Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Anavice Jimenez, FRE 315 student, Shares a Presentation and Original Poem

"Pensons à la France..." by Anavice Jimenez

This past week, students in FRE 315 Introduction to French Studies presented their final presentations based on our studies of the French experience of the Second World War. Anavice's presentation, "La vie en guerre et la poésie," had a positive reception from her classmates due to the thoroughness of her introduction to and her writing of an original poem that clearly reflects the sentiments students studied in the poem "Faire vivre" by Paul Éluard as well as other works reviewed in class. She  concluded her presentation with a recitation from memory of her poem. We'd like to share with you today her poem and presentation to celebrate her creativity.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Phi Sigma Iota Enjoy a Potluck Party

Group Picture of Attendees at the Potluck Party
Social gatherings are always welcome at the end of the semester when assignments are beginning to pile up. Phi Sigma Iota, the language honor society at William Jewell College, hosted a social gathering on Friday, November 22nd in the Gano Chapel Assembly Room. Students studying French and Spanish along with Drs. Amaya Amell (Spanish) and Michael Foster (French) attended the fun evening. There was definitely a festive ambiance as students helped to decorate the room. During the evening, faculty and students spent some quality time together enjoying both Spanish and French food, listening to Spanish music, and playing some games. Approximately 15 students showed up at this first time event, and hopefully more will show up at future similar events once the word gets out.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fall 2013 French, Japanese and Chinese Recital a Success!

The fall French recital took place on Thursday, November 21. This recital marked an important event in the history of the Department of Languages: it is the first recital to feature Chinese! And the first to feature both Japanese and Chinese together.

The recital began with the FRE 315 class entitled Introduction to French Studies for students beginning their advanced French Studies. Their Recital pieces were dramatic monologues in which they presented an historical or fictive character from their studies on the French experience of the Second World War. Featured today is the recital presentation of Maddie Douglas who portrayed Lucie Aubrac who saved her husband from imprisonment.

Next, Kazuma Clark in JPN 350 Advanced Japanese Language presented a lengedary Japanese tale presented in his own drawings. Enjoy his creative skills and listen to his retelling of the first part of the story.

The next group to present were students in FRE 320 French Short Story and Composition. These students presented dramatic monologues and short sketches inspired by the short stories they have studied.

CHI 350 Advanced Chinese Language was the final group to present, Yuxi Hu presenting an introduction to Nanjing and Xinyi Wang retelling a legendary story.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dr. Amaya Amell Speaks on International Law

Dr. Amaya Amell
Dr. Amaya Amell, assistant professor of Spanish, spoke at two conferences this semester. In this blog she talks about her research into the subject of international law.

“The Theory of International Law and Cultural Exchange on the Conquest of the Americas” presented at the 33rd Annual Romance Languages Conference at the University of Cincinnati addressed  the evolution of the theory of international law and cultural exchange during the conquest of the Americas. I highlighted here a prominent scholar of the School of Salamanca that addressed this conflictive relationship extensively and was hailed by many as one of the primary founders of international law, Fray Francisco de Vitoria. I spoke about his (revolutionary at the time) ideas/readings and how these served to introduce the theory of an international community and how many of these theories can still be seen at work even today, for example in the United Nations and in the Constitution of the United States.

At the ALDEUU (Spanish Professionals in America) annual international conference in St. Augustine, Fla, I presented “Just War: From Saint Augustine to Francisco de Vitoria.” This paper questioned the presence of the fundamental principles of the theory of international law and just war, which have remained intact throughout its evolution.  Have we not been able to learn from history’s lessons and are we still making the same mistakes with the same mentality that existed in the philosophical and political processes of antiquity and the sixteenth century? Has any further development of this theory been halted? Or are these fundamental principles so vital to the whole theory of law and war that they can never be replaced? I spoke here at length about St. Augustine's concept of just war and how many of the theories he set forth are still intact today, and in what way. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chinese Students Enjoy a Trip to the Asian Market

