World Languages Day
By: Josh Nelson, Chair, Department of Foreign Languages
The Department of Foreign Languages sponsored its 8th World Languages Day on May 8th. Over 280 high school students arrived on campus from as far away as Oroville
just below the Canadian border, to Kamaiakin High School in the Tri-Cities. The first hour consisted of a plenary session in the Concert Hall in the music building in which students and faculty from the CWU Russian and Music programs sang and danced to Russian music (provided by a small orchestra composed of their own members). There was also a speech by Tatiana Khainovskaya, an exchange student from Belarus on the importance of studying language and culture. After that, the high schoolers fanned out over campus to attend various small break-out workshops and lectures. The following is an inclusive list of presentations: American Sign Language, Belly
Dancing, Cambodia and Viet Nam, Japanese Abacus, Jorge the Gila Monster, 1st Year French, Simple Cyrillic, Japanese Noh Theatre Utai Chanting, the language and culture of Iran, and Japanese Culture Through Media.
The entire group then came together in Nicholson Pavilion’s dance studio to learn the merengue under the tutelage of Therese Young. Then at noon there was a barbeque lunch on the east patio of the Student Union Recreation Center. There were displays sponsored by exchange students from the Office of International Studies and Programs. Saudi Arabia, Korea, and Japan were represented at these tables.
For the first time this year, the day’s activities were extended by two hours into the early afternoon with two large group sessions which were held in Science and Dean Halls. Dr. Terry McCain described his experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, while Dr. Ralf Greenwald described his research into the role of the brain in human language via his presentation: “The Brain and Language: A Tale of Two Hemispheres.”