Foreign Language Awareness Week at La Salle


Kylie Mcgovern, Managing Editor 

La Salle University’s annual Foreign Language Awareness Week (FLAW) commenced on Monday, Mar. 26. The week started with a presentation from Carla Pontarelli, a manager at the Kimmel Center who worked for Disney-Orlando. Pontarelli will be talking about the efforts of Lin-Manuel Miranda to ensure Disney and “Encanto” incorporated Columbian culture into the movie. From 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., there will be a movie screening of “Ocho Apellidos Vascos” in the St Miguel Lobby.

The Food Fair is on Tuesday in the Hayman Hall Lobby. Students will have the opportunity to taste and create cuisines from around the world. Following the food fair, Dr.  Kling will give a presentation titled “​​Families of languages” which will discuss the links between languages around the world. 

On Wednesday, there will be Ukrainian egg decorating from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. in Hayman 207. There will be a presentation about different greetings throughout the world from Dr. Thomas of the political science department. In his “Kiss, Bow, Shake Hands” presentation, Dr.Thomas will showcase the skills he learned overseas and training at the American Graduate School for International Management. This activity will teach students how to greet people properly in various countries around the world. There will also be a Dumpling Making demonstration with Christoff Raff in the La Salle Multicultural center from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. Following dumpling making, Dr. Ketz will give a presentation about La Salle University’s Leadership and Global Understanding minor. There will be a movie Screening of the persecution of the Uyghur population in China on Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m. OLAS will have Bachata con Horchata in Holroyd Lobby. 

On Thursday, the Peace and Conflict Resolution students will present their papers via displays and Q and A in the Hayman Lobby during the Universal Free Period. Later, Dr. Mshomba will be presenting about how Swahili assisted in unifying the country of Tanzania. Finally, on Thursday evening, there will be a Bilingual Language Opportunity Festival in Hayman Lobby.

Junior Danielle O’Brien spearheaded the planning of FLAW. She said, “In planning this annual event as the President of the Foreign Language club here at La Salle University and furthermore as a work-study student for the La Salle Foreign Language Department, there is often pressure to ensure that all the events live up to our outset expectations, and that above all, students understand why we put on this event on every year. To some, learning a foreign language is simply a requirement to graduate. To others, it is something fun and rewarding. Nevertheless, I would argue that the primer group can become the latter if there were a more diverse ray of options for language learning that students can choose to register for, which is sorely lacking in the institution. In implementing more options, language learning would become more than simply a requirement, but instead a passion. And that is what this week is all about, demonstrating not only to students but to the University that there is not only a need but a want to increase language learning opportunities here at La Salle. And this want and need is only furthered if we allow for consistent course offerings of a diverse ray of languages and minors of said languages. With that being said, it is my hope that La Salle students turn out at the cultural presentations and events ongoing this week to demonstrate their support and demand for more language enrichment at this University. Thus, investments need to be made in language learning by the University. Not only for the benefits learning another language can give our student body, but furthermore to make La Salle University a beacon for higher education institutions across the country.” 

Sophomore Emma Reynolds also participated in planning and she explained, “as Vice-President of the foreign language club, I’m excited to see how all the different events that we have planned for quite some time will play out. It is a lot of fun watching people interact with different cultures, try new foods and learn new things about various languages. Being able to be a part of the language department has meant a great deal to me since I want to make sure that La Salle is able to teach future students what it truly means to know a second language. There are so many opportunities to have knowledge of a second language or even a third, and La Salle has the resources for students with jobs and internships. Keeping on the tradition with FLAW to help bring more awareness to the languages that La Salle offers is something that I hope will keep going in the future.

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