A few weeks ago, we received a detailed update from students currently studying in Spain in this POST
, however, we now shift our attention to the dynamic classes in the World Language Departmen
t on campus.
Tomorrow marks the final 'class day' of the Fall Term and after more than two full months of classes, students are completing final projects and preparing for final exams.
In Spanish 2, students have worked throughout the term to compose 'blog' posts working on various tenses and vocabulary. Check the projects out HERE
French classes are using a similar project this term as students compose blog entries on a class Wiki
, implementing the ideas promoted in THIS
While French and Spanish courses have long been staples of the World Language Department
, this marks the first year Mandarin Chinese has been offered. The Chinese program arose out of both internal interest among students and an understanding of increased demand for the language in a global economy, and has quickly grown into a popular program for students with varied experience levels.
First year faculty member Jon Beard, a Chinese language and literature major at Connecticut College, brings tremendous enthusiasm and experience to the Mandarin program.
Mandarin 1 offers students a very basic introduction to the language as students spent the first three weeks of the term learning pronunciation, the writing system and eventually characters.
The class then moved into basic greetings, counting, daily dictations, and practice with the romanization system in order to learn basic communicative skills.
As students learn more and more of the basics, Beard encourages visitors to the class Wiki page
to see the work being done. They also note the community should expect a skit in assembly coming soon!
The offering of Mandarin 3 to a select group of students with significant experience in the language provides additional excitement for a first year program as the course is conducted entirely in Chinese.
Students are expected to prepare daily presentations in Chinese as well as be prepared to ask questions of other students during their presentations.
While the program is only in its first year, Beard is very excited about its direction from here. "I would love to see the program not only grow on campus, but develop into an off-campus offering in the future."
Beard adds, "I fell in love with the language in college and knew, 'This is it', the musicality of the language, the poetry of the characters, it combines all of my passions. The kids this year are equally as motivated to simply learn the language and absorb it all."
While a Mandarin abroad program is not yet developed, the integration of a culture on campus remains a primary goal of learning a language and we are all benefitting from the World Language Department's efforts in this regard!