Students of Chinese at the Market

Yachu Liu, our instructor in Chinese, took her beginning and intermediate students to the Asian Market for a language and cultural activity.
Yachu Liu, Instructor of Chinese at Jewell
 Yachu recounts, "We had a great time having a scavenger game there. Students were divided into groups. Every group had a list of items with English names. They had to figure out the Chinese names and the prices of specific items."
Students of Chinese at the Market
"After the game, the winners had the privilege of choosing what special food they wanted to try. We shared a meal together. They also practiced how to order in Chinese as well."
Students Trying Chinese Foods

Monday, October 21, 2013

French Movie Night Presents "Le Petit Nicolas"

On Thursday, October 17th, 2013 students studying French at William Jewell College had a French movie and food night. They watched Le petit Nicolas (2009) directed by Laurent Tirard. This movie is based on the famous children's series of the same name written by René Goscinny. The students also had a French food night and ate baguette, French cheese, and had Perrier and sparkling grape juice. The students enjoyed the film, food, and fellowship following the movie. There is a French movie and food night on campus each semester that is sponsored by Phi Sigma Iota language honor society.

Friday, October 18, 2013

French Women Writers Course Now a Permanent Part of the French Major

Invitation to FRE 320, now FRE 322
The special topics course, FRE 320 Romancières françaises, has been approved as FRE 322, a permanent addition to the French major and minor. Students appreciate this course for its focus on French women's contributions to literature. The course is also approved as part of the Women's Studies minor at Jewell.

Michael Foster presents his paper on Conversational Repair

Dr. Michael Foster
On Friday, October 4, 2013 Dr. Michael Foster, Assistant Professor of French, presented his paper entitled "What did you say? Insights on Conversational Repair in French L2 Reading Tasks" at the 5th Biennial International Conference on Task-Based Language Teaching in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Foster's presentation examined how students enrolled in an upper level French poetry class worked through a series of reading questions in order to understand the poems. The class was taught by Dr. Myers at Jewell in spring 2013. Specifically, he focused on how the students talked through problems they encountered with the poem or the questions themselves. The presentation was well received and he hopes to continue doing more classroom based research at Jewell in the future.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Languages Department Offers New Major in Romance Languages

At the last business meeting, the faculty of William Jewell approved the Romance Languages Major proposed by the Department of Languages. The new major will allow students to have an intensive language experience concentrating their studies in French, Spanish and Latin. Students will have to take a variety of advanced courses in French and Spanish as well as study abroad. They will also complete the intermediate course in Latin.
Students graduating in this major will have strong proficiency skills in the two modern languages and reading proficiency in Latin. They will be expected to complete a project in their capstone course integrating studies from both French and Spanish and will be encouraged to address their Latin studies, if appropriate. Students interested in this major will most likely consider graduate studies in languages or comparative literature.

Languages Welcomes New Languages Assistants for 2013-14

Welcome to the 2013-2014 academic year in Languages!

This year we have a great group students joining us in our languages program. Of particular note, we have this semester about thirty students taking classes with us for their first time in Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Japanese and Latin. We are happy to welcome these new students in our department.

We have welcomed to our Languages faculty three new assistants.

From Córdoba, Spain, Óscar Jimenez García joins us as our Spanish language assistant. He is helping students with their compositional writing and leading speaking activities in Spanish lab sections. He earned a B.A. in tourism from University of Seville in Spain, and has a great deal of experience in managing rural tourist development projects. He obtained his B.A. in translation and interpreting at University of Córdoba, Spain. Jiménez speaks Spanish, English, and studied German as well. He’s currently pursuing a master’s degree in scientific-technical translation (English, German > Spanish) from University of Córdoba, and is helping students with their compositional writing, in addition to leading speaking activities in Spanish lab sections.
Óscar Jimenez García

From France, Lucie Thomas joins us as our French language assistant. She is helping students with speaking activities, Recital presentations and creative writings in lab sections.
Lucie Thomas

From Japan, Yoko Hori joins us our new Japanese instructor. She is teaching the beginning and intermediate classes.
Yoko Hori

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Languages Department Celebrates with our Graduates

Department of Languages 2013: Carlos Peral, Amaya Amaya, Yachu Liu, Jennifer Colón, Ai Namima, Susan Myers, Michael Foster, Jane Woodruff and Nicholas Clercy

This past Saturday the Languages Department celebrated our seniors' achievements at the Commencement ceremony. Although a hot and steamy day, it was also a day to rejoice as our seniors in languages walk across the platform and shake the President's hand.

