Modern Language Mingle exposes students to global opportunities

Amanda Gonzalez

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The School of Humanities hosted a Modern Language Mingle in order to highlight the multiple of languages offered at St. Edward’s University.

In the shade under Sorin Oak, the six languages represented on Oct. 29. were Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, German, French and Spanish 

“We’ve really started encouraging students to take language a lot earlier because a lot of times, they get to be junior or seniors, and they want to study abroad, but they don’t speak anything other than English, and so that can be an issue if they want to study abroad in a non-English-speaking country,” Assistant to the Dean of the School of Humanities Natacha Martin said.

Whether you want to strengthen a language you’re already familiar with, or learn a completely new language, St. Edward’s requires students to have two semesters of a language to meet the general education requirement for graduation.

Known for its calligraphy, Arabic is “challenging,” but “beautiful,” said adjunct professor of Arabic Aman Attieh. Arabic is the fifth largest spoken language in the world.

Students can enter the gateway to Asian culture by studying in a Japanese exchange program at Asia Pacific University in Oita, Japan. Students can also teach English in The Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program for US citizens.

“If you’re interested in learning Japanese or the culture, take a Japanese language course,” Adjunct Professor of Japanese Maeri Megumi said.

For those who are interested in learning Chinese or Mandarin, visit with Hsing-Chih Yu, adjunct professor of Chinese. She encourages learning the language because it is spoken by one-fifth of the world. On Thursday, the Chinese classes and club will host a “Dance for Dim Sum,” with a Chinese square dance and traditional Cantonese cuisine from 12-1 p.m. under Sorin Oak.

Emma Woelk, assistant professor of German is new to St. Edward’s. At the mingle, she had a wheel of fortune with German words which students had to pronounce or guess their meaning for German candy. This year, there will also be a German club called Deutschklub. Their first meeting is Thursday in Fleck 315 from 6-8 p.m..

One of the most popular study abroad locations for SEU students is at our sister school in Angers, France. 

Visiting French professor from Angers, Marie Legagneux was present at the modern language mingle alongside St. Edward’s Philippe Seminet, associate professor of French.

“It’s really helpful to at least have two semesters of French. But it also is part of the experience, getting to a country and not knowing a word, and then step by step you learn more through your French classes and the culture,” Legagneux said.

The professors are looking to the future.

“What we hope to do, when revising the general education requirements, is make the languages a popular choice for a second major,” Seminet said. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed, as a group here, that that is going to happen soon, even though we’re told it takes a couple of years to go through.”