helmet_filler.pngCamelia Suleiman and Bilqis Al-Barrak
“The Politics of Travel to the Middle East to Study Arabic”

Dr. Suleiman is Assistant Professor of Arabic in MSU’s Department of Linguistics and Languages. She earned her Ph.D. from Georgetown University.  Her research interest is in the area of language and identity in relation to gender, politicians' use of language in the media, and national identity. 

Bilqis Al-Barrak is a graduate student in the MA-TESOL program.

Due to the current political atmosphere in the Middle East, many students wonder about how safe it is to travel there to study Arabic. We will be discussing why it is still important to visit the Middle East, but at the same time, we will discuss some precautions.

CeLTA/CLEAR Open House

celta.pngThe Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA), housed within the College of Arts and Letters, was formed in August 2008 to assist with the administration and coordination of language offerings, best teaching practices, the sharing of curricula across languages and departments, and to promote service learning and outreach.

The Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR) in the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University was established in 1996 as a Language Resource Center (LRC) through a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education. As an LRC, CLEAR strives to promote and support the teaching and learning of foreign languages in the United States through its various projects and outreach activities.


chen_200.pngYingfei Chen 
“Demonstration of MSU Chinese Language Learning Apps”

Yingfei Chen is Instructor of Chinese and Technology Specialist in the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA). Her research interests include second language acquisition and computer assisted language-learning. She will be demonstrating new Chinese learning apps that the program uses in its classrooms.



Catherine Ryu
“Demonstration of MSU Chinese Language Learning Apps”

Catherine Ryu is Associate Professor of Japanese Literature & Culture and an inventor of recently patented language learning game platform. Her research interests include Classical Japanese (Heian Women's Literature), gender studies, Korean culture and literature, among others. At the event, she will demonstrate "Picky Birds," a Mandarin tone learning tool--the first app with fully gamified perception training--that helps students internalize Mandarin tones simply by playing the game.

helmet_filler.pngMichael Drew
"The Current South China Sea Dispute"

Michael Drew is a senior in the College of Arts and Letters, with a major in Chinese and minors in Asian Studies and Defense Studies. He is a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at Michigan State University and is the current Cadet Wing Commander.

Talk abstract: "By conducting research on the region's history, neighboring states' claims of historical ownership, recent escalation of conflict, and implication on contemporary politics, I hope to discover the source of conflict in the South China Sea theater between the People's Republic of China and the United States, along with the end goals these actors hope to achieve."

helmet_filler.pngChangchang Yao
"A One-Day Tour in China: Language and Culture"

Changchang Yao is a Ph.D. student in Second Language Studies (SLS). Her research focus is the acquisition of Chinese as a second language. She also teaches Chinese for Kids at the CeLTA Language School (CLS). Changchang will demonstrate how computers can add some fun elements when learning Chinese language and culture. Her presentation will highlight the CeLTA lab.

Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) and Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs)

fltas.pngMSU’s 2015-2016 Fulbright Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) 
“Cultural Festival”

Each year we have approximately seven language teaching assistants from other countries that come to MSU as part of the Fulbright exchange program. The 2015-2016 FLTAs will set up tables devoted to their home countries so that you can find more about them. They will do this along with the instructors of our current Less Commonly Taught Languages (e.g. Vietnamese, Farsi, Tagalog, etc.)


helmet_filler.pngChad Bousley
“Germany from a Soccer Point of View” 

Chad Bousley is a second year MA student with an interest in music, language learning, and study abroad. Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006 and won as recently as 2014 in Brazil. Come hear about the important role that soccer has played in recent German history. You will first learn some historical background of "Die Mannschaft" and also the "Bundesliga."  Then we'll discuss how soccer in Germany has reflected the country's diverse national identity and shaped cultural values and ideas in the 21st century.   

shuster_craig.pngJohanna Schuster-Craig
“European Migration From a German Perspective”

Dr. Schuster-Craig is Assistant Professor of German and Global Studies. Chancellor Angela Merkel declared the German and Austrian borders to be open to refugees on September 4, 2015. Her statement won her humanitarian accolades, but the flows of refugees along the Balkan Land Route has been highly controversial in the European Union. Merkel’s own party has accused her of breaking rank; far-right movements have grown substantially; and refugee homes are frequently set on fire as a mark of protest. Months later, European Union member states have still not agreed on a process for refugee distribution, and the deportation of certain groups has already begun. This presentation will explain some of the nuts and bolts of the refugee crisis. Who’s coming? Why? And what does all of this mean for Germany?

German Graduate Students
“German Graduate Student Project Presentations”

Jennifer Gohlke
"Memory and the Museum: Representing the Holocaust in Historical Context"

Jennifer Gohlke is a PhD student in German Studies with an interest in German-Jewish Studies, questions about identity, testimony, the (im-) possibility of representing the Holocaust, and Philosophy.

Carly Lesoski
"Chronicles of a PhD Student: Teaching German, Watching Netflix and Reading Comic Books"

Carly Lesoski is a PhD student who is interested in online language pedagogy and the use of Hitler and the Nazis for comedic purposes.

Krsna Santos
"The New Germany? Rappers of Color in Germany Challenging Ideas of National Belonging"

Krsna Santos is an MA student in German Studies with an interest in transnational identity, decoloniality and hip-hop.

