Learning Spanish in Style!

Time at the Language Academy is flying- it is hard to believe we’re already entering our third week! Students who were hesitant at the beginning of the program are now speaking with much greater fluency.

Dance, Dance and more Dancing: Prepping for the World Expo

Cultural exploration classes are meant to broaden students’ perspectives on a certain culture, and for today, students learned about the two different sides to China’s current culture. In Ding Laoshi’s class today, students decorated paper lanterns with calligraphy. An ancient practice of sending wishes to the heaven’s, students got the opportunity to personalize their lanterns with characters that represent them, such as their names, their zodiac animals, words that represent them and their own wishes.

El Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James)

Comillas happens to be one of the stops on the northern route of the famous Way of Saint James or commonly known as El Camino de Santiago.  Comillas Academy students watched the film called “The Way” starring Martin Sheen as an introduction to the many reasons why hundreds of people annually make this pilgrimage.  

Henna حناء Tattoo Crazy!

In cultural exploration class, students had a chance to learn about a wonderful plant we call henna (حناء). It is a plant whose leaves are ground down and mixed with either lemon, oil, tea or other liquid to make its paste form. After letting it rest, it then can be used for dying hair, skin or fabric. In the Arabic culture, henna is used as a celebratory tradition prior to a bride’s wedding day. Women gather for the Henna where the bride wears traditional clothing like a thoub, ثوب. The henna is unique in color and design to each part of the Arabic world.

Arabic Academy Shenanigans

Let’s take a step into Lyon Hall: the Arabic Academy’s dorm. On any given day, you’ll find water balloons, sidewalk chalk and birthday celebrations!

Arabesque Ensemble Visits Arabic Academy

Who can keep a beat? The greatest benefit MMLA brings to learning a language is the total immersion component. Today the Arabic Academy got a visit from the Arabesque music ensemble. A major part of any culture is music and to be able to hear the rhythmic distinction here in Pomona was a treat. Arabesque taught students about different patterns specific to Arabic music. Students learned about the oud, tabla drum, violin and kanoon.

Chinese Cultural Exploration!

Every day, each academy participates in a cultural exploration class. Culture and language go hand in hand, so this class is integral to understanding. This week, students could choose between San Guo Sha (a Chinese card game), puppet shows and pop music in Chinese.

Chinese Acdemy

Today we had our annual field day.  This included soccer, frisbee, tug-of-war, synchronized swimming, various races, and lots of dancing.  The day started with all three academies meeting for an opening ceremony.  Here, all three academies were given time to show off chants and dances they have learned over the past two weeks.  The Chinese academy without question had the most energy and the best dances.  After the opening ceremony, we transitioned to soccer, frisbee, and many other field activities.  The field activities included many races and events that ene

Groovin’ to the Music: Francés Wins Field Day!

It was such a great experience to be a part of the Field Day that one post just didn’t cut it. As I watched from the sidelines, I could feel the energy and enthusiasm as each academy stepped up to show off their dance routines that they have been practicing in anticipation for these events.


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