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:

Practice Makes Perfect!

Study time is a time specifically set aside for students to reflect on the day’s activities and lessons, as well as practice their new language abilities with other classmates. It is a very important part of the learning process and we couldn’t be more proud of how dedicated our students have been during this critical time.

-Alejandro Saravia
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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.

Teacher Profile - Luis Díaz

Luis is a native of Cantabria who has been living in Denver for 6 years. There, he has been directing the immersion program in Spanish at Denver Montclair International School. He has taught all kinds of subjects in immersion and drama. Before Denver, Luis taught English to Spanish students (Reinosa, Spain) and Spanish to German students (Cologne, Germany). He has also travelled to other countries with his students from Denver and still hosts them through the summer. 

Teacher Profile - Susan Bennitt

Susan earned her BA and MA in Spanish studies from Middlebury College. After living and working as a global advertising executive in Madrid for 25 years, she and her three high school aged daughters moved to Connecticut to pursue educational opportunities.

Director Profile - Alejandro Saravia

Alejandro was born and raised in Mexico City, Mx. The 5th child in a family of eight, he never thought that living abroad was an option for him. He studied Chemistry at the National University (UNAM) and decided to work in education after receiving his degree. Now he is married, with three children working in a boarding school in NH.

Director Profile - Kim Griffin

Kim Griffin was born and raised in Binghamton, New York.  From the first day of Spanish class in 9th grade at Susquehanna Valley H.S. she knew that she wanted to be a Spanish teacher. She atended SUNY Oswego and majored in Secondary Education-Spanish, but destiny arrived in her student mailbox one spring day in the form of a pamphlet announcing summer study abroad programs offered by Oswego. She knew noone who had ever studied or travelled abroad, noone who even had a passport, so the idea was daunting and stunned her parents.

Saturday Night Fever

Yesterday marked the beginning of the first weekend here at MMLA Swarthmore. The students were treated to many various activities and events throughout the day and night as well as some much deserved down time mixed in. Here is what some of our staff had to say:

The Spanish Academy traveled to Tierra Colombiana, a restaurant in Philadelphia that specializes in food from Colombia and around the Caribbean. The menu included:

Arabic Academy Update (Yallah Yallah Arabiya!) (يلا يلا عربية)

The students in the Arabic Academy have been quite busy over the past day!

This Week in Spanish: Evening Assemblies

We have started with 100% “Poder Naranja” (Spanish academy Spirit) in the Spanish Academy this week.  The RAs and myself have already seen improvement among our students! It’s been great to see students start from saying very few words to sentences and we are so excited for what is ahead!

As part of the MMLA adventure, students are expected to participate in an Evening Assembly. The evening assembly is a chance for the students to show off all the great things they’ve learned in their electives and classes to their teachers, classmates, and the “mentores.” (RAs)


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