Sunday, December 18, 2011

AU Spanish Students Making the Grade!

Two of our AU Seniors have recently received high marks on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview! The rating is currently used worldwide by academic institutions, government agencies, and private corporations for purposes such as: academic placement, student assessment, program evaluation, professional certification, hiring and promotional qualification.

Caitlin Dalton, a senior double majoring in Spanish and History, decided to take the OPI in order to best market her Spanish proficiency on graduate school applications and in her future career in law. Caitlin studied abroad for a semester last year in Chile. Congratulations Caitlin!

Andrea Catanzarito, a Foreign Language Education Major in Spanish, took the OPI in order to receive state teacher licensure. Andrea spent a summer in Costa Rica in 2010 and another in Spain in 2011. Congratulations Andrea!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Looking for some more reasons to study French? Here are a few listed by Visit their site for even more exciting facts about French!

French is the official language of 32 countries.
French is the only other language, besides English, to be spoken on 5 of the world’s continents.
With French, students will be understood in more than 56 countries by more than 200 million people who use
French in their daily lives.
French, along with English, is an official working language of the United Nations, UNESCO, NATO, the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Labor Bureau, the
International Olympic Committee, the 31-member Council of Europe, the European Community, the Universal
Postal Union, the International Red Cross, and the Union of International Associations (UIA).
French is an official or shared language of the 56 countries that comprise the International Organization of
French-Speaking Countries (la Francophonie).
French is the dominant working language at the European Court of Justice, the European Tribunal of First
Instance, and the Press Room at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.
A list of languages deemed as critical was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, and French was among
them because it is spoken in countries which have a strategic importance.
French is among the top five languages in terms of web pages used on the Internet.
Montreal is the second largest city of native French-speakers in the world (after Paris) and is located only 1 hour
from New York City by plane.
In the 2000 U.S. Federal census 10,659,350 people claimed French (8,309,666) or French Canadian (2,349,684)
ancestry. According to the same census 628,810 New Yorkers reported either first or second generation French or
French Canadian ancestry.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lorenza Andrade Smith to be on campus Wed., Dec. 7th 1-2pm, Dauch Ridenour Room

Wednesday, Dec. 7th – ‘Advocating for Systemic Change’ by Lorenza Andrade Smith–
1-2pm, Ridenour Room, Dauch College of Business & Economics, Ashland University.

Lorenza Andrade Smith took a leave of absence from her church and conference duties and renounced all of her possessions, including her home, her car and her salary.  She chose to become homeless to fight for the homeless.Hear her amazing journey on Wednesday, December 7th, from 1-2pm in the Ridenour Room, Dauch College of Business & Economics on Ashland University’s main campus.  This presentation is FREE and open to the public.At age 42, Smith has already led several lives: that of a U.S. Air Force cadet, a housewife and mother, and the pastor of a United Methodist congregation in San Antonio. Contrary to her short stature and soft-spoken nature, Smith now leads the life of an outspoken advocate with a penchant for protest and latched onto politically charged social movements gaining her national attention.  Smith sold all her possessions, rejected her church salary and benefits (which she estimates at around $45,000 a year), and traded her bed for benches, park grass, and parking-lot asphalt. This life has become her newest protest on behalf of the poor and marginalized, she says, a fight for “systemic change.”Over the last few months, Smith has moved between shelters, local rallies, the U.S./Mexico border, jail cells, and meetings with local faith leaders at a frantic pace. “Really, the goal of this is to be in community with those who do not have a voice. … I’m learning from them, this isn’t charity.” This program is being underwritten by the Department of Foreign Language, Department of Religion and the Ashland Center for Nonviolence at Ashland University.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AU in Costa Rica - Information Meeting THIS Sunday, Nov. 20th at 4pm

AU in Costa Rica
  • Learn about a new culture
  • Travel to a new country
  • Live with a Costa Rican family
  • Improve your Spanish language skills
Information Meeting - Sunday, November 20th, 2011 at 4pm in Schar Lecture Hall

Prerequisite: FL 171-2 or Equivalent

For more information contact:
Rebecca Parillo,, or
Dr. Schmidt-Rinehart,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Upcoming Presentation on Study Abroad Skills

Heather Pittman will be hosting a presentation next Tuesday, November 15th at 4:30pm in the Career Services Resource Room and is inviting any students whom may have studied abroad.   
The presentation will focus on marketing a students’ study abroad experience through resumes, cover letters, and interviews.  She will discuss skills gained, how to market these skills, and ways the skills will help in a future career.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Interested in learning about Nicaragua? Sign up to visit Dr. Rathbun's class this Friday at 1pm!

