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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

World Languages Day 2014: A Giant Thank You to All!

A giant thank you to everyone who made World Languages Day 2014 possible. This year's event featured a return to Northrop, a new itinerary and more classes and classrooms than ever before.

The event was a success because of our instructors, staff and volunteers. It is a broad group effort, and we could not pull off this event without the support of multiple colleges and units, including CLA, GPS Alliance, CCE, CEHD, Admissions, Facilities Management, Parking and Transportation and more.

Instructors and volunteers include current students, instructors and staff in all classifications, and former university employees and students who came back to support an event they remembered fondly from their time at the university.

Here Are Some of the People Who Made this Event --
You'll notice that some people wore many hats!

The Core World Languages Day Development Team --
They worked on this event all year long

Ellen Buckner, Anna Kaminski, Sara Mackenzie, Margie McGee-Newton, Diane Rackowski & Alaina Witt

Ellen and Anna recruited most of the instructors, communicated with schools and handled the many administrative details required throughout the year. The end of the event was bittersweet, because it was Anna's last day as a Language Center employee! Margie helped recruit the Welcoming Remarks leaders. Sara recruited and trained all of the Admission Guides. Diane and Alaina updated the website which provides registration for the event and the WLD video.

Our Building Captains & Other Special Support --
The people with the walkie-talkies who managed each location

Ellen Buckner, Anna Kaminski, Diane Rackowski, Jenise Rowekamp, Keerthana Shankar, Hunter Slack, Stephanie Treat, and Caroline Vang

Our Undergraduate Welcoming Remarks Leaders --
They co-lead led the remarks to 1100 high school students

Jonathan Prestrud and Nivie Roberts

Our Classroom Support Techs --
Provided essential technical support for the Welcoming Remarks and classes throughout the day

Fatima Babu, Jenny Boe, Alyssa Bonnac, Maya Christensen, Scott Eaton, Jonathan Prestrud, Diane Rackowski, Keerthana Shankar, Caroline Vang, Henry Wahl and Alaina Witt

Our World Languages Day Instructors --
Talk about Essential! These are the folks who taught the day's classes


  • Monica Barbieri: Introduction to Italian: Benvenuti!
  • Lydia Belatèche: Les Délices de France: Learn to Eat (and Speak) like the French
  • Nels Berge: Introduction to Italian: Benvenuti!
  • Jim Bierma: So You Want to Be A Millionaire: How Preparing for College Can Help!
  • Martha Bigelow: ¡Wacala!/Yuck!
  • Juliette Cherbuliez: From Atheists to Libertines: French Philosophy and the Limits of the Imagination
  • Hangtae Cho: The Korean Alphabet in 40 Minutes
  • Kate Clements: TandemPlus Chinese Language Exchange
    Assisted by Chinese Language Partners:   Junhua Chen, Yuyang Fan, Yi-Ju Lai, Sun Li, Zhaoxiang Lin, Xuewu Qin, Jin Stone, Qian Wang, Qingying Xue, and Yufei Zhao
  • Cristina Cocchi: Introduction to Italian: Benvenuti!
  • Rachael Cullick: How Many Ways Could a Roman Stick Out His Tongue?
  • Yuliya Dzhol: Basic Ojibwe
  • Mohammed Elmeski: Introduction to Arabic!
  • Satty Flaherty-Echeverria: Portuguese for Students of Spanish
  • Daniela Goldfine: ¡Bienvenidos a Argentina!
  • Abdelkader Hamouchi: Introduction to Arabic!
  • Stephanie Hernandez: Dominican Republic Culture Class
  • Maria Hofmann: Sweden: From Viking Raids to Rap Music
  • Sungok Hong: Holi: Indian Spring Festival of Colors & Come Enjoy Bhangra Dance!
  • Minori Inada: Introduction to Japanese
  • Ruben Joanem: Haiti: History of Mixed Cultures and Languages
  • Marlene Johnshoy: Using Technology to Hunt for Language Treasure
  • Bryce Johnson: The Korean Alphabet in 40 Minutes
  • Anna Kaminski: The Arab Avant-Garde: From Egyptian Surrealism to Palestinian Hip Hop
  • Daniel Karvonen: Survival Finnish
  • Beth Kautz: Green Germany
  • Keiko Kawakami: Introduction to Japanese
  • Betsy Kerr: Parlez-vous franglais? Frenglish through the Ages
  • April Knutson: Haiti: History of Mixed Cultures and Languages
  • Viviana Limon: Wacala!/Yuck!
  • Maxwell LeYang: Hmong Culture
  • Chi-ping Li: Instant Chinese
  • Qijie Li: Experiencing Chinese Language
  • Jacqueline Listemaa: Sweden: From Viking Raids to Rap Music
  • Sara MacKenzie: U of M Admissions: The Inside Scoop
  • Sidow Mohammed: Introduction to Arabic!
  • Brad Neubarth: Big D Deaf: Deaf Culture in America
  • John Nordstrom: Sweden: From Viking Raids to Rap Music
  • Anna Olivero-Agney: Introduction to Italian: Benvenuti!
  • Paul Peterson: Introduction to Icelandic<
  • Catalina Phan: U of M Admissions: The Inside Scoop
  • Luis Ramos-Garcia: United States Latino Theater: Human and Civil Rights
  • Matthias Rothe: A Song, Two Poems, Two Paintings - Messages in a Bottle from Socialist Germany
  • Ryan Seaberg: Eureka! The Greek Alphabet and (R)evolution of Writing
  • Rachel Sherman Johnson: International Game Time
    Assisted by Game Leaders:   Carlo Fernandez, Alex Fox, Nivie Roberts, Chris Michaels and Alaina Witt
  • Ginny Steinhagen: Bastelstunde! German Arts & Crafts
  • Gabriela Sweet: Self Assessment for Chinese, French, German, Spanish and Spanish Immersion Students
  • Kenichi Tazawa: The Art of Paper Folding 'Origami'
  • Rick Treece: Vive la Rèsistance! The French Resistance in World War II
  • Emilie Van Leemput: Nederland, Land Van Tolerantie (Netherlands, Country of Tolerance) & Overleven in Nederland (Survival Dutch) & Wat Maakt Nederland, Nederland? (Dutch Culture)
  • Pablo Viedma: ¡España es Diferente!
  • Eva Von Dassow: Cuneiform Tablet Demo
  • Pei-Cheng Wei: Instant Chinese
  • Maria Wentworth: Where in the World Will U Go? Study Abroad as a College Student
  • Alex Zeibot: Big D Deaf: Deaf Culture in America
  • Yongling Zhang-Gorke: Zhong Gua Hua: Learn Chinese through Popular Songs
  • Hanna Zmijewska-Emerson: The Face of Modern Norway
  • Zhen Zou: Instant Chinese
  • Eva Palma Zuniga: Chilean Culture Class

