Help the English Language Institute to Bring Students from Japan!

The College of Charleston English Language Institute (ELI) hosted a professor, Kayoko Takegoshi, from Japan’s Toyama University during the fall of 2014. She met our students and faculty, attended our ESL classes, toured the campus and city, and returned to her home university to arrange a “CofC ELI short term program” for her sophomore students. She anticipates that 4-5 students will be interested in attending the English Language Institute from August 24 – September 25, 2015. This is a summer break for Toyama University students, so it is the only opportunity for them to study abroad. As student housing is at a premium, especially at the beginning of the academic year, it’s not possible to lodge these students in the CofC dorm.

 

Therefore, the CofC ELI program has launched a homestay program and is in the early stages of recruiting individuals, couples and families who would be interested in hosting a Japanese student for 5 weeks. For families with young children, this can be a life altering experience as children of all ages benefit from interacting with people from other cultures, and through this process, learn tolerance and other essential qualities of becoming global citizens.

 

These students are university sophomores and are independent adults. Ideally, the homes would be within walking or biking distance from the CofC campus so they could come and go on their own. Students attend ELI classes M-F from 8am-3pm, depending on the day, so they would purchase a meal plan to cover breakfasts and lunches. Dinner would be prepared at home. Host families would be adequately compensated for hosting a student, and would be expected to include the student on any appropriate family excursions during the weekends. As English language acquisition is a primary goal of the students, involving them in English conversation in the family setting would be strongly encouraged.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the CofC homestay program, please contact Alice Hamilton at hamiltonam1@cofc.edu by April 20, 2015.

Summer I ONLINE Course Opportunity! “The Role of the Quran in Contemporary Islam”

Registration for Summer classes begins on March 10!

ARST 273 (CRN 30754) will be offered ONLINE by Dr. Ghazi Abuhakema during Summer I.

Course Description: In this course, ARST 273, The Role of the Qur’a and its Place in Contemporary Islam, students are introduced to some of the key ideas and themes of the Quran and its role as the ultimate source of authority for Muslims. The course also examines current, and, in some cases, controversial, issues, and explores how particular Qur’anic passages have been cited and interpreted with respect to these issues.

 

Chinese New Year 2015: Year of the Sheep

This story has been republished from the College Today article.

Originally publised: 17 February 2015 | 1:26 pm
by: Ron Menchaca
Contact: Weishen Wang, professor and chair, Department of Finance, 843.953.0887

Chinese New Year begins Feb. 19, 2015. Originally based on the Chinese lunar-solar calendar, the holiday is celebrated in many Asian countries over several days.

chinese new year

The holiday, also known as Spring Festival, is traditionally celebrated by families coming together to renew ties.

Each Chinese New Year is assigned to one of 12 zodiacal animals, with 2015 being the Year of the Sheep.

“It is a great family time, similar to Christmas here in the USA,” says Weishen Wang, professor and chair of the Department of Finance in the School of Business. “We will have great food, in particular, dumplings, and performance. Usually people put on new and beautiful clothes. Grown-ups give kids lucky money.”

Millions of people will travel from major Chinese cities to celebrate the holiday with their families.

LINK: View a heat map showing the massive amount of travel that occurs during Chinese New Year.

chinese new year

As president for the Chinese Association in Greater Charleston, Wang is helping to organize the association’s Spring Festival. The event takes place Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the James Island Community Education Center, 1000 Fort Johnson Rd., Charleston.

The event will feature traditional Chinese music, dances and singing followed with a banquet of delicious Chinese foods, door prizes and more. For more information and to pre-register for the event, visit http://www.cagcsc.org/springfestival.html

Association members receive free admission. Admission for non-members is $15, students – $10, children ages 6-12 – $5, children 5 and under – free.

EXPLORE: Study the Chinese language at the College.

 

 

FBI working with TSA, others investigating Arabic tweet tagging Charleston airport

Re-Posted from Live 5 news: http://www.live5news.com/story/27976809/arabic-tweet-tagging-charleston-airport-being-investigated 

Originally Posted: Jan 29, 2015 4:46 PM EST Updated: Jan 30, 2015 5:46 PM EST

By Harve Jacobs

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) –

The FBI confirmed it was working with other law enforcement agencies to investigate a tweet composed apparently in Arabic that tagged the Charleston International Airport and similar tweets that tagged other airports.

