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World Expo Night!

The ability of people to connect and communicate without relying on the use of words is something that we have all come to better understand through living in language here at the Language Academy. The World Expo is a perfect example of the amazing human capacity for this understanding.

A Big Day for the Chinese Academy!

What a day! In the morning, the entire Chinese Academy boarded buses and took off for Chinatown in nearby Philadelphia. First, everyone enjoyed authentic Chinese cuisine at an authentic Szechuan (Sichuan) restaurant, yum! After filling up on all kinds of meats, noodles, tofu, vegetables, and more, we had some time for shopping and exploring in the local stores. Back at campus, everyone was busy enjoying the beautiful weather and preparing for that night’s big event: a Chinese Academy talent show! Some of the many acts included singing, dancing, violin playing, piano playing, and more!

Estudiando

Although we’ve had a lot of fun lately with cultural excursions in Comillas, the Spanish Academy students remain deeply committed to the Language Pledge®. Here are a few pictures illustrating their dedicated efforts in the classroom.

-Alejandro
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Yet Another Full Day!

Yet another event-filled day has ended here at Pomona College! From classroom to activities time, this day has certainly been packed full of language fun! Chinese Academy students got to hit the sand for a game of “beach” volleyball… all that was missing was the ocean!

Rhythm and Moves: How Music and Dance Supplement Learning

While the Field Day activity this past Saturday epitomized the spirit of friendly competition that characterizes inter-academy activities, other events both formal and informal, demonstrate how another theme - music - pervades life at MMLA. In the Spanish Academy, song and dance have been on the menu since the first day of classes.

Freestylin’ During Free Time: The Chinese Academy’s Pool Day

With summer days reaching up to 100 degrees, Language Academy students seek every opportunity to cool off by taking a dip in the two outdoor pools on the Pomona College campus. The Haldeman pool is available for student use in the mornings before breakfast and during free time in the afternoons. This 50 meter by 25 yard Olympic-sized pool has lanes set up for lap swimming, two water polo goals and two large diving boards for the more daring students. This morning, I accompanied three of my students (Noah, A.J. and William) to the pool for an early morning swim.

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.

A Recommitment to Language and to Excellence

Tonight, the students were asked once more to reflect on their purpose here at MMLA and to recommit to the Language Pledge®. Dressed in their best, each of the Green Mountain College academies gathered to sign the Language Pledge® once more to renew their resolve, vowing to speak nothing but the target language until the end of the program. The trick to the Language Pledge® is that it turns even tongue-tied moments of doubt into more chances to build linguistic muscle, since students have to come up with creative alternatives to find the words they don’t know.

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.

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