Keeping Up With a Foreign Language Over Break

Spanish student Abigail Bashor shares the importance of learning a second language and keeping contact with the language while on break from classes.  Read her article on HerCampus.  

Teaching Spanish to Those in the Healthcare Field

Dr. Parizad Dejbord Sawan was interviewed on Argentinian television this past Spring.  She talks about the Diabetes camp that she visited in Medonza, Argentina and the relationship of that on-site visit to the Beginning Medical Spanish classes and certificate (at Akron Children's Hospital) as well as the Spanish for Health Professions program and certificate on campus. Please click CC to read the subtitles in English.

Spanish Community Engagement Volunteer Work Summer 2017

During the summer months of June, July and August of 2017, students pursuing the Advanced Certificate for the Health Professions volunteered with the Hartville Migrant Medical Clinic. Students who had recently completed the certificate worked with current students and faculty to develop yoga classes for the migrant farmers to relieve back, neck, and knee pain. While the migrant farmers took yoga classes, some of our students stayed with the children, reading books and playing games in Spanish. Advanced Certificate students also shadowed doctors and nurse practitioners at the clinic. Students participated in hands-on activities (monitoring and testing pH levels, listening to heart beats, taking pulse, etc.) and practiced some interpreting. 

Spanish Minor Anthony Dao Honored by BOT

Anthony Dao was nominated by Dr. Dejbord and recognized by the Board of Trustees for his academic excellence as wellas for his many accomplishments as undergraduate students at the University of Akron.

According to Dr. Dejbord:

“Anthony is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences. His Major is Natural Science BS\MD, his Minors are Chemistry and Spanish and he currently carries a GPA of 3.966.  Currently he works with Dr. Youngs in research for drugs against cancer and bacteria.

Anthony has been, without question, one of the most outstanding students in our Spanish classes and his workis consistently superior to those of other students in our courses. He commits one hundred percent and is always willing to go beyond expectations.  His motivation, maturity and kind nature make him an excellent model and leader in his Spanish classes.

He was admitted to NEOMED in high school and plans to start Medical School in August of 2012, a month after he returns from Spain where he will be participating in a Study Abroad program.

Despite the fact that Toni has always carried heavy and challenging course loads, he has always found time to participate in a variety of extra curricular activities and clubs at the University of Akron. This is a veritable testimony to the breadth and scope of Toni’s interests and his strong commitment to student life. He is a member of Multicultural Honors Society, Honors Club, World Change Coalition, Mortar Board, H.A.L.O (Hispanics and Latino Organization) and Habitat for Humanity.  In addition, he is Vice President of both World Change Coalition and Honors Club, and he is a University Ambassador.

 Among his many accomplishments he has played the piano for 12 years, has been a recipient of the Math Medal Award and he is a National AP Scholar.”

Congratulations to Tony Dao! (1/2012)

International Movie Night

Have you ever found yourself despairing over the movies out in theaters? Have you ever asked yourself, "Didn't they just make this same movie six months ago?" The Modern Languages department has the perfect solution to your movie melancholy.

Join us this Wednesday, 9/21, at the Student Union Theater, at 6 PM.

 Our first movie in the series of international movies this semester is:

La Haine (in French with subtitles) by Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995

A gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically in the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’ outskirts, took the international film world by storm and became a landmark of contemporary French cinema as a gripping reflection of the country’s ongoing identity crisis.

Short introduction to the movie will precede the viewing. The audience is invited to stay after the movie showing for a discussion.

Next showing in the series:

Wednesday, September 28 at 6 PM:

The Grandfather (in Spanish with subtitles), 1998

When news of his son's death brings old Count Albrit home to Spain after years abroad, he's pleased to meet his two charming young granddaughters. But one of the girls is not his son's daughter, and therefore not his true heir. The determined Count sets out to discover which granddaughter is worthy of his love and name.

The series will become regular next semester and you are invited to join us every Wednesday evening for an International Movie Night at the Student Union! Featuring foreign movies from Europe, Africa, and Asia.

French / Poli Sci Double Major Interns in Columbus

For more information, see the UA news release.

French Major Places in Maison Française Contest

French major Haley Carman was the 3rd prize winner ($400), Category A, in this year’s Maison Française contest. The contest encourages continued mastery of the French language and knowledge and appreciation of francophone cultures. 

