Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Renovated Language Lab Opens Spring 2013

Language Lab, from the teacher's station

Thanks to a grant made possible through the Hall Family Foundation to improve learning environments, the language lab located in Jewell Hall, room 203, was renovated during the Christmas break. Now open to students, the lab boasts many new features, from new paint to new chairs and tables, from new audiovisual equipment to new computers. The response has been overwhelmingly positive from faculty, staff and students. Open House on January 16 gave faculty and staff an opportunity to visit and learn about the lab's features. They participated in an activity in which they learned how to use the software Système-D that supports writing in French in the technology space and then moved to the conversation space to share what they learned with others. Both spaces encourage collaborative learning. The language assistants who host all lab sessions now in the new space have enjoyed working with students in both spaces, moving to the computers for written communication practice, then on to the conversation space for oral communication practice.

Language Lab, from the entrance
Enjoy this short film tracking the renovation, accompanied by "Carefree Latin Memories" by adjunct professor of Music, Allen Myers.

Megan Dennis Benefits from the Teaching Assistant Program in France

Megan visiting the château d'Essaloi

Megan Dennis, a French major who graduated in May 2012, was accepted into the Teaching Assistant Program in France for the academic year 2012-2013. She writes us to share her experience since arriving in France in fall 2012.

Thanks for the great pictures, Megan! The Languages Department is thrilled to hear of your success.

As a William Jewell graduate, I am currently working as an English teaching assistant in Saint-Étienne, France, a short train ride from Lyon. My time spent at Jewell and my semester abroad inspired me to move here for a school year, both to pursue an interest in teaching and to expand my knowledge of the French language and culture. Without these previous experiences and supportive professors, I do not think I would be in France today. My experience thus far is difficult to summarize. I teach students ages 12 through 20, practicing conversational skills and teaching them about American culture.  Moving here was an adjustment and very different from studying abroad. I found an apartment and opened a French bank account, things that are much more complicated than they sound. Uprooting my entire life, though, and getting settled without the help of anyone else was challenging. Because of how challenging and rewarding my time here has been, I would encourage everyone to take advantage of an opportunity such as this. My position allows me plenty of travel time, so not only am I learning about France, but other European countries.  I am repeatedly inspired. I am continually learning new things about myself, other cultures, and the French language.
Megan and a panoramic view of Grenoble