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Thursday, March 22, 2012

World Languages Day: Branch out and Learn!

While University of Minnesota students and faculty are counting down to various deadlines and the end of the semester, the World Languages Day planning committee continues the count-down to World Languages Day, and we can't wait! The event is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15, just two months away. We expect to draw over 1000 high school sophomores to campus.

This year, we are happy to see returning high schools from last year, from the Twin Cities metro area, as well as the northern, southern, and central areas of Minnesota. We also welcome new schools or schools that participated prior to 2011 representing a wide range of cities and town in Minnesota.

New teachers and students are in for a treat. Returnees will recognize perennial favorites on the course list, and will once again be able to learn traditional Hmong dance, greet each other in Italian, and play American Idol in German - and that's just the a small sampling of the offerings!

Reading over the course list is like flipping through a virtual travel catalogue, one that sparks cultural inquiry. Students can take Arabic Language and Culture: a Trip to Tunisia, Excursion Brazil, and A Virtual Walk through Vienna, all without leaving the U of M campus. For students who do want to leave campus, information on travel all over the world will be offered in three study abroad information sessions.

New this year will be the sounds of Afro-Cuban Music, a Spanish course which will include special musical guests. Experiencing the Chinese Language takes students on a journey through thousands of years of history. Classes such as the debut of From Atheists to Libertines: French Philosophy and the Limits of the Imagination challenge our assumptions in learning about other cultures and places, and the people we meet along the way.

There is also a cross-curriculum focus on sustainability offered this year: Water Conservation and Ecology (French), Sustainability, Insects, and Spanish, as well as Green Germany, each taught in the target language. Students will have the chance to apply their knowledge of science and the economy to their language studies in these different cultural contexts.

Take a look at our online course list for both new and proven ways to stretch imagination, broaden cultural knowledge, and express yourself in 23 different languages offered at World Languages Day this May.

In the meantime, the planning continues! Look out for more information on registration coming soon. You can view the class list, and learn more about the event at our website.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TandemPlus: Where can I use my language skills?

Are your language students eager to speak Svenska, or converse in Castellano? The TandemPlus staff has created a list locations on and off campus where students can use their second language skills in authentic, exciting contexts. See the TandemPlus site for this list, and if you know of any locations that we've missed, let us know at tandem@umn.edu.

Multilingual TV in the Multimedia Lab

The Multimedia Lab in Jones 135 has been streaming multilingual international TV since the beginning of Spring semester. Students can watch TV on the wall-mounted large-screen monitor and listen through wireless headphones while relaxing on the Lab's spacious and comfortable couch or lounge chairs.

Please inform your students of this fun, authentic and relaxing language learning opportunity. The schedule is http://languagecenter.cla.umn.edu/lab_tv.php.

Although we are not streaming French TV through the internet, we continue to receive the French satellite TV station TV5 every day.

The Digital Content Library (DCL): How to Video

The DCL has created a fun and helpful YouTube video providing instruction on why and how instructors can digitize materials used in class or out of class. Check it out!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mackenzie Haws Wins Big Ten Network Award

Mackenzie, a Spanish student and Assistant Lead Student in the main office has won the 2012 Big Ten Network LiveBIG Scholarship for Outstanding Service award for her volunteer work in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

You can read about this awards, and see a picture of Mackenzie and her little sister with Goldie Gopher at UMNews.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dance, Dance, Bowl! TandemPlus Bowling Night

On Friday, February 24, TandemPlus hosted a Spring Bowling Night at Goldy's Gameroom in Coffman Union.


More than 30 CLA and international students came to bowl, play Dance Dance Revolution, enjoy some of Goldy's famous appetizers, and speak a variety of languages including Korean, Farsi, Arabic, Chinese, French, and English.


Students also engaged in lively cross-cultural dialogue about everything from politics to American pop culture and cinema. The event was a great success that reflected the amazing growth of the TandemPlus program over the past two semesters.