Kathy and Pat Floerke will be presenting in Dr. Rathbun's class in 301 Bixler at 1:00 pm on Friday, November 11th. There are a few seats available if you are interested in learning about their work in Nicaragua. Contact Dr. Rathbun at to reserve your space. To learn more about their organization and work please visit:

Also, stop by the student union and check out their products for sale. They will be there all day Thursday and Friday and all of the products come directly from their work with the community. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Looking for some more reasons to justify your study of Spanish? The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese website ( lists the following...

  • There are 328,518,810 Spanish speakers worldwide, putting it second only to Chinese for total number of native speakers.
  • In the US, it is used by some 35 million people or around 10% of the US population. This makes the US home to the fourth largest Spanish-speaking population in the world.
  • Spanish is the fourth most widely geographically used language in the world, spanning 44 countries.
  • It is the official language of 21 countries.
  • It serves as the most commonly taught foreign language in the United States.
  • 68.8% of high school students and 52.2% of post-secondary students with world language programs choose to study Spanish.
  • It serves as an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, World Trade Organization, and North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • It is the third most commonly used language on the Internet (after English and Chinese).
  • Hispanic citizens make up 15.4% of the US population and the second largest ethnic group.
  • There are more than 5,000 elected US officials who are of Latino/Hispanic origin.
Spanish has been spoken in the US for centuries, and it is used in many different ways today.
  • It began being used in what is now the US in 1513 (almost five centuries ago) by Ponce de León. Spanish was the language spoken by the first permanent European settlers and explorers.
  • Cabeza de Vaca, a Spanish explorer, traveled from Florida to the Gulf of California 267 years before the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  • Spanish is a part of our popular culture, with shows like "Dora the Explorer," "The George Lopez Show," and "Ugly Betty," as well as the language of major networks such as Univisión and Telemundo. 
  • Spanish influence is evident in place names: states such as Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, Florida, California, and Arizona all come from Spanish words; cities and regions such as Los Angeles, Puerto Rico, Alcatraz, Toledo, Sante Fe, and Las Vegas, to name a only handful, are also of Spanish origin.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day of the Dead Altar

Please stop by and visit the Spanish program's Day of the Dead Altar located just outside of 213 Bixler. The Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1rst and 2nd throughout all of Latin America where ever there is a strong indigenous presence as it is a synthesis of indigenous and catholic beliefs. Take in the authentic altar and enjoy the department's Calaveras - humorous poems that poke fun of death. Los esperamos en Bixler...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tournées Film Festival Continues

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Illusionist

Sylvain Chomet’s delightful follow-up to 2003’s The Triplets of Belleville is another exquisitely animated film, one based on an unproduced script by the French comic genius Jacques Tati (which was given to Chomet by Tati’s own daughter). The Illusionist is set in the early 1960s, the time when Tati wrote the screenplay after his huge success with Mon Oncle (1958).  As an homage to the source material, Chomet’s title character is the spitting image of Tati and is given his real name, Tatischeff. This middle-aged, slightly stoop-shouldered magician is upstaged by his rabbit during
performances in Paris; at his shows his London, the illusionist can’t begin to compete with a wildly popular proto-Beatles band.  But he finds far more appreciative audiences in small pubs in Scotland—and makes a devoted teenage friend, Alice, a poor cleaning girl who follows him to Edinburgh.  The two form a touching father-daughter bond, with the illusionist determined to secretly provide Alice with the nice clothes she so admires—finery that isn’t procured through magic, but through a series of funny odd jobs that the conjurer takes. Though neither the magician nor his young charge speak each other’s language, The Illusionist, like Tati’s work, beautifully shows the ways people understand each other nonverbally.

