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TandemPlus Bowling: Scoring a Strike!

On Friday, October 24, 2014, TandemPlus held its second get-together of the semester -- a bowling party at Goldy's Gameroom in Coffman Union. About 50 people attended this event and discussed the different ways to say "strike" and "7-10 split" in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish, while savoring the untranslatable flavor of Goldy's tater tots and onion rings.

Join TandemPlus for our third and final event of the semester on Wednesday, December 3 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. for the ever-popular Punch Pizza Party at Punch Pizza in Stadium Village. Like all TandemPlus events, this is open to all Tandem participants, paired and unpaired.

PACE Swap Shop: Special Halloween Edition

Can we bring our good ideas back from the dead?

Language instructors: you know that feeling when the activity you plan just doesn't take off? Join fellow instructors from throughout CLA in a reflective look at lessons in need of reviving!

Special guests Sean Killackey from French and Italian and Beth Kautz from German, Scandinavian and Dutch will share from their experiences and start the conversation.

There will be open-mic time at the end if you desire to bring out your dead!

All language instructors are invited to attend.

Thursday, October 30, 2014
11:00 - 12:00 p.m.
Folwell 105

This event is sponsored by the PACE Professional Development (PD) Peer Team, which includes language instructors from French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Come get some killer ideas!

Getting to Know the Classroom Support Student Staff

The Language Center's Classroom Support staff consists of ten student workers this fall. Here are short self-introductions from the new and returning student staff.


Keerthana Shankar

Allo! My name is Keerthana. I am Indian by nationality but was born in Saudi Arabia, and I'm majoring in Asian Language and Literature with a focus on Korean. I speak a south Indian language called Tamil with my family. I am trying to learn Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Vietnamese, and Spanish. Although my parents are from India, we've only visited India a few times. In my free time, I love to do digital art pieces. I also participate in various martial arts. This year, I am on the board of the Minnesota International Student Association as well as the Indian Student Association, so I would love to see you at our events!


Kevin Vrla

Bom dia! My name is Kevin and I am a Linguistic major and Portuguese studies minor senior here at the University. I greatly enjoy learning about other languages. I currently speak Spanish and Portuguese with good proficiency and am working on developing my French skills. I have not done much traveling, but I did travel to Brazil when I was in high school and plan on being in Portugal this coming spring. When I'm not satisfying my linguistic curiosity (of various languages from around the world), I spend most of my time reading, playing music, or watching movies.


Brandon Adams

Shalom! I'm Brandon, a senior double-majoring in English and Jewish Studies here at the U. I'm back at the Language Center for my final year of school after studying in Jerusalem last spring. During my adventure I visited all over Israel, as well as Jordan and the Netherlands. I have studied Modern Hebrew for some time now, and I am still working on fluency, but my confidence has gone up after spending time where it's spoken daily! Living abroad and speaking to people from all over the world taught me more than any class ever can. I'm always considering where I want to visit next, who I will meet, and what I will learn!


Anna Sisombat

Bonjour! I'm Anna, and I'm currently a French major. I recently transferred from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN, which is my hometown. I know 3 languages: English, Laotian, and French. I grew up in a Laotian family and started studying French in high school. Two summers ago, I had the privilege of traveling to France for three weeks with my classmates. I had an amazing time there and can't wait to go back again! In my spare time, I love to play phone games or video games on the Xbox, explore the Twin Cities and try new food, or play my guitar and violin.


Jessica Troyan

Hola! I'm Jessica, and I am a senior studying English, Spanish and Technical Communications. I will be graduating this December and hope to get a job in the publishing field. I can speak a little Portuguese, and I am fluent in Spanish. I was lucky enough to study abroad in Toledo the summer before my junior year. I have traveled to France, Spain, Italy, and Mexico, and I love being able to try new foods and experience different cultures. I enjoy reading, going for walks outside, and cooking.


