the chapter this year are: French major Rosemary Loehr; French minor Chriska François; Spanish majors Erin Armstrong, Anne Birzer, Amanda Blake, Julie Cleek, Joseph Gunn, Cynthia Hartwell, McKenzie Reagan and Erin Smalley; and Spanish minor Hannah Ebling. Each initiate had the opportunity to talk about their language experience and goals and after recieving their certificate, honor cords and pin, fellowship time was enjoyed by all. In our video, Anne, Joe, Chriska and Rosemary talk about their language study.

Anne receives her cords from Dr. Myers

Chriska shows off her cords, pin and certificate

Joe receives his certificate from Dr. Woodruff

Rosemary accepts her cords and pins

2012 Inductees: Rosemary, Chriska, Joe and Anne

2011-12 Phi Sigma Iota President Aindrea Early and Vice-President Jessica Shanks join the new members in a photo opportunity

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

William Jewell College on President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

Students in accelerated beginning and intermediate Spanish classes at Jewell participate in service-learning activities, working with local organizations. Our students log many hours of service to benefit others while applying their language skills. It is these kinds of activities that contributed to William Jewell College's place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2012 as one of five institutions in Missouri under "Honor Roll with Distinction." You may wish to visit the site at President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Friday, February 24, 2012

FRE 351 French Theater students write original stories

Last semester, the students of FRE 351 French Theater of the 17th and 20th centuries had the opportunity to take inspiration from the 20th century playwrights and create an original work. We would like to feature three pieces all inspired from different playwrights.

Megan Dennis
 Megan Dennis found inspiration in the work of Jean Cocteau and his play, Les mariés de la tour Eiffel. Her assignment was to find a place on campus that represented the center of life at Jewell and choose a person to orchestrate the events, the way the photographer organized the events in the play. Of course, things should be surprising if Megan is to capture the spontaneity of Cocteau's play. Megan chose the school photographer, Kyle Rivas, as her organizer and here is what happens in Jewell Hall when things get a little crazy:

Kyle Rivas prend une photo de Dr. Horne pour une présentation de la faculté au quatrième étage de Jewell Hall. « Bien, bien ! » dit Kyle Rivas. Pendant la séance de photos une fille du programme d’Oxbridge cour dans la salle d’un membre de Kappa Alpha. L’homme de Kappa Alpha crie, « Je veux ton amour ! » Le spectacle choque Dr. Horne. Il jette une marmotte d’Amérique à tous les deux. Kyle Rivas dit, « Bien, très bien », et il continue à prendre des photos de tout. Scott, de « Campus Safety » marche sur la scène et dit « Bonjour, tout le monde. Le temps fait très froid, non ? » Il commence à fumer. Il porte le journal, « The Hilltop Monitor » sur sa tête. Après ça, une joueuse de tennis apparait en chanson. Un membre de « Student Senate » tombe par la fenêtre et dit « Le décor est banale !. » La scène finit quand Kyle Rivas prend une photo de lui-même.

Rosemary Loehr
 Rosemary Loehr found inspiration in the work of Jean Giraudoux and his play, Intermezzo. In her reflection, Rosemary thinks about an experience she had that opened up new worlds and new possibilities like Isabelle in the play and how it changed the way she lives life. Here's her story:

J'ai toujours été une personne calme et attentive. Comme une enfant que j'ai été très imaginatif, mais je n'ai jamais rêvé de ces qualités subtiles me permettrait de communiquer avec le surnaturel.   Rêves vifs ont été un événement régulier dans ma vie adolescente, je rêvais chaque nuit et chaque rêve se sentirait comme réalité. Parfois, après un rêve particulièrement vif, je me réveillais ne sachant pas si je rêvais ou éveillé. Une nuit, j'ai rêvé que je tombais sur mon chemin de l'école, déchirer ma jupe, et couper mon genou. Le lendemain matin je me suis réveillé et la réalité était exactement comme mon rêve. Je suis tombé sur mon chemin de l'école, a déchiré ma jupe, et couper mon genou. La coïncidence a été très déstabilisante. Semaine après semaine, la même chose se produirait. Je rêve de mes jours et mes jours serait juste comme mon rêve. Je voulais raconter mon meilleur ami au sujet de mes prémonitions, mais j'ai eu peur qu'elle ne me croirait pas, ou pire, pensé que j'étais fou. Donc, au lieu de raconter mon histoire je l'ai gardé un secret et il écrit dans mon journal. Maintenant que je suis vieux, je ne rêve pas plus, mais mon expérience avec des rêves m'a changé. J'ai maintenant porté une attention particulière aux petits détails de ma journée, et j'essaie de ne pas s'inquiéter de ce que peuvent ou non se produire. Au lieu de cela, je vis chaque instant jour par moment, penser davantage à l'importance du présent que l'attrait de l'avenir. 