If you would like to add any Commencement pictures of language graduates, visit our Facebook page.

Kristin Eaves, minor in French, poses for her graduation picture

Chriska François and Nyasha Firnhaber, minors in French, await the procession

Cynthia Hartwell, major in Spanish Education, celebrates her achievements

Ai Namima, instructor of Japanese and major in Business Communication, celebrates with Paige Bolduc, minor in Japanese Area Studies

Ashton Wells, major in French, taking her senior walk around the Quad

Nicholas Clercy, French Assistant, and Carlos Peral, Spanish Assistant participate in Commencement, receiving Certificates of Successful Study Abroad

Cynthia Hartwell, 2013 Senior Star in Spanish

Cynthia Hartwell is this year's Senior Star in Spanish. Every year the Department of Languages features a graduating senior with a language major who has studied abroad and has been inducted into Phi Sigma Iota on its departmental page. We are honored to have Cynthia represent the Department of Languages this year for the Spanish major.
Congratuations, Cynthia!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spanish 114 Students Engage in Service-Learning

Dr. Jennifer Colón's students in Spanish 114 Accelerated Beginning Spanish took their first steps into service-learning this spring. Committing some hours to service-learning, students engaged with Spanish-speaking people on the KC area. Below are presentations students made to their class to talk about what they have learned.

First is Hannah Ford who helped with YouthFriends.

Next we have Cody Edwards who worked at YMCA Head Start.

Last, Katy Lehenbauer worked with the Iglesia Camino Verdad y Vida.

Kasia Kovacs Reflects on Service-Learning at JVS

Kasia Kovacs, a graduating senior in Oxbride Literature and Theory with a minor in French reflects upon her service-learning experience at the Jewish Vocational Services in Kansas City.

The days, hours, and moments before the end of an era make up one of the most bizarre sensations a person can experience. In some instances, they creep up on you, slowly and menacingly, as you attempt to stop time and stay in once place in a manner of determined defiance. These, for instance, were my sentiments during my few weeks of my year abroad in Cambridge, England; I simply refused to believe that my stay in the UK would end, but time cruelly snatched me back into reality.  In other instances, you are in total awareness of the impending end, but you are so wrapped up in your work and commitments that you lose all sense of time entirely. You sleep when you can—maybe a few hours in the afternoon and perhaps you can fit in half an hour before your nine-o-clock class (that is, if you manage to actually wake up to your blaring alarm)—and your meals become so sporadic that cooking a full pasta dinner at two in the morning is nothing strange. Suddenly, it is the last Friday of finals, and your to-do list still spills over into two pages of your planner.
Wait, is graduation tomorrow? you wonder, in utter shock that your undergraduate career is ending with this astounding speed. And it is, and once again time has the last laugh.

This was my last semester of college. I committed myself to far too many responsibilities, and suddenly the imminent deadlines from both my internships and William Jewell’s newspaper began to interfere with precious study time for my Oxbridge comprehensive exams, among attempts to juggle and keep up with my regular classes. Naturally, when I was told that I could achieve a French minor if I took four credit hours of independent study in the language, I thought it would be a terrible opportunity to miss—and I signed right up.  (Clearly, I live in denial that there are only 24 hours in a day.)

Furthermore, I don’t regret it.

I volunteered at an organization called Jewish Vocational Service, which is not, as it may sound, a rabbi-training program. JVS in Kansas City works with refugees from developing countries ridden with violence and civil war as they assimilate and become self-sustaining individuals and families in the United States. I had hoped to speak with some French-speaking refugees from francophone African countries, but these immigrants were far and few in between. Thus, my role was generally limited to office work. I worked with files and worked on grant proposals through research and writing. Both of these tasks taught me about international policies that were previously completely unknown to me.

Refugees come to the United States in search of asylum from their poverty- and war- stricken nations, from west Asian countries, African nations, the Middle East, and Cuba. These refugees often come from camps, where they apply to come to the United States. Once they have arrived in Kansas City, JVS places them in an apartment and provides a temporary financial allowance (well, a loan) for three months as the refugees search for jobs and enroll their children in school. After three months, the refugees would ideally begin to pay back the loans and save money to begin to become self-sufficient. Yet several are unable to find jobs… and when they do, the positions are generally in factories or custodial service, which is understandably disconcerting for refugees with higher education, and these positions lack a sense of dignity when they do not allow for many advancement opportunities. Eventually, if the refugees cannot begin to pay back their loans after an extension, they are sent back to their home country.

