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Big Moves: Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) at Swarthmore

In one of our afternoon activities, students learned  about Chinese Chess orxiangqi in today’s class with Xie Laoshi! From pao to bing to ma and ju, we learned how to hold our own against the best! Whether in China or beyond, this classic game is a past time that we’ll now all be able to enjoy!

Bon Voyage! The French Academy Goes Traveling

As today’s theme was traveling, we started off the day in morning assembly with a guessing game involving various francophone countries and territories. The most difficult part for the students to figure out was certainly La Nouvelle Caledonie, despite its being the home of Etienne, our language director. The day ended with a similar activity as the evening assembly included a student-organized game in which spectators had to figure out what film was being discussed based on a number of hints.

Weekend Excursion to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City

When you hear Beijing, there are two places sure to come to mind: Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. For our first weekend in Beijing we decided to bring the students to these incredible sights as a great way to understand Chinese history and culture.

ELECTION DAY - Who Will Be the next President?

Our students are learning about Spanish politics. Continuing to gain a deeper understanding of Spanish culture and language, our students held elections to vote for their “president” in the morning assembly.

-Alejandro Saravia
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French and Chinese Academies Enjoy Activity Time

Activity time yesterday was a blast for both the French and Chinese Academies! The French Academy took advantage of the shaded quad near Smith Campus Center and played some games on the lawn. Students hung out and competed as the late afternoon sun streamed through the trees, creating a picturesque scene.

The Chinese Academy opted to stay inside. Working on verbal communication, the students laughed and enjoyed the air conditioning.

A Night at the Theatre: French and Spanish Academies

Last night marked the premiere (for one night and one night only) of the Spanish Academy’s play, “Segismundo y Compañia.” A comedic piece revolving around a hat, the play was uproariously funny and enjoyed by all. Afterwards, the students took to the courtyard outside the theatre and were taught how to dance merengueby two of the Spanish teachers under the setting sun. The synchronization of the entire academy at the end of the night was quite impressive, even with such a short lesson.

Starting the Week Strong

We are off to a great start in our second week at the MMLA Swarthmore College Academy. There has been a great atmosphere around here after last nights Language Pledge® recommitment ceremony. I can see that every student is finding their own way a little each passing day and hopefully this week is no different. Here is what each Academy has been up to thus far:

Arabic Academy Students Celebrate Ramadan

This year, Saturday, June 28 marks the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and the students of the Arabic Academy celebrated accordingly in language. At sundown, the students and teachers who are observing Ramadan broke their fast with Middle Eastern fare catered by a local restaurant enjoying hummus, shawarma, falafel and pickles.

Pamplona in Pomona?

The noonday sun was shining brightly over the Pomona campus this past Saturday. Stillness dominated the all movement and sound. Seen coming from the south was the entire Spanish Academy student body. They were preparing to recreate the famous running of the Bulls tradition through a game that pitted RAs against students. The bulls (aka the RAs) equipped with their horn-esque hats stared down the group of students as they prepared to charge.

The students’ mission? Making it from one side of the field to the other without having the orange colored bandana pulled.

Arabic Academy’s Weekend Adventures

We’ve finished our first week here at MMLA and it’s been a fun roller coaster of a ride! On Sunday our students were finally able to relax from their packed schedules and take a trip into town.  Arabic Academy students spent their morning roaming The Village and exploring life outside of Pomona’s campus—a  nice change from the usual dorm, to dining hall, to class, to dorm and to dining hall routine. They enjoyed every moment of it and some of them even bought fresh fruit and veggies from the local farmer market vendors in language!

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