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MFLL Monthly Newsletter

February 2020 Newsletter



Dr. Matthew Brauer’s (French) article “Perec’s Arabic: Producing Translingualism in Les revenentes” appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of L’Esprit créateur. It demonstrated Arabic’s important role in the works of late modernist writer Georges Perec, noted for their linguistic borrowings and inventiveness. It argues that Arabic indexes Perec’s personal experience teaching in Tunisia and the broader cultural after-effects of decolonization in France and its former empire.
In January, Dr. Brauer presented a paper on the languages of the periodical press in nineteenth-century French colonial Algeria, focusing on the use and status of standard versus vernacular Arabic.
Dr. Matthew Brauer
Dr. Gregory Kaplan

Jewish Poetry and Cultural Coexistence in Late Medieval Spain

Dr. Gregory Kaplan (Hispanic Studies) published a book, Jewish Poetry and Cultural Coexistence in Late Medieval Spain (Arc Humanities Press, 2019). This book offers a groundbreaking perspective on Judeo-Christian coexistence in medieval Spain, in particular on the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James), one of the most important pilgrimage routes in Europe. The author uncovers new evidence of Judeo-Christian cooperation in Castilian monasteries on the Camino. It reveals that a collaborative climate endured in these monasteries as demonstrated by the transmission of cuaderna vía poetry from Christians to Jews. The research focuses on poems written by Jews in Castilian (Spanish) during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries that illustrate a progressive mastery of cuaderna vía poetry, which is the product of interaction in monastic schools between Jews and Christian clerics who created and cultivated this Castilian poetic form.

Dr. Annachiara Mariani (Italian) published an essay entitled “Experiencing Panismo in Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, Youth, and Loro” in Italica, The University of Toronto Press, Vol. 96: 3, Fall 2019: 486-510.
Dr. Annachiara Mariani
Dr. Noriko Horiguchi

Dr. Noriko Horiguchi (Japanese) completed her visiting scholarship at the University of Tokyo, where she conducted research for her book project on the cultural history of milk in modern Japan. During her research in Tokyo, Dr. Horiguchi gave a public lecture, entitled “Milking the Empire: History and Culture of the Dairy Industry in Modern Japan,” at the University of Tokyo (November 29, 2019), and another public lecture, entitled “The Strong Milk–White Body of Japan, 1950s–1960s,” at Waseda University (October 30, 2019).

Dr. Drew Paul’s (Arabic) book, Israel/Palestine: Representations of the Border in Literature and Film, was published by Edinburgh University Press on January 31, 2020.
Dr. Drew Paul
Israel Palestine Representations of the Border in Literature and Film


TALENT SHOW — The 2020 MFLL Talent Show will take place on March 5th at 6 PM in the Cox Auditorium of AMB. There will be a red-carpet event prior to the show starting at 5 PM. Please check your email for updates about the show. We are still looking for language representatives for Arabic, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Hebrew. We also need a few more judges. Please, email Masha Kamyshkova or Francesca Follone-Montgomery if you would like to be a judge or a language representative. You can register your performer(s) here.


Sean Howland (Elementary Chinese Student) was one of the MCs at the East Tennessee Chinese New Year Festival on Jan 26th at the Student Union Auditorium. The festival featured performances from UTK undergrads, graduate students, and faculty, as well as many others from the local community. Sue Choi (CCC president and Chinese minor) sang a Chinese song at the festival.

Chinese New Year Festival Chinese New Year Festival


Italian Coffee House Italian Coffee House — The Italian Club will host an afternoon of coffee indulgence with biscotti, torte, tartine, and pizzette. Join us for a cultural experience! Feb 19th , 1:00-3:00 pm., Mary Greer Room in Hodges Library. This event is sponsored by the International House and organized by the Italian Club. The event is free and open to the public. For questions contact Brennan Hughes.
The Italian Angel Tree The Italian Angel Tree contributed over $400 this year! Students from the Italian program collected funds in December and bought gifts to donate to the East TN Children’s Hospital. The initiative made many toddlers and teenagers smile: on Christmas Eve they received iTunes cards, toys, clothes, and books.
Pausa Studio Pausa Studio — During Study Break, The Italian Club hosted Pausa Studio at the Freison Cultural Center. Over 50 students enjoyed coffee and treats, and stayed to practice for their final oral presentations with their peers or to prepare for online quizzes. This has become a yearly event for the Italian program, and students appreciate the time they can spend informally with their professors outside the classroom.
The Italian Language Table meets at the International House every Wednesday, 6-7PM. The Table will be led by MFLL 394 Peer Mentors this year.
The Italian Club meets bimonthly, starting January 13, in the Mary Greer Room at 2:30PM. The next meeting is February 10th.