As I was sorting through files, I read about several of these cases, and I came to the following conclusion: Although I believe that the United States’ involvement in refugee services is admirable, the system must be refunded and reorganized. Historically, the States have been a nation composed of immigrants—and these refugees surely have many talents and ideas to offer to our country if they are given the chance and a proper education.

So you see, although organizing my time this semester was near impossible, I still grew as a student and a human. My liberal arts degree has taught me to think critically in any situation, particularly as an informed and responsible citizen of the global community. Thus, when I was thrust into an occupation with which I was completely unfamiliar (read: refugee volunteer), I was still able to participate with the approach informed by an eagerness to learn, though with a perceptive and analytical eye.

Thank you William Jewell College, and thank you Dr. Myers.

And thank you for reading.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

French Students Enjoy Fondue!

Students in FRE 353 Poetry and Civilization since 1789 and FRE 415 French Senior Capstone celebrate the end of the semester with a fête, a short community time and sit back and take a break from finals. Students made chocolate fondue with strawberries and a cheese fondue with French bread baked that morning.

Students in FRE 353 preparing fondue
After making the fondues, students enjoyed each other's company with their professor, Dr. Myers, and their French assistant, Nicholas Clercy.

Students in FRE 353 enjoying fondue and each other's company

Students in FRE 415 enjoying community time with Nico, their French assistant

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Intermediate Spanish students of SPA 212 Share Service-Learning Experiences

Dr. Jennifer Colon's intermediate Spanish students engaged in service-learning this semester and presented their reflections in class presentations.
Dr. Jennifer Colón

We'd like to highlight in this posting presentations from four students. First is Hannah Bruins who served at the Iglesia Camino.

Next is Elisa Bulger who volunteered with Migrant Farmworkers Project.

Lory Mercer worked with the Westside Housing Organization.

 Rebecca Roach talks about her experiences working at Posada del Sol.

Monday, May 13, 2013

French Program Refines Assessment Rubrics Inspired by CEFR Standards

The French Program has been piloting rubrics inspired by CEFR standards in all of its upper division courses this year. Since the blog post of 9/12/2012, certain rubrics needed updating for use in the 2013-14 academic year.

From trial and error, the assessment rubric for the dissertation explicative now has the style standards incorporated in the linguistic function rubrics, which cleared up some misunderstandings and kept style from outweighing the intellectual task. It also became obvious that having descriptions for introductions and conclusions separate from the organization structure descriptions gave too much weight to organization. Given that these are very important areas and ones students need to work on, the descriptions were included in the same standard description, rather than deleted.
CEFR-inspired assessment rubric for writing
Another change involved the speaking rubrics for recitals and presentations under the description for delivery. Rather than separating each description, these were placed into one, in order to more evenly weigh linguistic and intellectual tasks, the quality of French with delivery.
CEFR-inspired assessment rubric for recitals with creative pieces

CEFR-inspired assessment rubric for inquiry/research in-class presentations
The students have found that using achievement standards to be very rewarding as well as useful when understanding placement into and grading used in study abroad programs. It has proven to be a way to better integrate courses abroad with work done at Jewell.

This spring the instructor of French 114 piloted the assessment rubrics tailored to the beginning level. These have proven to be very easy to use and the students quickly understood their significance as measures of competency in language skills. At this level, A2 descriptions were considered "meeting" the expectations of the class (or a B on the assignment), B1 descriptions "exceeding" expectations (or an A on the assignment).
Beginning French assessment rubric for interpersonal communication (speaking)

Beginning French assessment rubric for compositional writing
Next year, the intermediate French classes will be introduced to the CEFR descriptions. At this level, the B1 descriptions "meet" expectations and B2 descriptions "exceed" expectations. This will fit in a coherent fashion with the 300-level in which B2 descriptions "meet" expectations" and C1/C2 descriptions "exceed" expectations.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rosemary Loehr, 2013 Senior Star in French

Rosemary Loehr is this year's Senior Star in French. Every year the Department of Languages features a graduating senior with a language major who has studied abroad and has been inducted into Phi Sigma Iota on its departmental page. We are honored to have Rosemary represent the Department of Languages this year for the French major.

