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Monday, October 28, 2013

Congratulations to Jenise and Margaret!

Congratulations to Jenise Rowekamp, former Director of the CLA Language Center and current ESL instructor on her recent marriage to Margaret Miller.

Here is a short message from Jenise:

After 22 years together, we were able to get married. We eloped at our friends' home where they served as our witnesses and we as theirs with a neighborhood judge presiding.

It was very, very low key as we all preferred. We went out to dinner after and were home by 9:00, which must have something to do with being in our 60's and having to go to work in the morning.

We are all very proud to live in a state where we can exercise our equal rights. None of us thought we would live to see this day, and we feel so privileged to be the first generation with the right to marry. It truly is a great thing to celebrate.

Thank you all for being so supportive and accepting, treating us as equals over all these years.


The Digital Contact Library (DCL) Media Drawer: It makes a great service even better

The DCL has asked for some help spreading the word about Media Drawers. Instructors who are using a particular film or clip for a class should add the film to their class Media Drawer. This is an easy way to share materials with students, and it will automatically give undergraduates access to the larger version of films. The larger version looks better than the standard small version and subtitles are easier to read.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please read the DCL Media Drawer FAQ.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Modernized Learning Spaces Formal Community of Practice: Message from the MLSfCoP Voice of the Community Affinity Group

Twin Cities academic support colleagues are working together as part of the Modernizing Learning Spaces Formal Community of Practice. The Voice of the Community Affinity Group has been charged with making recommendations regarding improving classrooms, study spaces, and other formal and informal learning spaces. As part of that process, we are gathering input from faculty and students regarding their experiences and requirements in learning spaces.

To complete our charge, we will be conducting a focus group session, and we invite you to participate in the conversation.

The focus group will meet Thursday, October 24, 11:30-12:30 p.m., Nicholson Hall 115.

We are sending this invitation to faculty and support staff asking for 60 minutes of your time to share your observations, as well as needs for supporting smartphones, tablets, laptop,s and other portable information devices within these spaces.

If you are able to attend the focus group session, please let us know by completing the RSVP form.

Additionally, consider sharing feedback regarding three questions through this online survey. Your voice is valued and will influence improvements made to university learning environments.

MLSfCoP Voice of the Community Affinity Group
(Noah Holm, Sarah Kussow, David Crane, Toni Pangborn, Joel Turbes, Stacy Krueger, Jeff Bullington, Brad Cohen, Scott Spicer, Jeremy Todd, Jim MacDonald, Jackie Campbell)

TandemPlus Upcoming Event

The next TandemPlus event is scheduled for Tuesday, October 29 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Punch Pizza in Stadium Village. Attendees can get to know other TandemPlus participants and use their first and second languages while enjoying pizza and beverages, courtesy of Punch and TandemPlus. This event is open to anyone who is registered for TandemPlus this semester. If you'd like to attend, please email tandem@umn.edu to join the guest list.

Also, TandemPlus registration for the Fall semester ended on Friday, October 18. Thank you for your continuing participation and support! Stay tuned for updates about Fall events, and Spring registration.

VoiceThread Workshop: October 25, 2013

Have you heard that VoiceThread is a new tool that's been added to Moodle? Rick Treece (Interim Coordinator of Second-Year French) and Caroline Vang (Professional Development Specialist) from the Language Center are hosting a workshop to introduce it on October 25th (Friday) from 1:25~2:15 p.m. in Jones 10. The session is open to all instructors in our language departments. We'll be showcasing sample VoiceThread projects and assignments which can be done in and outside of the classroom as well as allowing time for you to brainstorm and create your own VoiceThread assignment. Please e-mail Caroline at cevang@umn.edu if you are interested in joining us.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Getting to Know the Classroom Support Staff

Who are the students working in Jones 5 this semester? Here are short self-introductions from the new and returning Language Center Classroom Support student staff.


