Speaking of Which. ; Foreign Language Students Learn Culture at Linguapalooza

By Erbacher, Megan | Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current), October 5, 2012 | Go to article overview

Speaking of Which. ; Foreign Language Students Learn Culture at Linguapalooza


Erbacher, Megan, Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)


Cathy Fraley had only one rule for her Tour of French Cheese session Thursday at the University of Evansville's 8th annual Linguapalooza - participants had to give each variety of cheese a chance and try every one. Fraley's morning group was preparing to taste le Roquefort, a classic blue cheese made from sheep's milk.

"How is it, Tate?" North High School student Morgan Shiver asked across the table.

"Terrible," Tate Dremstedt said. "Pretty sure this is rotten."

However, Fraley assured the group it wasn't rotten, the spotted color is what gives the cheese its flavor.

About 110 foreign language students from 11 area high schools visited UE's campus to sharpen foreign language skills by engaging in cultural, conversational and interactive sessions throughout the day.

A 12-year UE French instructor, Fraley's "try every one" rule is to ensure students experience things they may not have had the opportunity to try before.

Other cheeses the students sampled were la Camembert - comparable to Brie, le Gruyere - swiss, and le chevre - goat cheese.

Dremstedt's favorite cheese was le Gruyere. According to the 18- year-old North High School senior, the event is "cool" because you're surrounded by different cultures.

Foreign language is "going to be very important for business, and be very helpful all around," he said.

Linguapalooza began with morning campus tours led by UE foreign language majors in the students' chosen language, followed by a series of short cultural sessions with topics ranging from food to music to games. Some activities included French and Spanish Jeopardy, Japanese custom and manners, a German Quiz Bowl and a discussion of contemporary Colombian music. The afternoon offered mini lessons in a language other than the one students currently study. These were available in Chinese, French, Gaelic, German, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese and Wolof.

High schools participating were Boonville, Bosse, Castle, Evansville Day, Harrison, Jasper, Loogootee, Mater Dei, Mount Vernon, North and Tecumseh.

Dr. Roger Pieroni, UE's Foreign Language Department Chair and associate professor in French, said the goal is for students to come to campus to use the skills they have learned and to have fun practicing skills. …

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