High school students, cultural experience Sept. 27

PULLMAN– The Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures (DFLC) at Washington State University will offer high school students a day of exposure to foreign languages and cultures on Sept. 27.

The day will include lectures, presentations and interaction with DFLC students and faculty. Organizers expect approximately 300 students to attend from eastern Washington school districts including Pullman, Colfax, Spokane, Tri-Cities and Moscow, Idaho.

“This exposure will give high school visitors a sense of the importance of learning a foreign language and developing cultural competency in other areas of the world,” said Eloy González, chair of DFLC.

“This is the third year we’ve done Foreign Language Day,” said Sabine Jeanne Davis, assistant professor in DFLC and co-organizer of the event. “We find that if you introduce the notion of foreign language and culture to high school students, by the time they get to college they have a broader view of their major and how foreign language can enhance their preparedness.”

Mary Jane Neill, a French teacher from Pullman High School (PHS), would concur. According to Neill, the event causes students to weigh the value of studying foreign language and culture. “Many students,” said Neill, “discover opportunities to use the language they are studying either personally or professionally. For others, it reinforces their interest in language studies.”

Anonymous quotes collected from PHS students following a previous Foreign Language Day back up that statement. One student said, “The day made me think about studying French in college.”

Another student said, “I am more aware of opportunities in languages at the university level.”

“I was convinced that I wanted to do some form of study abroad,” said another student. Approximately 90 students from PHS, including 30 students from Neill’s class, will attend the event.

Activities and presentations for Foreign Language Day will include:

9:05 – 9:25 a.m. – Christopher Lupke, associate professor of foreign languages (Chinese) and coordinator of Asian languages: “Why Foreign Languages Are Vital to America”

9:25 – 9:45 a.m. – Ana María Rodríguez-Vivaldi, associate professor of foreign languages (Spanish): “Careers in Foreign Languages”

9:45 – 10:05 a.m. – Joan Grenier-Winther, associate professor of foreign languages (French): “Introduction to WSU Foreign Language Placement and Courses”

10:20 – 10:45 a.m. –  Conversation with WSU students in target language

11:10 – 11:40 a.m. –  International Culture & Exchange Fair, Library Rd. (between Bryan Hall and Holland Library)       

12:30 – 12:50 p.m. – Kate Wray Chettri, Education Abroad advisor – “Education Abroad: Experience for your Future”

12:55 – 2 p.m. –  Armando Laguardia, associate professor, College of Education, WSU Vancouver: “Music of the Gods, by the People and for the Ages: Afro-Caribbean Percussion Music”

2:00 – 2:15 p.m. –  Cultural trivia game and prizes

Events are scheduled at numerous locations on campus from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. For details contact Sabine Davis at davissj@wsu.edu or Eloy González at eloygonz@wsu.edu or by phone at (509) 335-4135.

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