Jonathan Prestrud

My name is Jonathan Prestrud, and I'm a senior at the University of Minnesota -- a transfer student -- and I am majoring in Linguistics. I come from New Prague, Minnesota. As for languages, I've studied five: German, Korean, Spanish, French, and Norwegian, and have interests in many others. Over the summer, my girlfriend and I traveled to twelve countries, starting in Morocco and ending in Athens, Greece.


Will Benton

Hi everyone, my name is Will Benton. I am originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. I am a senior this year and I am planning on graduating with a Bachelor's in Individualized Studies, concentrating in Chinese, Business and the History of Technology. This will be my third year at Jones hall. This summer, I spent the month of June traveling in London and Spain. I got to meet up with a few good friends there, including the Language Center's own Jessica Troyan.


Keerthana Shankar

Ello mates, my name is Keerthana. I've been in Hopkins, Minnesota since 6th grade. I'm a Junior this year and my major is in Asian Language and Literature with a focus in Korean. I have worked in the LC since Fall 2012. Although my major is in Korean, I know some Spanish, and my main passion lies in Japanese. Now, I'm trying to experiment with Brazilian Portuguese, so if you know some words, shoot em at me! This summer, I mainly worked at Jones Hall as well as Carlson and started doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which has become one of my new passions.


Alli Shaw

Hello! My name is Alli Shaw and I am from Minneapolis, MN. I am a sophomore this year and am interested in occupational therapy but am still figuring out my major, as there is no pre-occupational therapy major at the U. This will be my second year working at the Language Center. I studied Spanish for six years and decided to take American Sign Language this semester. This summer I went to a couple of family reunions, went on camping trips, played soccer, and worked at an awesome bakery called Patisserie 46. Looking forward to working with all of you!


Brandon Adams

Shalom all! I'm Brandon and I'm from a small town up north called Fertile, MN. This is my second year at the LC and I really love the atmosphere around the place! I'm a Junior studying English and Jewish Studies with a minor in Hebrew. At the end of this summer I worked on the Event Staff for Orientation and First-Year Programs because I love the Welcome Week program the U has and I always like welcoming the new Freshmen into the university. Excited to meet all the new faces!


Jessica Troyan

Hello all it's great to be back! My name is Jessica, and I was born and raised in Eau Claire, WI which is about an hour and a half drive to the east. I'm a Junior this year majoring in English, Spanish and a minor in technical communications. I have worked at the LC for three years, ever since I was a freshman. I have been interested in Spanish ever since I was in elementary school and this summer I was able to study abroad in Toledo, Spain for six weeks along with traveling to France and Italy. This year I thought I would try a new language and so I am also in the process of now learning Portuguese.


Ruth Zwick

Hello! My name is Ruth. I was born in Michigan but since middle school have lived in the lovely mini-apple. This will be second year at the Language Center and my third year at the U studying Italian and English with an ESL minor. I love Italian and language learning in general and wish I had time to learn more. This summer I worked at the Language Center and American Apparel and enjoyed the mild Minneapolis summer the rest of my time.


Viktor Stelter

Hello, my name is Viktor Stelter. I am from Edgar, Wisconsin. I am a sophomore this year with an undeclared major, although I am leaning toward Scientific and Technical Communications. Although I am currently not enrolled in any language classes, I plan to start Spanish, Russian, or ASL next year. I spent the summer with my friends and worked on a ginseng farm back in Wisconsin.


Molly Scholesser

My name is Molly and I am from a small town called Le Center, MN. I am currently a Junior majoring in both Family Social Science and Early Childhood Education. I have been working at the Language Center since January of 2013. I am not currently studying any languages, but I have three years of experience in Spanish. Over the summer, I took classes and worked at the Language Center in Classroom Support.


