Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2001
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Summer students experience foreign languages, cultures
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Move-in day

Summer students experience foreign languages, cultures

Photo by Matt Kelly
Tibetan language students share some cultural lessons at the Summer Foreign Language Institute’s graduation ceremonies by performing a traditional Tibetan dance.

By Matt Kelly

Music, dance and humor marked the 21st graduation of the Summer Foreign Language Institute Aug. 9.

Diplomas were presented by the language teachers to most of the 160 students who attended the intensive, nine-
week course.

William Quandt, vice provost for international affairs, congratulated the students on their perseverance. “Learning a language is tough,” Quandt said, citing his own efforts in Arabic, which may be added to the program in the next few years.
“If you have tried to study language, you know it is a way into understanding another culture,” he said.

The teachers of each division, — French, Spanish, Russian, Latin, Tibetan, Italian and German — presented each of their students with a diploma, and some of the class projects were shared with the audience. German students showed a music video they produced of a song they had written in German, while French students presented a comedy sketch about learning language and how a language teacher is treated. The Tibetan students closed the ceremonies with a traditional folk dance.
The students’ new language skills, Quandt said, will help open up the world, including opportunities to study abroad.

He said colleges in the United States are developing a more international outlook and people realize they are part of a global community. Learning and examining a foreign language will help people see beyond their own cultural assumptions, he said.

For the students who might go abroad, Quandt sympathized with their struggle in mastering a language for day-to-day use, but told them how wonderful they would feel when the words suddenly flow naturally and the language is automatic to them.
He also cited the University’s new English as a second language program, which Quandt said would be a service to foreign students.

Director Dudley Doane said this had been the best year yet for the language academy, with the 160 students coming from 29 institutions. In addition to offering Arabic, there are plans to teach Spanish for people in medical professions as well as an intensive English program.


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