Ryan Galer

“Mapping Germany: Learning Literature and Culture with Digital Media”


Tom Lovik, Elizabeth Mittman and students 

"Meet and Greet with Mayen and Freiburg Study Abroad Alumni"

Former Mayen and Freiburg participants are invited to meet some of the most recent study abroad participants and hear how both programs are thriving and benefiting from strong student interest, renewed host family participation for Mayen and generous scholarship opportunities. Prof. Mittman who has directed the Freiburg program and Prof. Lovik who has directed the Mayen Program ten times along with students Sierra Parent (Freiburg), Sarah Scarbrough and Maggie Chen (Mayen 2015) and others will be on hand to facilitate the discussion. 



Yore Kedem
“Inquiry-Based Learning in the Language Classroom/Teaching Hebrew”

Yore Kedem is Assistant Professor of Hebrew. Dr. Kedem’s talk asks the following questions: What does it mean to integrate inquiry-based learning into teaching language? What are the challenges and benefits of this approach? Bringing examples of student research projects from intermediate and advanced Hebrew classes, he will illustrate language teachers should use the inquiry-based approach.


helmet_filler.pngJonathan Glade and Mariko Kawaguchi
“Contemporary Japan”

Jonathan Glade is an Assistant Professor of Japanese. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations), where he specialized in modern Japanese and Korean Literature. He is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled From Imperial to National: Transformations in Japanese and Korean Literature, 1935–1952.

Mariko Kawaguchi has her MA from Columbia University and her MEd from Cal State Long Beach. She is a Japanese instructor who is interested in multicultural education and Japanese pedagogy.

Ever asked yourself why someone would study Japanese? This talk will provide some answers to that question by giving a detailed overview of the Japanese program at Michigan State and highlighting how students in the Japanese program are preparing for career opportunities in Michigan, other parts of the US, and even Japan.

ryu_200.pngCatherine Ryu, Miyuki Kamiya and their Japanese Students
“Japanese Student Presentations on Japanese Culture”

Catherine Ryu is Associate Professor of Japanese. Her Classical Japanese students will be presenting:

Ashley David, Cattleya Trager, Patrick Mercer
     Hyakunin Isshu – A Japanese anthology of waka poetry 


Miyuki Kamiya is a Japanese instructor. Her students will present on famous Japanese people:

Okeefe, Christian Renae & Hubbard, Eman Amari  
     Hayao Miyazaki

Gagnon, Steven Garrison & Armstrong, Aaron Lamar 
     Ryoma Sakamoto 「坂本龍馬さかもとりょうま」

Hewagama, Himashi & Zhang, Lutong
     Osamu Tezuka


helmet_filler.pngOk-Sook Park
"Never Too Late to Learn About Korea"

Dr. Park is Assistant Professor of Korean. Her research interests center around Korean linguistics and second language acquisition, especially in the areas of learning and teaching of Korean.  As the youngest program in the department, the department alumni did not have opportunities to experience Korean language and culture while they were at MSU.   However, it is never too late to learn Korean language and culture.  In this session, followed by a mini Korean lesson, participants will have opportunities to appreciate Korean poems written by Korean learners and to meet alumni of the program.  


berreta_200.pngAlan Beretta and Graduate Students
“Neurolinguistics/EEG Lab Tour”

Dr. Beretta is Professor of Linguistics and Director of the EEG Lab. With his students, he conducts experiments in which the brain’s electrophysiological response to sentences is recorded. The goal is to better understand the mechanisms involved in processing sentences, as the milliseconds tick by. Why not take the lab tour? Meet the gang. Peer through a window into the secret life of ‘electrified’ sentences in our heads.

wagner_200.pngSuzanne Wagner and Graduate Students
“Sociolinguistics Lab Tour”

Dr. Wagner is Associate Professor of Linguistics and is a sociolinguist. She studies the social meaning attached to linguistic variation, with the goal of understanding what motivates linguistic change. She is especially interested in the extent to which individuals do or do not participate in ongoing community linguistic change across the lifespan, and how we can differentiate this from age grading. Meet her and her students in a tour of their lab.

Linguistics Graduate Students

Ai Taniguchi
My, how big your ears are! Why the Big Bad Wolf can’t answer "4 inches, my dear!”

Patrick Kelley 
“The blue-black dresses of language [grammatical illusions]”

Chenchen Xu
"Learning About Cute Girls from Linguistic Maps of China"

Alicia Parrish
“Vikings who can gulp beer mugs: A neurolinguistic look at Icelandic compounds”

Ni-La Le

"'Give me the toy(s)': Ask in Vietnamese and see what you get"

Cara Feldscher 
“Why do we say ‘warmpth’”?


kumakhova_200.pngZarema Kumakhova
“Contemporary Russia”

Dr. Kumakhova is Assistant Professor of Russian. She teaches Russian language at MSU. She is interested in Russian prose of the 19th century, poetry of the 19th and 20th centuries, translation theory, methods of teaching and cross-cultural studies.  She will talk about current events in Russia, Russian verbs, culture, and jokes.


Jason Merrill
“Refresh your Russian in 40 Minutes”

Dr. Merrill is Professor of Russian. He has taught all levels of Russian language and courses on Russian literature, culture, and cinema. He also teaches an introduction to the literature and cinema of Eastern Europe. He is the author of Russian Folktales: A Student Reader and has published many other scholarly articles. Here is your chance to learn or refresh your knowledge of Russian. No previous knowledge necessary. 


helmet_filler.pngDeo Ngonyani

"Students Read Swahili Poem"

To round out the alumni reunion, students from Dr. Ngonyani's Swahili class will read a Swahili poem entitled "Rangi Zetu" (Our Colors) by Shaaban Robert. Dr. Ngonyani is a Linguist