Andrew Swenson

My name is Andrew. I grew up in Eden Valley, Minnesota. I am a sophomore studying English and Theater. This is my second year working at the LC. I speak English and also a little German. This summer I worked at a summer camp, hung out with friends, and went on a couple vacations.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Internationalizing the Curriculum with Technology: Providing All Students with Global Learning Experiences

Friday, November 1, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
530A, Science Teaching & Student Services (STSS)
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Register: http://global.umn.edu/icc/events/rubin_workshop.html

In this interactive workshop participants will learn about online collaborative international courses and explore strategies to apply what they learn in their own courses and curricula. Professor Rubin is the director of the SUNY COIL Center, a national leader for the development of globally networked classrooms across the curriculum.

This workshop is free of charge for faculty and staff in both the MnSCU system and at the University of Minnesota; the workshop will be webcast for those who plan to participate at a distance. Registration is required.

CLA-OIT System Maintenance Window on Saturday: Websites Unavailable

Saturday, October 19, 2013 8:00 AM - 2:00 p.m

Due to the CLA-OIT maintenance window, some web sites and services will be unavailable Saturday morning and afternoon, including the following:

If you have questions about CLA-OIT's maintenance work and website availability, please contact the department directly 612-624-4357 or 4help@umn.edu.

Academic Technology Tools: Announcing Moodle Training Opportunities!

  • New class for instructors: MDL031 - Orientation to Teaching Online with Moodle, Oct 24

  • VoiceThread Seminar for Faculty scheduled for Oct 23

  • Online training videos for Moodle 2.4 now available through Lynda.umn.edu

New class for instructors: MDL031 - Orientation to Teaching Online with Moodle
This 3.5-hour class is targeted for instructors who are not designing or creating their Moodle course sites, and covers skills necessary to manage a course through Moodle. Enroll now.

VoiceThread Seminar scheduled for Faculty
VoiceThread is an interactive media tool integrated into Moodle. This online seminar, delivered by VoiceThread staff, will cover the basics of how to use it with your course site. Enroll now.

Online training videos for Moodle 2.4 now available
Lynda.umn.edu now has an entire online course on using Moodle 2.4. Access it now.

OIT also has its regular line-up of Moodle courses and tutoring listed here: http://www.oit.umn.edu/training/courses/index.htm#moodle

TandemPlus Past and Upcoming Events

The TandemPlus Conversation Program hosts several events throughout the semester which allow language learners to meet each other, use their second- and first-language skills, and enjoy refreshments in a fun, casual environment. We hosted our initial kickoff event on Friday, September 27, when about 60 people met and played multilingual games such as "2 Truths and a Lie" in two (or more) languages.

Our next event is scheduled for Tuesday, October 29 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Punch Pizza in Stadium Village. Attendees can get to know other TandemPlus participants and use their first and second languages while enjoying a snack of pizza and beverages, courtesy of Punch and TandemPlus. This event is open to anyone who's registered for TandemPlus this semester; if you'd like to attend, please send email tandem@umn.edu to get on the guest list.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Getting to Know the Main Office Student Staff

Who are the students working at the front desk in Jones Hall 110 this semester? Here are short self-introductions from the new and returning Language Center Main Office student staff.


Agnes Hong

I am a Junior studying Anthropology. My focus is in Archaeology. I am also minoring in Asian Languages and Literature and Environmental Science. My hometown is Anchorage, Alaska. In my freetime I like to read, craft, knit, work with computers, and cook. Both English and Korean are my first languages. In high school, I took Japanese and during my last two years at the U I took Chinese to fulfill my language requirement.


Chris Michaels

I'm new to the Language Center main office. I'm really looking forward to meeting and working with everyone here. Though I'm a junior with a major in Japanese Language & Literature, I didn't take my first Japanese language class until this semester. Up to this point, I had been using online resources, books, and Skype as a means of learning the language. I transferred from North Hennepin Community College, which doesn't offer Japanese courses. I plan to study abroad in Kyoto, Japan next year, where I'll attend Ritsumeikan University's intensive Japanese language program. Ever since I can remember, my favorite hobbies have been sports; my favorites are football and basketball. I'm a die-hard Vikings and Timberwolves fan. One of the great things about sports, I think, is that it makes cross-cultural relations much more natural for a lot of people. I've always thought that making connections between different cultures, and learning about one another, is a very important thing. I definitely love the multicultural and multilingual environment of the Language Center. It should be a fun year!


