While University of Minnesota students and faculty are counting down to various deadlines and the end of the semester, the World Languages Day planning committee continues the count-down to World Languages Day, and we can't wait! The event is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15, just two months away. We expect to draw over 1000 high school sophomores to campus.
This year, we are happy to see returning high schools from last year, from the Twin Cities metro area, as well as the northern, southern, and central areas of Minnesota. We also welcome new schools or schools that participated prior to 2011 representing a wide range of cities and town in Minnesota.
New teachers and students are in for a treat. Returnees will recognize perennial favorites on the course list, and will once again be able to learn traditional Hmong dance, greet each other in Italian, and play American Idol in German - and that's just the a small sampling of the offerings!
Reading over the course list is like flipping through a virtual travel catalogue, one that sparks cultural inquiry. Students can take Arabic Language and Culture: a Trip to Tunisia, Excursion Brazil, and A Virtual Walk through Vienna, all without leaving the U of M campus. For students who do want to leave campus, information on travel all over the world will be offered in three study abroad information sessions.
New this year will be the sounds of Afro-Cuban Music, a Spanish course which will include special musical guests. Experiencing the Chinese Language takes students on a journey through thousands of years of history. Classes such as the debut of From Atheists to Libertines: French Philosophy and the Limits of the Imagination challenge our assumptions in learning about other cultures and places, and the people we meet along the way.
There is also a cross-curriculum focus on sustainability offered this year: Water Conservation and Ecology (French), Sustainability, Insects, and Spanish, as well as Green Germany, each taught in the target language. Students will have the chance to apply their knowledge of science and the economy to their language studies in these different cultural contexts.
Take a look at our online course list for both new and proven ways to stretch imagination, broaden cultural knowledge, and express yourself in 23 different languages offered at World Languages Day this May.
In the meantime, the planning continues! Look out for more information on registration coming soon. You can view the class list, and learn more about the event at our website.