Congratulations, Rosemary!

Beginning Japanese Students Enjoy Cultural Event in Class

This past week students in Ms. Ai Namima's JPN 112 Beginning Japanese I class enjoyed cultural events.
Ms Ai Namima, Japanese instructor at Jewell

Ns. Namima explains: "Before the culture class, students learnt how Japanese names are created. Each Kanji (Chinese characters) has each meaning and Japanese people name their children with wishing how they want their children to be. Also each kanji determines the pronunciation of how to read the name. So, JPN112 students chose kanji using their creativity and apply that to Japanese calligraphy."

Practicing calligraphy

JPN 112 students showing their work
 "At the same time, we made Japanese rice ball, which we call 'onigiri.' There are different seasonings that people in the U.S. do not see or eat usually. We tried to make it in traditional triangle shape, and some of the students made it into Panda onigiri."
Making traditionally-shaped onigiri
A panda onigiri

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring 2013 French and Arabic Recital

Thursday, May 2, French and Arabic students presented at the spring 2013 French and Arabic Recital. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear what our advanced students in French have accomplished and to hear from Lydia Berns, our first Arabic presenter in the history of our recitals.

Lydia is one of our first students to graduate with a minor in Arabic Area Studies. She has spent a semester studying in Amman, Jordan (see her blog post) and is now completing her minor in Arabic 212 Intermediate Arabic II.

The students of FRE 353 French Civilization and Poetry shared original poetry with the attendees. After explaining the inspirational source of their poem and its significance, students recited their work. This semester we would like to highlight Lisa Brune, whose poem "C'est trop tard" imitated Jacques Prévert's "Déjeuner du matin" and, on a lighter note, Evan Jones, whose poem "La banane" imitated Guillaume Apollinaire's "La Mandoline, l'oeillet et le bambou."

The students of FRE 415 Senior French Capstone present the findings of their research into a cultural topic from the Middle Ages. Highlighted this semester is Adrienne Ebert who talks about monastic life and Rosemary Loehr, winner of the AATF 2012 Outstanding Senior in French Award, who talks about hospitals and medicine.

Congratulations to all the students participating!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Phi Sigma Iota Induction Ceremony

New Phi Sigma Iota members: Webber, Peoples, Jaeger, Deckman and Belshe

William Jewell College’s Department of Languages on April 27 inducted nine new members of the Phi Theta Chapter of the international foreign languages honor society Phi Sigma Iota. Inductees this year represent majors and minors in five languages: Arabic, French, Greek, Japanese and Spanish. Joseph Gunn, vice-president of the Phi Theta chapter, the faculty of the Department of Languages, friends, family and current Phi Theta Chapter members celebrated the induction of new members of the chapter: Charlotte Belshe, Paige Bolduc, Erin Christiansen, Natasha Deckman, Rachel Jaeger, Rebeka Loyd, Bailey Moffitt, Susan Peoples and James Webber. Present at this year's induction ceremony were Charlotte, Tasha, Beth, Susan and James.
Dr. Amaya Amell, professor of Spanish and advisor of Phi Sigma Iota, awarded cords to the new initiates.
Charlotte receives her honor cords from Dr. Amell

 Charlotte, completing a minor in Spanish, talked about her language studies.

Dr. Susan Myers, Chair of Languages, congratulated the new initates while awarding them their certificates.
Tasha receives her certificate
Tasha talks about her studies in Spanish as she finishes a major in Spanish.

Beth Jaeger holds a special place in the history of the Phi Theta Chapter as our first initiate in Arabic.
Beth receives her certificate

Beth, having completed a minor in Arabic Area Studies, talks about her language learning experiences.

Dr. Myers also awarded the initiates their Phi Sigma Iota pins.
Susan participates in the pinning ceremony
James awarded his Phi Sigma Iota pin
Susan has completed a minor in Japanese Area Studies and shares her thoughts about her language learning experiences.

James, a Spanish major, concluded our program with reflections on his experiences in Spanish.

Congratulations to our new initiates!