Fatima Babu

This will be my third year at the Language Center. I am currently a senior majoring in Political Science and Global Studies. I was born in a small town in Massachusetts, but I was raised in the Twin Cities. I really love traveling and spending time with my friends and family. I took Spanish in high school and I am currently studying Arabic! I am looking forward to another fun year here at Language Center!


Henry Wahl

I'm a senior majoring in Linguistics. I will hopefully graduate this spring. I'm from Mahtomedi, Minnesota, which is a town to the northeast, about a half hour drive, so it's still part of the Metro. It's right next to White Bear Lake (and Mahtomedi actually means White Bear in Lakota). I'm studying Spanish and Chinese, and hopefully will be able to learn more languages someday.


Hunter Slack

I'm a sophomore this year and will be declaring my major in Marketing soon, with minors in Design and New Media Studies. While I took Spanish from high school up to last year, I realized it wasn't really for me and will not be pursuing any more language study. I'm from White Bear Lake, MN, where I've lived my whole life. When I'm not in school or at the Language Center I'm usually doing something music related. I play in two bands. When I get out of school I plan on moving out west to California, something I've wanted to do my whole life. Hopefully when I do that I will have landed a career in advertising. In addition to working at the main desk in the Language Center, I also serve as the Moodle Assistant for hybrid language courses.


Maya Christensen

I am an undecided major in CLA. I'm from the Twin Cities, south Minneapolis to be specific, and I love being here at the U. I love to run, bike, and do anything active, as well as musical things and being spontaneous with friends. I have studied Spanish, and am hoping to add another language next year.


Miranda Moen

I am from Caledonia, Minnesota, which is way down in the southeast part of the state. I am majoring in Architecture in the Bachelor of Design in Architecture program and it is my 3rd year. I am minoring in Neuroscience with an emphasis in Psychology. I am passionate about just about everything in architecture, but my focus is on how it impacts humanity and communities, especially across cultures. My hobbies include: going on nature walks and bike rides in the early fall breeze, working out, drawing and sketching, photography, watching documentaries and TED talks, and reading just about anything interesting. I studied Spanish in high school, and in the future I will hopefully apply more of my time to studying a language, since I would like to travel across the world. I want to learn about communities as well as help serve them by designing/building low-income housing. (Although I don't think the title fits well). I believe everyone deserves a better quality of life and that housing should reflect cultural as well as personal values, and it doesn't have to be displayed in its financial value.


Roberto Barrios

I'm new to the Language Center this semester. I'm a standing junior, majoring in Economics with a minor in French. Before starting my position in the Language Center, I worked as a Spanish TA for a little over two years and really liked it. I like being exposed to new languages and cultures; I'm currently in my first semester of Hindi, which is really an awesome language. I am from Veracruz, on the east coast of Mexico. I'm usually there during summers and any other breaks I get during the year (especially during the winter months). When not at work or school I'm most likely watching films on Netflix or reading a good piece of detective fiction.


Saoirse McMahon

I'm a senior Psychology major with journalistic tendencies, meaning I used to be a Journalism major but switched last semester. In the future, I'd like to go to graduate school for either counseling psychology or clinical, with a focus in serving multicultural communities. I love vinyasa yoga, cerebral documentaries, and attempting to grow plants. I was born in Dublin, Ireland and have lived in various parts of Minneapolis for most of my life. In the past I have had experience learning Gaelic, Latin, Spanish, and French, but I am most proficient in French. I've worked here at the Language Center for more than two years, first as an Office Assistant and now also as a Communications Editor for the Elsie Speaks newsletter and the LC News blog.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Saving iMovie projects for editing on a different computer

iMovie is a video editing program that comes pre-installed on most Macintosh computers. Many users enjoy it because it is powerful and easy to use. However, it can also be frustrating for computer lab patrons who don't always use the same computer because unless the movie project is saved properly, it will not be editable on another machine. This tutorial will show users how to save an iMovie project so it can be opened and edited on different machines.

