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