Ashton Wells
 Ashton Wells found inspiration in the work of Paul Claudel and his play, L'annonce faite à Marie. In her story, Ashton had to recount a parable, a moral story expressed through example. Here's her touching lesson on generosity:
Il était une fois, il y avait deux filles qui s’appelaient Yvonne et Marguerite.  Elles étaient les meilleures amies qui ont fait tout ensemble.  Un jour, elles ont décidé d’ouvrir un magasin de café.  Elles aimaient le café et elles voulaient partager le café avec tout le monde.  Elles ont réussi.  Dans le premier mois, elles ont gagné plus argent qu’elles ont investi dans le commencement du magasin.  Après six mois, les deux femmes avaient plus argent qu’elles pouvaient utiliser dans dix années !  Par conséquent, Marguerite a décidé qu’elles pouvaient utiliser l’argent pour aider des autres.  Elle a proposé qu’un jour par semaine était « le jour d’aider » ou tous les profits de ce jour aller à quelqu’un pour l’aider.  Elle aimait cette idée beaucoup.  Malheureusement, Yvonne a détesté cette idée.  Elle était très avare et elle voulait tout l’argent pour elle-même.  Marguerite était trop triste quand Yvonne a dit « non », mais elle a décidé de donner son argent aux autres.  Par conséquent, elle a habité dans une maison modeste, mais elle était très heureuse.  Yvonne a habité dans une maison plus grande et elle a acheté tous qu’elle avait désir.  Mais, elle était très mécontente et elle ne savait pas pourquoi.  Elle a regardé Marguerite au magasin, et elle était plus contente.  Cependant, Marguerite n’avait rien comparé à d’Yvonne.  Un jour, Yvonne a travaillé au magasin quand un mendiant entrer.  Il a approché Yvonne.  Il dit à elle qu’il a perdu son travail et il a demandé s’il pouvait travailler pour elle.  Yvonne a pensé « c’est un plus personne de payer, puis moins argent pour moi » et elle a dit non.  Le mendiant a quitté le magasin avec des larmes dans ses yeux.  Cette nuit, Yvonne ne pouvait pas dormir.  Au matin, elle est allée au magasin, et elle a vu le mendiant derrière le comptoir.  Qu’est-ce que tu as fait ici ?  A-t-elle demandé.  Marguerite est arrivée et elle a dit « Je le vois dans la rue et Je lui offre le travail.   Tu peux couper ma paye si vous vouliez. »  Yvonne était furieuse.  Elle a quitté le magasin rapidement et elle a décidé de conduire jusqu'au magasin de Marguerite.  Mais, elle a vu que c’était un GRAND magasin !  Que s’est-il passé ?  Elle a conduit très vite à sa maison, mais sa maison était trop petite !  Elle est allée au magasin où elle a demandé à Marguerite qu’est ce qui s’est passé.  Le mendiant a dit « parce que la générosité de Marguerite quand elle me donne ce travail, et quand elle donne de l’argent aux autres, Je elle offre 100 fois qu’elle donne.  Parce que vous refusez d’aider les autres, vous perdez toutes vos choses. »  Yvonne était étonnée.  Puis, elle a commencé à pleurer et elle a conduit très vite loin de la ville.  Personne ne l’a vu depuis. 

Dr. John Westlie awarded emeritus status

We would like to congratulate Dr. John Westlie, professor of French and former Dean of Academic Affairs, upon his award of emeritus status. Dr. Westlie announced his plans for retirement earlier this year. Dr. Susan Myers, Chair of the Languages Department, remarked in her letter of support: "Dr. Westlie has had a profound impact on the strength of the French program, the Languages Department and the College as a whole. His contributions are numerous but stand as a true testament to his dedication to the welfare of the College."