Kakehashi Project in Japan — The MFLL Japanese Program successfully applied for the Kakehashi Project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA), and selected 23 UT students as participants from a large pool of university-wide applicants: Japanese-language minors, Language and World Business/Japanese majors, and students who have taken Japan-related courses at UT. These students and two faculty/staff members from UT spent 8 days in Japan in December 2019, with all expenses covered by MOFA of Japan. They explored language, culture, society, history, and technology in three cities — Tokyo, Himeji, and Kobe — by interacting with host families, Konan University students, local community members, and officials of the Japanese government. At the end of the program, each student was awarded a certificate as a youth ambassador for US–Japan relations. Special thanks go to the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), Consul Itsuroh Abe of Japan in Nashville, Dr. Lisa Parker (L&WB), and Dr. Rachel Rui (Center for Global Engagement).
In the pictures: UT student participants, members of JICE, Dr. Parker, Dr. Rui, Consul Abe of Japan in Nashville, and Dr. Noriko Horiguchi, MFLL Japanese chair.

Kakehashi Project in Japan Kakehashi Project in Japan
Kakehashi Project in Japan

Vols Japanese Cultural Association — The Japan Club activities began in January 2020 with a meeting that discussed New Year’s traditions in Japan. After this meeting, club members participated in three events: viewing a new animated film, Weathering with You (天気の子 ), currently playing in movie theaters; the Yamato Drummers performance at the UT Student Union; and, to conclude the events for the month, gathering to watch a Kabuki performance on YouTube. These activities made January a wonderful kick-off month for the New Year.

Japan Club activities Japan Club activities


Thanks to Dr. Noriko Horiguchi ( Japanese), UT was accepted as one of four universities in the US to participate in the Kakehashi Project. The Kakehashi Project is a gift from the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville and the Japanese government, and it was awarded to UT as a result of our consorted efforts to strengthen UT-Japan relations. The Japanese word “kakehashi” means “bridge,” which symbolizes the hope that participants will form lasting relationships with Japan and its people and serve as bridges between nations and cultures. All expenses for 23 UT students and 2 supervisors were covered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MFAJ). The trip took place from December 14-22, 2019. Among the 23 students, 7 L&WB students were selected to participate as well as Dr. Lisa Parker, Assistant Director of L&WB, as one of the supervisors. The Kakehashi Project serves as another step to strengthen the MFLL Japanese Program and MFLL/L&WB-Japanese and give UT students more opportunities to engage in Japanese studies. Participants who traveled to Japan were encouraged to share their experiences and discoveries with their networks at home and contribute to greater appreciation of Japanese culture worldwide.

Kakehashi Project
Picture: (from left to right) Holly Henegar; Dana Bazel; Lisa Parker; Sarah Daugherty; Zalana Bell, Isaac Russell; Stephanie Bias; Hannah Johnson


Visit from PUC Minas — The Portuguese program hosted the visit of two professors from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUC–Minas), the largest Catholic University in the world. Professors Maria Inês Martins and Evanilde Martins introduced PUC–Minas to the leadership in the Office for Global Engagement and to the students in the Portuguese program. This visit marks the initial talks to create a partnership between UT and PUC–Minas, an important step towards the expansion of the Portuguese program, especially with L&WB.

Visit from PUC Minas
Brazilian Film Series — Mark your calendars for the next feature of the Spring 2020 series: (, Dir. Anita Barbosa, 2017 (1h 31min). Feb 25th , 3:30 pm., Hodges Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, and the films have English subtitles. Click on the poster for upcoming features.

amor punto com
Brazilian Film Series Spring 2020
Bate-Papo The Portuguese Table (Bate-Papo) is meeting on Fridays, 6:00-7:30 pm. at the Golden Roast Café, 825 Melrose.
The Portuguese Language Club (CLiP) is meeting on the first Monday of each month at 5:00 p.m. in 1210 McClung Tower. For more information, please contact



LTR Wrokshop: Rossy Toledo LTR Methods Workshop — The MFLL Language Teaching Resources Methods Workshop series will start the Spring Semester with a workshop on February 6 from 1PM to 2PM in the Telecollaoration and Seminar Room (AMB 2). Are you interested in teaching online, but don't know where to begin? Perhaps you're already teaching online but you want some new teaching ideas specific to language learning? In the workshop “How to Become an Online Teacher,” Rossy Toledo will share some basics and some tried-and-true activities that really work successfully. Ideas for synchronous as well as asynchronous setting will be shared. A livestream of the workshop will be available on the LRC’s Facebook page as well as the LRC’s YouTube Channel. Have an idea for a presentation? Contact a member of the LTR Methods Workshop organizing team! [Laurent, Mia, Thorsten, Doug]. All are welcome.

