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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.

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.

Très Chic

After a busy (and victorious!) weekend, the French Academy settled back into its daily routine and kicked off the week with the help of an impromptu fashion show, a wide variety of presentations and a recommitment to the Language Pledge®.

A Trip to China

The culinary and geographic themes continued as Ding LaoShi’s students worked on a similar project, offering directions and exploring food and its relationship to culture. These students took on the challenge of describing delicacies throughout all of China in all its diverse glory. They even tried their hand at filmmaking, creating films representing an American’s immersion in Chinese life, highlighting differences in tradition and culture.

-Nick Anderson, Program Assistant
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Heat, Thunderstorms and More Heat

The weather hasn’t been the greatest today, but that hasn’t stopped us from continuing to enjoy the Spanish immersion environment! At this morning’s assembly, students presented about dining in language. Although this topic was fairly broad, knowing how to say things that are part of daily life may suddenly become a bit more difficult; for example, how to order food, how to describe your food, or how to explain that you don’t like your food and might want to order something else. Needless to say, the students did a wonderful job and embraced the challenge with excitement.

Chinese Puppets and Noodles

Chinese cuisine is widely different in all parts of China, with different variations of taste and flavor for common ingredients. For today’s cultural exploration class, Ni Laoshi’s class learned about Xi Hongshi Ji Dan Mian (Noodles with Tomatoes and Eggs) and Cold Noodles. After tasting the noodles, the students got cool popsicles to balance out the heat. That afternoon, students, RAs, and teachers alike saw a performance from puppeteer, Zhang Laoshi. Zhang Laoshi gave students an exquisite look at both Chinese and Western story telling with the use of puppets. 

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting!

In the Chinese Academy evening assembly yesterday, the ancient art of Kung Fu took center stage as students performed a series of different skits. After viewing a kung fu performance earlier in the day, students were itching to test out their own kung fu skills. Students wrote skits during the day and incorporated new vocabulary acquired in class as well as what they saw in the performance. The final product turned out to be a hilarious couple of minutes full of crowd-pleasing stunts and an impressive use of language.

-Colin Edwards, Program Assistant

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.

Sound of Music: Chinese Academy Uses Tunes to Learn

Whether you’ve studied Mandarin for ten years, or have never heard Chinese in your life, music is a medium that seems to bring everyone together. After a long day inside and outside of the classroom, there is no better way to bring the day to a close than through song. We’re just a little over a week in and have a vast repertoire of original material, which range in topics from weather to daily greetings.

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