Projects created in iMovie are comprised of events which are smaller pieces of media like video clips or pictures. Unfortunately iMovie events do not get saved automatically by iMovie; only the project is saved. So if you try to open your iMovie file on a different machine than the one you started on, you will see the project but no events and your work will essentially be gone. However, this crisis can be averted by finalizing the project before quitting iMovie.

Here's how:

Step 1.   Work on your project in iMovie. The movie project will often automatically be stored somewhere on the hard drive. When you are ready to call it quits for the day on your movie in progress, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2.   Go to File > Finalize Project. Finalizing the project prepares (renders) the movie in all playable movie formats but it does not prevent further editing of the project. Be aware that finalizing does take some time, though. Let the project Finalize.

fig1.pngStep 3.   Connect a portable hard drive or other storage device to your computer. This will appear on the Project Library screen under the list of all current storage devices. It's advisable to use an external hard drive with large capacity and not a USB "thumb" drive, since iMovie does not always recognize thumb drives.

(Note to patrons of the Jones 135 computer lab: you can check out an external hard drive from the Lab Attendants for this purpose.)
Step 4.   Click and drag the finalized project from its current location onto the portable hard drive. iMovie will ask if you want to copy just the Project or the Project and Events to this portable drive; select both Project and Events in the dialogue box.

Step 5.   Disconnect the portable hard drive to which you have saved the project and events. You are now free to go! When you need to work on the project again, simply insert the portable hard drive and start working on the iMovie project saved on that drive. When the project is opened, iMovie will inform you that you are editing your finalized project.

As long as you continue working on the project and saving to the portable hard drive, you don't need to finalize it again. However, if you transfer it back and forth between a computer's hard drive and a portable drive, you will need to repeat the above steps and finalize it before saving it to your portable drive for further work.

fig2b.pngView of files being saved to your external drive in Step 4.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Updated: On and Near Campus Conversation Groups Fall 2013

Thank you to everyone who informed us of new conversation groups (or ones that were new to us). Please see an updated list below. It now includes Chinese and Dutch, and a new time for the Finnish group.

  • Chinese: Chinese Tea Hour - Fridays 3:30 -4:30 p.m. in Folwell 4
  • Dutch: Koffieuurtje - Fridays 1:15-2:15 p.m. at Bordertown Coffee
  • Finnish: keskustelutunti - Fridays 11:15-12:15 p.m. at Bordertown Coffee
  • French: French Café - Thursdays 6 p.m. at Bordertown Coffee
  • German: Kaffeestunde - Fridays, 1:15-2:15 p.m. in Folwell 317
  • Italian: Ciao! - Tuesdays 4-5 p.m. at Bordertown Coffee
  • Japanese: J Café - Fridays 2-4 p.m. at Nolte Dining Room
  • Korean: Korean Café - Wednesdays 12:15-1:00 p.m. in Folwell 113
  • Norwegian: Norwegian Coffee Hour - Fridays 12-1 p.m. at Nolte Center Dining Room
  • Spanish: SPACO - Thursdays 4-6 p.m. at Bordertown Coffee
  • Swedish: "fika" with Den Svenska Klubben - Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Bordertown Coffee
  • Swedish: Swedish Coffee Hour - Fridays 11-12 p.m. at Nolte Dining Room
In addition to conversation groups, TandemPlus can be a great resource for students to practice their speaking and listening skills. In the case of the following languages, we currently have more native speakers seeking partners than we do learners: Arabic, Chinese, Korean. If you are learning one of these languages, you are very likely to find a native speaker partner on campus.

If you would like to use a variety of languages in a fun, informal setting try the Small World Coffee Hour every other Friday.

To become more deeply involved with a language at the University, join a language-related student group.

Any groups we missed? Email tandem@umn.edu so we can help spread the word!