By Chelsea Weeks, News Editor (Courtesy photo / http://www.amgnational.org)
An opportunity to learn more about another language and culture outside the classroom is coming to OBU.
Alpha Mu Gamma is hosting the seventh annual National Foreign Language Week (NFLW) March 5 through 9. The theme for this year’s NFLW is “Languages Lead Us on a Path to Understanding Other Cultures.”
“Everyone is invited to participate,” Radonna Roark, assistant professor of French, said. “OBU Alpha Mu Gamma events are free to the public.”
There will be events throughout the week for all students to participate and learn about another culture.
“Alpha Mu Gamma and the French Club are super welcoming, just a bunch of people from different places and different backgrounds just trying to share in the beauty of other languages and cultures,” senior sociology major and president of OBU’s Alpha Mu Gamma chapter, Isabella Chiareli said. “We’d love to have more students be a part of that.”
Monday, March 5 at 10:00 a.m., there will be a French Café Bison conversation hour at Elevated Grounds. Tuesday, March 6 at 3:30 p.m., there will be a Spanish Tertulia conversation hour in the upper GC. Thursday, March 8 from 6:30 p.m. through 8:00 p.m., there will be an international potluck dinner and study abroad discussion panel. The Alpha Mu Gamma members will be bringing an international dish to the pot-luck. The panelists are still being finalized.
“We’re going to hear from a handful of students who have either studied abroad, lived abroad or are studying here,” Chiareli said. “We just want to hear what their experiences have been. Just fun details like food they’ve eaten or places they’ve gone.”
Alpha Mu Gamma is a National Collegiate Foreign Language Honors Society that initiated the NFLW in the spring of 1957. The purpose of this week is to make American students aware of the vital need for foreign language study.
“It’s not only a time to promote the study abroad programs that we have, but also to get people excited about going to other countries and experiencing other cultures,” Chiareli said.
Chiareli studied abroad in France for a year and spoke on the panel last year. She said she hopes to encourage students to be more open-minded regarding other countries and their cultures.
“My vision, as the president this year, is really to encourage and get students excited about other cultures,” Chiareli said. “OBU has dealt with a lot of racism other recent years and we are just really trying to get students to want to learn about people who are different, or speak other languages, or who have different cultures and backgrounds,” she said.
“We use the panel and conversations as an opportunity for students to come together and enjoy those things as a unified body.”