Admissions Guides --
Helping students find their classes and providing information about the university

Alyssa Anderson, Emily Ask, Katie Ask, Emily Csuy, John Jurgens, Jack Joyce-Lynch, Andrea Larson, Brian Miller, Emily Myers, Ryan Olson, Catalina Phan, Riley Webster

Our Check in and Classroom Assistants --
Helping with Check in, assisting in classes and so much more!

Fatima Babu, Ellen Buckner, Carlo Fernandez, Alex Fox, Louis Janus, Rachel Sherman Johnson, Mory Kaba, Na Hee Lee-Workman, Chris Michaels, Patrick O'Brien, Cheryl Oulicky, Joanne Peltonen, Jonathan Prestrud, Erica Qualheim, Crystal Rose, Rachel Sherman Johnson, Carol Skalko, Hunter Slack, Dan Soneson, Stephanie Treat and Sao Yang

And Thank You Participants

Finally, thank you to all the high school teachers, students, counselors and parents who took time out of their busy spring semester to come to this event. This kind of field trip is complicated to organize and execute, and we appreciate everyone's effort and good cheer on the day. We hope you enjoyed your visit to the University of Minnesota!


Monday, May 5, 2014

Language Center Staff Graduations!

After this spring semester, five long-term Language Center employees will complete their undergraduate programs. All of them held unique positions in our department and made valuable contributions to language education at the University of Minnesota. Please join us in congratulating the following graduates, and wishing them the best in their future endeavors!

Will Benton, Classroom Support Assistant, will graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Individualized Studies, focusing on Chinese, Business and the History of Technology. After graduation he hopes to make his way to China and teach English while becoming more fluent in Mandarin.

Mackenzie (Kenzie) Haws, Multimedia Lab Lead Student through Fall 2013, will graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Supply Chain and Operations with minors in International Business and Spanish Studies. This August, Kenzie will move to Nashville, Tennessee to begin working in a plant for General Mills. Before her move, she plans to spend time with her family in Chicago and enjoy country music concerts.

Anna Kaminski, TandemPlus and World Languages Day Assistant, will graduate with a Bachelor's degree in both Art and Global Studies with a triple minor in Art History, Asian Languages and Literature, and Social Justice. She plans on continuing to make art over the next year and remain in academia by eventually pursuing a PhD in either Art History or Philosophy.

Saoirse McMahon, Main Office Assistant and Elsie Speaks Editor, will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She will continue working at Fraser with children with special needs and hopes to obtain a position working in clinical mental health then pursue graduate school to become a therapist.

Alaina Witt, AV Assistant, will graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Korean Language and Literature and a minor in Linguistics. She will continue working in the AV Studio throughout the summer. She hopes to teach in Korea this upcoming academic year before returning to the U.S. to attend graduate school.


"Yes They Can! Planning the Journey" Workshop May 21-22, 2014

Just a friendly reminder to register for this two-day workshop by Friday, May 9, 2014. We are excited to have Martha Bigelow to facilitate and lead us in a discussion of how to implement the Can Do Statements developed during the previous workshop.

Wednesday, May 21 & Thursday, May 22, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided
STSS 530A