“We are aware of that tweet,” FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said Friday from Washington, DC. “We are working together with the TSA and other law enforcement agencies.”

The Transportation Security Agency confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the tweet was being investigated, but that it did not appear to be threatening, a sentiment echoed by the FBI.

“It doesn’t appear that this Twitter posting represents any direct threat,” Bresson said.

An airport spokesman says the airport considers the tweet to be spam and said it was business as usual Thursday at the airport.

The Twitter post, directed toward the airport’s Twitter account, contains foreign characters. When translated from Arabic through the Bing-powered translator on Twitter’s website, the result appears to be mostly gibberish.

“@CHS_Airport I love the good of the whole people and mandersh defect..,” the translated message reads in part.

Similar tweets have been sent to specific airlines over the past couple of weeks, according to TSA spokesman Mark Howell in Atlanta. However, Howell says this is the first instance he has heard of in which a tweet mentions a specific airport.

Bresson said the FBI has monitored similar tweets.

Accompanying the tweet is a YouTube video that appears to have been recorded outdoors next to an open vehicle and features a man who speaks in a foreign language.

When YouTube’s built-in translator attempts to convert it to English, it produces more gibberish.

Dr. Ghazi Abuhakema, the Director of Asian Studies at the College of Charleston described it as a very informal conversation between two Moroccans, and said after listening to the recording, he and other friends concluded the incoherent message did not directly or indirectly include any threats.

The tweet got the attention of the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security, which monitor social media networks for potential threats.

Several planes have been diverted and passengers inconvenienced in recent weeks after threats were made online against airlines and specific flights. The government has been working to identify the people responsible for making those threats.

Forgetting a language: Why it happens and how to avoid it

Forgotten languages, and understanding why

In my travels and lifestyle, the reason I learn a language is simple: to immediately use it with locals and enhance my cultural experiences. This is not quite the same as many people, who choose their one language to learn based on a long-term investment. A polyglot has many languages to deal with, and this changes things significantly compared to someone with a one-language priority.

What this means is at the end of my two- to three-month projects to intensively learn a language for an upcoming trip, I face a crossroad: Should I maintain this language or not? Some people may take a “not” choice completely out of context and feel like the whole experience was worthless.

Every language I have learned has enhanced my travels in ways I can’t begin to express. Saying that any one of them was a waste of time ignores the cultural experience that was my priority all along. I’m not passionate about languages, I’m passionate about using them.

Maintaining them as described below is so much work that if that passion doesn’t spark a lifelong interest in the language, then I simply will not prioritise it — as a polyglot, I have quite a lot of languages to juggle! This is obviously not the same situation for someone who has learned one foreign language over an extended period of study.

A consequence of this is that as much experience as I have in learning and speaking languages — seven of which I can now say I speak fluently — I have plenty of experience too in forgetting languages.

I have learned Hungarian, Czech, Catalan, and Tagalog and could converse and socialise in all of them at various levels. But now I can’t. Nowadays, I’d never even list them as languages I can get by in to be honest. But I don’t apologise for this or lose sleep over it. I knew it was going to happen.

So what did I do differently with my successfully maintained seven languages compared to those listed above?

Consistent practice

The “secret” (no surprise) is simply consistently using the language so it is always fresh in your mind.

Of course you can come up with lazy excuses why this is not possible, but the truth is you can always find ways to use those languages. Find natives to meet in person via social networks, use certain sites to find people to talk to by Skype, be friendlier with tourists, join clubs and actively monitor your social circle and environment for opportunities to use the language. All of these are ways you can speak your language immediately.

To maintain other aspects (reading, writing, listening, etc.), the best way is by doing them. Listen to podcasts in the target language, read blogs or online news or an entire book in that language, keep in touch with your foreign friends by chatting to them on Facebook or writing them emails; but do this every day.

The language will deteriorate in your mind if you don’t keep it active. Having learned it “once” does not mean you now own it forever; use it or lose it!

