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Last modified: Monday, March 21, 2011

IU's World Language Festival features colorful exhibits, language lessons and culture presentations

March 21, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's second World Language Festival -- Indiana's largest such event devoted to language and culture study -- will take place at the Bloomington campus on Saturday, April 9, and is free and open to people of all ages.

The festival, which will be from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., will take place at Ballantine Hall, 1020 E. Kirkwood Ave. The theme for the event is "Explore the World and Discover Your Future."

Presenters will include faculty experts, graduate associate instructors and students coming from more than 30 different languages and countries. The College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington offers more than 70 languages during every academic year and more than 80 languages overall.

"The World Language Festival provides students, parents, teachers and local community members with an opportunity to explore and celebrate the different languages and cultures of our world, all in one day, all in your backyard," said James Chan, director of the Center for Language Technology and Instructional Enrichment (CeLTIE).

"Our language departments and culture centers will offer a diverse array of colorful exhibits, language mini-lessons, culture presentations, and hands-on workshops, covering a wide range of topics and interests," said Chan, who also is chair of the World Language Festival committee. "Throughout the day, people will experience first-hand the vast language and cultural offerings at IU Bloomington in a fun and relaxed way."

Participants will be able to:

  • Learn to speak or sing in Akan, Bamana, Chinese, Estonian, Hungarian, Italian, IsiZulu, Japanese, Kiswahili, Polish, Russian or Wolof;
  • Try their hand at traditional Gujarati art -- "Rangoli" and "Toran;"
  • Practice the traditional Ukrainian rite of painting Easter eggs;
  • Check out some state-of-the-art language learning software;
  • See how Cyrillic, Perso-Arabic Script and Pashto languages are written.

Presentations will include:

  • "Dance of Africa:" Learn about traditional African dance to the beat of live drumming. Participants will be able to join a high-energy performance at the end of the session;
  • "Byte-Size Arabic:" Learn how to greet people and introduce yourself in Arabic, and to sing a lovely Arabian song. Participants will receive certificates with their names written in Arabic letters.
  • "Can You Master French Body Language?" Learn to communicate better with the French by understanding body language, gestures, and the corresponding idiomatic expressions.
  • "Paper Folding (Origami) Presentation:" Participants will learn how easy to make Tsuru Crane step-by-step.