WebCAPE News Placement Exams Become Mobile! — We are pleased to announce that WebCAPE placement exams are now fully-functional on Apple's Safari browser. With this recent improvement, students can now take WebCAPE from any device, including iPhones and iPads.


2020 GBL Game Jam: Introduction (Wed., February 12, 3–5 PM, Hodges Library 220E: Practice Presentation Room) Want to add some fun to your courses? Come learn about game-based learning! Throughout this series, you will go over the basics of game design and how game design can be aligned with course design to create learning games for your students. By the end of the 5-meeting series, you’ll have a game prototype that you can play with your students, as well as a certificate to include in your teaching portfolio. Among other benefits, what you’ll learn will help you stand out on the job market, as well as demonstrate professional development for the purposes of promotion.
Click here to register
Using LinkedIn Learning: Posting to Canvas & Reports (Fri., February 21, 12:15 PM, OIT Training Center) In this hands-on workshop, you will gain an understanding of how to use LinkedIn Learning as an administrator, how to create collections and reports, and how to post your collections to a Canvas course.
Click here to register
Facilitating Collaboration in Experiential Learning (Thu., March 5, 2 PM, Student Union 362C) As part of the University's Faculty Innovators Program, Laurent Zunino (French) and Doug Canfield (Language Resource Center) will introduce you to best practices in forging collaborations within the classroom for experiential learning opportunities, and how to manage common positives and pitfalls in these relationships.
Click here to register
Online Training of the Month: Adapting and scaffolding online materials for different proficiency levels The mantra for adapting resources for different proficiency levels is “task, not text.” What does this mean for your online planning and instruction? How can you help learners access and interact with authentic resources in meaningful ways online, especially Novice language learners? What types of web-based activities can Novice learners do with authentic resources, and how do you make them comfortable with such resources? In this webinar, Leslie Baldwin (Ed.D.) will discuss the importance of understanding what learners should be expected to do at different levels of the ACTFL Proficiency Scale and what can push them to the next level. Then, she will demonstrate how to design tasks for different proficiency levels and addressing all 3 modes of communication, using the same online resource.
Click here to view


How World Language Teaching Has Evolved in the 21st Century — In Episode 131 of The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast, Jennifer Gonzalez  interviews Rebecca Blouwolff, a French teacher focused on imitating her favorite French teachers (who were pretty traditional in terms of pedagogy). Blouwolf gradually reflected on the students she wasn’t reaching with traditional pedagogy, and as she learned more about the ACTFL national standards, she "totally blew up" her pedagogical practices and reinvented herself as a 21st-century teacher. In this interview, Rebecca shares six of the most significant changes that her pedagogical practice has adopted (and you should consider) in the new century.
Click here to listen
LRChat Podcast Episode 2, UTK Chinese New Year’s Festival — Ayaa Alfatlawy and Holly Gary reflect on the 2020 Chinese New Year’s Festival held in the Student Union of the University of Tennessee.
Click here to listen


Floop Floop: Meaningful Feedback, Faster — Feedback is one of the most effective tools for learning the sooner students get it and the more specific it is. Floop was built by educators, informed by research, and perfected in classrooms. Students send pictures of their homework draft and questions about it to the teacher from a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile device. The teacher views the picture and can type comments that are anchored to specific locations on the photos. The teacher then sends the draft back to students, starting a feedback loop that allows for iteration and improvement. Floop is free for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, and the creators are committed to keeping Floop affordable for teachers.


The next MFLL Newsletter will be published Tuesday, March 3. Submissions should be sent to prior to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, March 1. Please follow these guidelines as you submit your items:

  • Write “monthly newsletter item” on the subject line
  • Write your text in the third person
  • Limit photos to four per event
  • Please be prompt in submitting items in time to meet the deadline.