Speed of learning

As far as I can tell, there’s only one major disadvantage to my rapid learning strategy: The quicker you learn it, the quicker you’ll forget it. This may sound bad, but it’s way better than the alternative of learning so slowly you have nothing to show for it, ever.

If you dive intensively into your language learning project, and reach high conversational level or fluency after a few months, you have to be sure you’re consistently maintaining it until it is a permanent part of you. I found with the languages listed above that within just a few months, I lost the vast majority of my ability to communicate in them — I forgot as quickly as I learned.

So if you learned your language over years (actually using it, not simply being present in a classroom for something that could only laughably be called “years”), you’ll be much less likely to forget it as quickly. Spanish is the language I’ve put the most time into, for example, and I’m confident that I could cut myself off from the language entirely for a year and get back into it no problem. I’ve spoken and lived through Spanish so much that it’s burned into me.

But the point is I wouldn’t cut myself off from Spanish. Why would I do that? If you genuinely want to speak a language for life, it will always be there for you to use. Even with seven or more languages competing for time with me, I will always give the important ones the time they deserve (what makes a language important depends on you, not some economic, etc., criteria or what someone else says).

Even though I’m certainly aware of the danger of forgetting a language quicker due to learning it quicker, I still think this hardly counts as a “disadvantage.” You’ll only forget it if you aren’t using it. This is true whether you learned it quickly or slowly, only the speed of deterioration is different. After I had learned the other languages on my list quickly and intensively, I kept up the good work of consistently using them and will never forget them because of that.

Passion and the why

The main reason I’ll never forget my current languages and certain future ones I take on, while I will forget others, is because I’m passionate about the former beyond a fixed point in time when they served the purpose of cultural immersion. That one thing, the why that sparked a flame inside me during my experience in the country, means I will never let it go.

If you don’t want to ever forget a given language, don’t ever let it go. Make it an important part of your life; reading books and keeping in touch with friends is never a chore, but something that would leave a huge hole in your life if taken away.

This article originally appeared on Fluent in 3 Months and is reprinted here with permission.

10 EXTRAORDINARILY USEFUL JAPANESE PHRASES FOR TRAVELERS (From Matador Network)

10 extraordinarily useful Japanese phrases for travelers

Going to Japan? Here are some Japanese phrases to memorize on the plane.

SOME OF THESE JAPANESE PHRASES are practical. Some of them are funny. All 10 will greatly enhance your trip to Japan.

Note that all of the phrases are pretty informal, especially the one about crapping your pants. Also, I spell the phrases phonetically in the header, but spell them with the most common romanization of the Japanese characters when explaining a point.

Confused already? Don’t worry about it.

1. “Yo-ro-sh-ku o-neh-gai-shi-mus.”

This phrase is absolute magic. Say “yoroshiku” to any Japanese person in any situation and they will help you with anything and everything you need. It’s impossible to translate literally, but means something to the effect of, “Please do your best and treat me well.”

If you memorize nothing else before going to Japan, remember “yoroshiku” and you’re totally set. “Onegaishimasu” is a common word that means something similar to “please.”

2. “Yosh. Gahn-bah-di-mus.”

This phrase means something like, “OK, I’m going for it,” or “I’ll do my best.” A Japanese would say “Ganbarimasu” before taking a test or leaving the house for a job interview.

Japanese people will crack up if you say it before walking outside, eating noodles, or using a vending machine. Try saying it before using phrase #8.

3. “Ara! Onara suru tsu-mori datta keh-do, un-chi ga de-chatta.”

The literal translation of this useful phrase is, “Oops! I meant to fart but poop came out.”

Saying this never gets old, especially in public places, especially on a first date, and most especially if it’s clearly one of only 10 Japanese phrases that you’ve memorized.

When in Southeast Asia, I especially enjoy muttering in Japanese about crapping my pants while walking past Japanese tourists. The reactions are priceless.

4. “Mo da-meh. Yoh-para-chatta. Go-men.”

At some point during your stay, Japanese people will probably try to make you drink past your limit. That’s when this phrase comes in handy. It means something like, “No more, I’m already drunk, sorry.”

5. “Ko-ko wa do-ko? Wa-ta-shi wa da-reh? Na-ni mo wah-kah-nai.”

Where is this? Who am I? I don’t understand anything. This is what you say after failing to use phrase #4 in time.

6. “Ee-show ni kah-rah-o-keh ni ee-koh ka?”

Shall we go to karaoke together? This is a good line to use if trying to pick someone up from the bar. Think of karaoke as a transition point between the bar and the love hotel.

Note: Please don’t pronounce “karaoke” with lots of EEE sounds. It should sound like “kah-rah-o-keh,” not “carry-oh-key.”

7. “Hon-toe ni oh-ee-shee des yo!”

Use this one when eating. It means something like, “For real, it’s delicious!”

“Hontou ni” means “for real” or “really” or “I’m not kidding.” Japanese people are always telling sweet little white lies, so dropping a “hontou ni” from time to time is very much appreciated.

8. “Ah-nah-tah wa ha-ruh no ee-chee ban no sah-ku-rah yo-ree u-tsu-ku-shee.”

This classic Japanese pickup line means, “You’re more beautiful than the first cherry blossom of spring.”

9. “Ni-hon dai-skee.”

Japan is the best. I love Japan. When in doubt, just smile, nod, and repeat.

10. “Koh-nah ni kee-ray na to-ko-ro wa hah-jee-meh-teh mee-tah!”

Japanese people love it when you gush about their country. This phrase means, “I’ve never seen a place so beautiful before.” Bust it out at famous attractions and you’ll meet with instant approval. 

This post was originally published on May 25, 2009.

Critical Language Scholar reflects on her time in India

EBR in India_croppedThe summer before my senior year at College of Charleston, I received a Critical Language Scholarship to continue my Hindi studies in Jaipur, India. I had taken as many Hindi courses with Mrs. Leena Karambelkar as the College offered, and I was thrilled at the chance to further my language skills on the ground in India. The classes and tutoring through the program were hugely beneficial, but one of the most important aspects of my two months in India was finding places where tourists hadn’t left their mark and where I felt I could truly use Hindi. One Sunday, I went with a friend into the old walled city of Jaipur onto side streets where the bazaars were bursting with people selling steel wool, packs of underwear, cellophane-wrapped bangles, and other everyday wares you can’t find in the touristy side of town. My friend and I attracted more stares than normal, but it was worth it to feel like a true traveler. We explored, bargaining with the merchants in Hindi along the way. One young boy selling bangles even forgot to give us the foreigner price, the standard 100 rupees for everything. The surge and pull of the crowd was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking, a blend of Hindi and English washing over me and exhausting me more than even the oppressive heat could. I loved it! In my two months in India, it was possibly the most honest picture of the culture and the best opportunity to test my classroom Hindi.

Somewhat unexpectedly, I still use Hindi in my new job in Louisville, KY, at the Americana Community Center where I am the Community Liaison VISTA. Americana Community Center works primarily with the large immigrant and refugee population in Louisville, offering free programs specifically designed to meet the community’s needs. As part of the volunteer orientation I regularly lead, I teach a quick Hindi lesson to demonstrate what it’s like for people to expect you to understand a language that is not your own.  It always reminds me of my time in India, and I’ve noticed that the orientation can be a powerful lesson in empathy for some of our younger volunteers.

Study Abroad Fair for Affiliate Programs: September 25

Passport Services* Affiliate Programs Fair

September 25th, 10:00 am—2:00 pm in the Cougar Mall

*Representatives from the Charleston Passport Center will be accepting passport applications (new and renewal) during the Affiliate Programs Study Abroad Fair (see attached on details). This service is open to the public!

2015 Study Abroad Fair Flyer

BB&T Market Process Speaker Series: “The Political Consequences of Islam’s Economic Legacy”

September 30 at 6pm

Wells Fargo Auditorium (Beatty Center Rm. 115), 5 Liberty Street, Charleston, SC

Timur Kuran, Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University will discuss the impact of the Middle East’s traditional institutions on poor political performance, measured by democratization and human liberties.

Co-sponsored by the Initiative for Public Choice and Market Access and the Bastiat Society

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