Since 1976, the Maison Française de Cleveland, an American non-profit organization in greater Cleveland that promotes Franco-American cultural activities has held an annual contest for the students of French from the public and private high schools of Cuyahoga County and for full-time undergraduate students from the colleges and universities of Northeastern Ohio. (5/2011)

Professor Adamowicz-Hariasz Wins Engagement Award

Maria Adamowicz-Hariasz was nominated by her students and won the 2011 University of Akron Life (Legacy, Integrity, Fellowship and Excellence) Award for Outstanding Faculty Engagement. This award is given to an outstanding faculty member who has gone out of his/her way to engage students in and outside the classroom to create an advanced learning environment. It is presented to a faculty member who has gone above and beyond the normal student-teacher interaction and has shown a personal interest in the growth of his or her students’ lives. This award is given out and received with the highest esteem, for it is given out in an effort to show a faculty member how crucial his/her engagement is to his/her students.  (4/2011)


French Students' Success!

Two French majors were recently recognized for their academic success.  Sharon Cebula will be introduced at the April 27 Board of Trustees' meeting as an examplar of academic achievement.  Jaclyn Davis has been selected to by the French government to serve as an English Language Assistant in France next academic year.  Congratulations to both of them! (4/2011)


Professors Brougham and  Zanetta Nominated for Mentoring Award

Professors Rose Brougham and María Alejandra Zanetta were nominated for the CUGSR Mentor Award for their hard work and dedication to the Modern Language students participating in this year's CUGSR presentations.  Kudos to both of them! (4/2011)


Modern Languages Grads and Undergrad Students present at Research Conference

UA Spanish graduate students Maria Chambers, Katie DiDomenico, Anna Ford and Romina Trybus and undergraduate Spanish majors Aimee Bassett, Sean Boley and Kate Moran presented their research at this year's Conference on Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research on April 7.  The presentations were excellent, and we congratulate all those students for their success!  The students were sponsored by Dr. Rose Brougham and Dr. María Alejandra Zanetta. (4/2011)


UA Students Win Ohio Foreign Language Association Scholarships

UA students Alison Bartely (French), Jaclyn Davis (French) and Andrea Young (Spanish) have won student scholarships to present at the 2011 OFLA Conference.  The scholarships include a stipend, as well as conference registration and an invitation to the awards luncheon.  Congratulations! (3/2011)


Faculty in Modern Languages Recognized Nationally

Dr. Maria Adamowicz-Hariasz from our Department of Modern Languages, who was recently recognized by her professional colleagues for her work as a certified Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Tester, is the driving force behind a new living-learning community, the French Quarter, which will open on our campus in the fall. 


Four years after receiving the official title of an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Oral Proficiency Interview Tester of French Dr. Maria Adamowicz-Hariasz from our Department of Modern Languages, was just recognized with a highly selective and prestigious invitation to become a trainer of certified testers. 


This past fall, Maria Adamowicz-Hariasz received an official invitation to the apprentice trainer program leading to certification as an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Tester Trainer.  OPI Tester Certification is a highly valued professional credential that is recognized nationally and internationally.  It is issued after a long and arduous process that requires hours of training, rating and interviewing.


This invitation is highly selective, issued only every 8-10 years. As the only French apprentice trainer in the group of 11 other apprentices representing other major languages (English, Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese), she participated in the 5-day workshop in Boston to successfully complete Phase I of the Trainer Apprenticeship thanks in large part to the generous travel funds from her department and the dean’s office. 


The OPI is a global assessment that measures language holistically by determining patterns of strengths and weaknesses.  It measures proficiency in a given language through an interactive, adaptive and learner-centered conversation that feels very natural and yet is highly structured and standardized. 


The Department of Modern Languages at the University of Akron is among a very few departments in the U.S. that conducts official OPI interviews as an assessment of their graduating majors, because a four fulltime faculty members are trained and certified as OPI Testers. This training and the guidelines for proficiency levels and associated assessments developed by ACTFL have been instrumental in establishing rigorous, achievable, and real-world relevant learning outcomes for students in the UA language courses, in developing teaching materials and implementing teaching methodologies that facilitate the achievement of these internationally recognized proficiency goals as a foundation for sustainable student success.


The French Quarter
In addition to this professional achievement and recognition, Maria Adamowicz-Hariasz is also the Faculty Adviser for a new living-learning community that will open in the fall 2011, called the French Quarter.   Its purpose will be to provide interested students with opportunities to more deeply develop their proficiency in French language and understanding of French culture as a foundation for meaningful engagement and life-long success within an increasingly competitive and globalized world community.


A native speaker of French, a student from the Université du Maine- Le Mans, with which UA signed an academic partnership agreement in the summer of 2010, will serve as a Peer Mentor and s/he will interact with the UA students on a daily basis, recreating a French milieu in the middle of our campus. 


In addition to everyday interaction in French, members of the French Quarter community will have a chance to engage in various activities in the residence and outside, such as participating in weekly French Coffee Hour (open to all UA students), cooking and enjoying French food, seeing and discussing films, and attending exhibits, readings, and shows.  (10/2010)