Amber Davidson

Hi, everyone! My name is Amber, and I'm a sophomore majoring in History with a minor in Spanish Studies. I grew up near Detroit Lakes, a small town in northern Minnesota. This is my second semester in Classroom Support here at the Language Center. I took Spanish throughout high school, and I'm continuing my studies in Spanish here at the U. I love learning the language and about the different cultures in which it is spoken, and my future plans include traveling all across Latin America. In fact, I'm planning to study abroad in Argentina within the next year. I'm also taking American Sign Language for the first time this semester, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it! In my free time I love to read, listen to music, play my guitar, and spend time with my family.


Molly Schloesser

Hey, everyone! I'm Molly and I'm going to be graduating in May (hopefully!). I'm double-majoring in Early Childhood Education and Family Social Science. I have worked at the Language Center in Classroom Support for about two years now. I am not currently studying any languages at the U, but I took three years of Spanish in high school. I have had a few opportunities to travel outside of the country. About three years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to France and Spain with some of my classmates for about two weeks. It was a short trip and we did not get to spend much time in each of the three cities we went to (Paris, Barcelona and Madrid), but it was an experience I will never forget! I also had the privilege of traveling to South Africa during winter break my sophomore year. I lived in Cape Town for about a month and did some service learning there. Other than traveling, my hobbies include horseback riding, reading, watching movies, and looking at videos of cute puppies on YouTube.


Carissa Polo

Ciao! I'm Carissa, and I am studying Journalism with a Spanish minor. I've been studying Spanish for about nine years now, and I decided to switch things up this year by taking courses to also learn Italian! Languages fascinate me, and I've made it a goal to be conversationally proficient in at least five languages by the time I leave college, which means I also try to keep up with French and Portuguese when I have time outside of classes. I have a love for traveling, and I'm planning on studying abroad in either France, Spain, or Australia within the next year. I'm only a sophomore, but I've already made plans to backpack through Italy during the summer after I graduate. In my free time I manage and write for my own blog, attend concerts, figure skate, watch copious amounts of Netflix, and cry over cute puppies.


Lauren Otto

¡Hola! I'm Lauren, and right now I'm planning to major in English with a minor in Spanish, but I'm also very interested in Global Studies and Cultural Studies, so we'll see where that takes me. I love to travel and experience new places and cultures, and I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new things. I left the United States for the first time this last summer when I went on a mission trip to Honduras, which made me very excited to either study abroad or participate in service learning/ volunteering abroad. I hope to eventually set foot on every continent--hopefully even Antarctica. I obviously enjoy reading and writing in my spare time, along with listening to and playing jazz (I play trumpet), playing volleyball, and spending time with friends and family.


Alli Shaw

Hello! My name is Alli and I am a junior here at the U of M. I am a Psychology B.A. major with a minor in Statistics, and I hope to eventually obtain my masters degree in Occupational Therapy. I am currently studying American Sign Language and absolutely love it. I have also previously studied Spanish for six years and cannot wait to put it to use when I study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the spring semester of this school year. I love to travel and experience new things and cannot wait for my adventure! I am a huge soccer fan and love to play in my free time. I also enjoy snowboarding, playing the piano, and spending time with friends and family.

Welcome Back Caroline!

Caroline Vang has returned from her parental leave and is back in her office at at the Language Center. We are all very pleased to have Caroline back and also grateful for the support we received from Jenny Boe and Beth Dillard Paltrineri during Caroline's leave. We simply couldn't have survived the start of the academic year and the launch of the PACE program without them!

Here is a short update from Caroline:

Hello! It's great to be back at the Language Center. Thank you for all the encouragement and warm congrats for Michael, our new baby boy. He's growing really fast (weighing in at 11 pounds, maybe more). He's an alert boy and tries to interact with you through his gurgles and coos. Really cute :) So far, he's been a pretty easy baby. Thank you again for your support while I was on leave this past month!

TandemPlus Bowling Night at Goldy's Gameroom

Go bowling with TandemPlus on Friday, October 24, 2014, starting at 3:30 p.m. at Goldy's Gameroom in Coffman Memorial Union.

All current TandemPlus participants (partnered or not) are welcome to come. Bowling shoes are free, and TandemPlus will provide some appetizers and will pay for the first game.

Join us, chat with new and old friends in your first and second languages, chow on snacks, and knock down some pins!

For more information about the Bowling Night or registration, contact Tandem at

Go to the CLA home page.

Twin Cities Campus: