Linguistics flair for November

October 28, 2011 Community Print Print

Poetry readings, Latin dance lessons, a presentation about the Arabic language, and a Japanese cultural workshop are among the activities scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 1, in the World Languages and Cultures Center on the second floor of the Main building.

Coordinator Chiaki Troutman said this will be the third annual Modern Languages Festival, which aspires to raise awareness of languages and cultures. The festival will be a come-and-go affair from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“I am nervous but very excited,” Troutman said.

“This festival is a really great opportunity for students to experience.”

In previous years, more than 100 students have attended the festival. Troutman said it is open to the general student body, is geared towards language learners, and is completely free.

The festival will commence with a short-and-sweet ice breaker led by Troutman, in which students will get to share how to say “hello” and listen to others say “hello” in many different languages.

Afterwards, Abra Figueroa will host a poetry-reading session filled with international students’ poems from their native literature presented in various languages. Figueroa is the ESL Academic Bridge Program coordinator and a professor of modern languages.

At 12:30 p.m., Keven Mendoza will teach the Bachata, a Dominican dance.

“I love dancing,” he said.

Mendoza was once a dance instructor. His interactive session will introduce students to the basic steps. Mendoza is a native of Mexico and serves as a work-study student assistant in the WLCC.

After that will be a cultural presentation by Thabet Swaiss, a native Jordanian who has served as an Arabic professor at OCCC, and Amin Zadeh, Communications Lab assistant. Swaiss is a former broadcaster who worked as a Jordan Television Corporation reporter in Amman, Jordan.

He and Zadeh will speak about the rising importance of the Arabic language and the potential influence it could have on employment in the future. They also will discuss the cultural aspects of learning Arabic. The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Then, at 2:30 p.m., Troutman will host yet another session entitled “How to Rosetta Stone,” where she will present a short demonstration of the language software and answer any questions regarding it.

Concluding the festival, Japanese language instructor Keiko Shafer will lead a hands-on workshop filled with Japanese cultural practices. Shafer is a representative of the Japan-America Association of Oklahoma.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided for participants throughout the event.

The event is sponsored by the WLCC as part of the Arts and Humanities division and by Student Life.

For more information, call Troutman at 405-682-1611, ext. 7560 or email In addition, you can also visit the website at or their Facebook page at

To contact Nadia J. Enchassi, email

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