LLIS kicks off fall semester with social gathering


Photo courtesy to María Arenillas FALL KICKOFF—Those in the Languages, Literatures and International Studies department celebrated the 2019 fall semester with their annual kickoff event. This year with classes being back in person, the LLIS met on Whitman Lawn to celebrate the start of the fall semester.

Dreyma Beronja, News Editor

The Languages, Literatures and International Studies department had their kick-off event on Thursday to celebrate the start of the school year. Those who attended enjoyed lawn games, food and refreshments while reconnected with classmates and LLIS faculty. 

LLIS Fall Kickoff began at 6 p.m. on Whitman Lawn and went until 7 p.m. Those who completed a language certification last semester were able to pick up their certificates at the kick-off event. 

“Our Kick-Off event is a great way to meet and talk with faculty in an informal setting,” Rebecca Ulland, department head of LLIS, said. “Plus, students can meet other students who share their major or minor. We will also have snacks.”

LLIS offers language courses in Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Russian and American Sign Language. The department also offers culture and literature courses in the target languages and English.

Ulland said that since coming back in person for classes the tricky part about LLIS classes is teaching through a mask.

“It’s important for students to hear and see the whole face when a professor is speaking. It makes pronunciation difficult, but LLIS students are resilient and never give up,” Ulland said. “Our international studies students have had problems completing the study abroad requirement, but we have come up with some flexible arrangements so students can complete the degree.”

The LLIS webpage said that language and cultural studies provide an excellent liberal education. Knowledge of languages not only enhances careers but increases employment opportunities. 

“World language, culture and literature studies open students to new and exciting horizons, place them in contact with worldwide artistic and intellectual accomplishments, help them to understand other people and prepare them for success in an increasingly globalized world,” LLIS webpage said.

Ulland said that becoming proficient in another language opens the doors to new experiences and cultures and there are other benefits from language learning.

“For example, learning a language teaches you how to live with ambiguity, an important skill right now, because you don’t always know what your professor is saying when you are first learning,” Ulland said. “It helps you develop your observational skills to figure out context cues and still be able to communicate.”

LLIS will be hosting more events this academic year including a sledding party at Whitman HIll in February. A graduation recognition event will also be held at the end of each semester.

“We are also hoping that our month-long Faculty-Led Study Abroad program to Salamanca, Spain will be approved,” Ulland said. “Our Spanish majors and minors benefit greatly from living with families and learning from both native speakers and our award-winning faculty members while abroad.”

Students enrolled in LLIS courses can also receive tutoring through the Language Resource Center. The LRC offers both tutoring via Zoom and in person for all LLIS courses. The LRC is located in Harden Hall room 111i. All questions can be directed to Sam Marier by email at [email protected] or phone at 906-227-2940.