“Here, cinema is envisaged as a magical hall of mirrors in which Chomet can conjure an impossible dance across time and space between himself, the late director who has been his greatest inspiration, and their own respective filmic personae.”   Anton Bitel, Sight and Sound.

DIRECTOR                                                                                                            GENRE
Sylvain Chomet                                                                                                      Animation

SCREENPLAY                                                                                                      RUNNING TIME 80’
Sylvain Chomet. Original screenplay by Jacques Tati.

Best Animated Feature – César Awards (2011)
Best Animated Film – New York Film Critics Circle (2010)

Friday, October 14, 2011

A recent review of Dr. Rathbun's Afterglow

A Monthly Feature of New Poetry Books

Alberto Blanco is one of the more prominent poets emerging in Mexico, after the Octavio Paz era, since the 1950’s. Afterglow is his twenty-eight published book of poems, along with dozens of essays, translations and children’s books. Jennifer Rathbun, accomplished in the field of Latin American Literature, translates from Spanish.  The trick for a translator is to keep the melody and not miss the harmony. Perhaps because Blanco was a chemist by profession, he has a passion for precision and order. Craft is the cage that holds his huge existential themes. We’d be lost without Blanco’s careful cadence and supreme control of the line. His poetry is an unending silver ribbon of thought, sometimes appearing without premeditated unity or symmetry, but once assembled, the poems are perfect performances on the page. These poems tackle meditations on the biggest issues of love, life, death and make it all new. I’m grateful when ordinary words, world weary, are dazzled into a new order.

SQUARE ROOT OF TWO                               

When lightning arrives

enchantment ends

and time commences.

When time arrives

concentration concludes

and the couple begins.

When the couple arrives

duration ends

and harvest commences.

When autumn arrives

harvest concludes

and knowledge begins.

and the second poem in an 18 part section titled “Cages of Creation:”


Moon, crystal of melodic embassies,

in the dripping net of this mirror

its poplars the bridge buttons.

With direct help from mercury,

with the white shadow of he who ignores

the symmetric amalgam of birth

causal limits break.

It is the constant weight of days,
the alliance of love and its bite.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Persepolis is the poignant story of a young girl coming of age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of this precocious nine year old, Marjane, that we see a people's hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power - forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands. Clever and fearless, she outsmarts the “social guardians” and discovers punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden. Yet when her uncle is executed and bombs fall around Tehran, during the Iraq/Iran war, the daily fear that permeates life in Tehran is palpable. As she gets older, her parents worry for her safety and decide to send her to school in Vienna when she turns fourteen. Vulnerable and alone in a strange land, Marjane endures the typical ordeals of a teenager. She also has to combat being equated with the religious fundamentalism she is trying to escape. Over time she finds acceptance and even love but remains terribly homesick. Marjane decides to return to Iran to be close to her family. After a difficult period of adaptation, she enters art school and gets married, all the while continuing to speak against the hypocrisy she witnesses. At age 24 she realizes that although she loves her country she cannot live there anymore and she decided to leave for France. 
“The same history translated into a live-action drama could never be depicted with the clarity and narrative drive that bold, simple animation encourages.”   Stephen Holden, The New York Times
DIRECTOR                                                                           AWARDS
Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud                                    Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival (2007)
                                                                                          2007 Best animated feature, New York Film Critics Circle SCREENPLAY                                                                     Best Adaptation and Best First Film, Césars Awards (2008)  
Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud
VOICES                                                                                RUNNING TIME: 95’
Marjane: Chiara Mastroianni                                                 PRODUCTION: France, 2007    
Marjane's mother:
Catherine Deneuve
Marjane's grandmother:                                                       RATING: PG-13
Danielle Darieux
Marjane's father: Simon Abkarian
Young Marjane: Gabrielle Lopes