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Cultural Exploration: Español

This morning I had the pleasure of connecting with three separate Cultural Exploration classes within the Spanish Academy. The first was a dance class located in Upper Tarble where I was able to catch some students in the midst of learning a new dance routine led by one of our very enthusiastic Spanish teachers. Other classes included activities designed to improve linguistic skills as well.

Cool and Relaxed in the Spanish Academy

The Spanish Academy had a relaxed day today. After a leisurely wake up the students went off to their last cultural exploration class of the week from 9:30 to 11:00am. Students then spent time cleaning their rooms, playing cards and board games and enjoying a beautiful, cool, sunny day. Some groups watched world cup soccer on a Spanish feed, others made friendship bracelets, played Frisbee golf, or listened to a fascinating interactive talk about how Arabic had influenced the Spanish Language.

Another Fun-filled Saturday!

The Chinese academy’s second Saturday was filled with fun events - all in target language, of course! In the morning, students attended Cultural Exploration classes as usual, followed by several outdoor all-academy activities, including ice cream making (好吃! - delicious!), and a charades activity in which students re-enacted a traditional Chinese dragon, the Great Wall, and more. After dinner, the whole academy joined together once again for an outdoor beach party, where everyone enjoyed music, watermelon, inflatable swimming pools, beach ball games, and even a slip ‘n slide!

And the Academy Award Goes To…

This week, one of the cultural exploration activities is the filmmaking. Students are divided into four groups and responsible for directing their own movies. In today’s blog post, I would like to give you a sneak peek of the Chinese Academy’s movies!

The first one is based on a hit movie, “The Hunger Games.” This group of students is very concerned about giving out too much detail about their story, so they only mentioned that everyone will fight with each other and there will only be one winner.

Fun in the شمس (Sun)

The Arabic Academy enjoyed the California sunshine while playing volleyball and doing yoga with the help of Assistant Language Director Shurouq! It was great to see students teach others how to hit a volleyball (الكرة الطائرة). At the end of the activity time they really got the hang of it!

The quad was a great place for students to enjoy some shade under the tall California trees and have some nice quiet meditation time.

French 0, Spanish 4 in Heated Friendly Match

Several days ago at the newly christened Stadio du Quad, Les Bleus de l’Académiede français led a courageous effort against their much larger, more experienced and more athletic rivals in the Spanish Academy. After giving up three early goals, the addition of a mysterious player who spoke little French and was known only as “Le Directeur”, allowed the French to make things competitive down the stretch.

Tapas anyone?

Señor Adams’ students were hard at work on an equally tasty task - creating maps for a delicious Tapas Tours. Tapas are an icon of Spanish culture: designed for groups, these unique meals consist of several appetizer-sized platters that allow for plenty of sharing as well as a wider variety of food in a single meal. Since Tapas are so group-oriented, they are a crucial part of Spanish social life. This peek into the culture of Spain wasn’t the only perk of the project - the students also had a chance to flaunt their new abilities to give directions and describe food!

My Culture + French Culture = A love for French!

Monsieur Corey’s French class put a culinary spin on the idea, comparing the cuisine in France proper to that of other French-speaking countries. Students created posters and shared them with the class highlighting the similarities and differences between the foods from linguistically common but geographically diverse locations. This activity really helped to hit home the idea of differing cultural identities, maintaining a fun and cooperative atmosphere all the while!

-Nick Anderson
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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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Celebrating the 4th of July - In Chinese!

After the storms of the past few days, we had surprisingly wonderful weather. In fact, it was a little bit on the chilly side!

Today we had classes just as we do everyday, but the afternoon was filled with a lot of special activities. Today students learned how to make Kung Pao Chicken in the cooking cultural elective class. Later, there was a flag football game. Students also learned how to play Majiang. 

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