Student Opportunities in the Foreign Languages

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International Residence Hall

Language students have the opportunity to live in our new International Residence Hall, where Rider students share a common living space with international students from such countries as Austria, China, France, and Spain. Department club meetings and other activities make this a unique living arrangement for language practice, cross-cultural exchange, and building friendships around the world.

If you are interested in signing up to live in this international residence hall, please contact the Residence Life Office at 609-896-5102. Dr. Stephane Natan is the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures coordinator ([email protected]).

Honor Societies and Awards

Honor Society Inductions:
Each spring, during Rider’s International Week celebrations, the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures inducts excellent students in the Department into the following National and International Honor Societies:

  • SIGMA DELTA PI: National Spanish Honor Society
  • PI DELTA PHI: National French Honor Society
  • DELTA PHI ALPHA: National German Honor Society
  • PHI BETA DELTA: Honor Society for International Scholars

Awards for student writing:
Students are selected to receive awards for outstanding student writing in foreign languages. These students present their papers during a ceremony held during International Week. The following are some of the recent award winning papers and essays from outstanding students:

  • Diane Bukowczyk: “Phèdre: monstre ou victime”
  • Estefania Juncal: “Le Personnage de Francis Sancher: La Crise d’identité dans Traversée de la Mangrove de Maryse Condé”
  • Dianna Altmiller: “Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Erlkönig”
  • Kate Henninger: “El Burlador de Selvilla: una comedia religiosa”
  • Jacqueline Nodes: “La identidad y la soledad en el cine de Pedro Almodóvar”

Honors Program in Languages, Literatures & Cultures:
Students who have a 3.25 cumulative grade point average and a 3.5 average in the major may be invited by the department to become a candidate for the Honors Program in Foreign Languages. In the fall semester of the senior year, students work independently, and with close supervision by a faculty member in the department on a Senior Honors Thesis in a subject of interest to the student. The student will register for an Independent Research and Study course for three credit hours in both the fall and spring. The student presents the thesis to the faculty on or before April 15 and will be awarded Honors by the department upon successful completion of the Senior Honors Thesis.

The following are some of the student honors theses:

  • Dianna Altmiller (2004-05): “Representation of Female Roles in the Grimm’s Fairy Tales”
  • Caitriona Duggan (2002-03): “Angels of Perdition: The Heroine in Spanish Romantic Theater”
  • Adam Storm (2001-02): “Novgorod the Great: A City of Dual Character”

Academic Alliance

Founded in 1991, The Central Jersey-Penn Foreign Language Academic Alliance comprises teachers from nearly 20 area high schools, colleges, and universities. The Alliance has as its goal the improvement of foreign language education and the study of foreign languages and cultures. Rider Foreign Language Education majors have an excellent opportunity to receive pre-professional development through membership and through networking with teachers in the Alliance. Workshops are usually offered twice a year. The following is a sample of recent workshops sponsored by the Alliance:

  • Using PowerPoint to incorporate foreign films in the classroom
  • Uncovering the hidden opportunities in the World Wide Web for World Languages
  • Resources for planning international travel projects for students
  • Satellite teleconference effective classroom assessment of foreign language learning

For more information, contact the Academic Alliance Co-Directors:
Dr. Mary Poteau-Tralie
[email protected]
(609) 895-5591

Dr. Margaret Schleissner
[email protected]
(609) 895-5598

Language and Culture and Conversation Tables

Each language section offers opportunities to join clubs and converse informally with students outside the classroom in the target language.   Conversation Tables meet in the Foreign Language Media Center (Fine Arts 309) or at Starbucks.  The French, German and Spanish Clubs offer trips each semester to musical and theatrical performances, art galleries, and restaurants.  Students of Chinese are paired with visiting Sanda University Chinese students for informal coffee and conversation at Starbucks.  Weekly or bi-weekly conversation table schedules can be picked up at the Department office in Fine Arts 381 or by calling (609) 896-5146. FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN BECOME INVOLVED IN THE LANGUAGE CLUBS!

For information on the French Club, contact Dr. Stéphane Natan ([email protected])
For information on the Spanish Club, contact Dr. Hernán Fontanet ([email protected])
For information on the German Club, contact Dr. Margaret Schleissner ([email protected])
For information on the Chinese Conversation Table and Events, contact Dr. Shunzhu Wang ([email protected])

Annual Fall Colloquium

Each fall semester, the Department offers all majors and minors the opportunity to come together for symposia, poetry readings and performances.  Students in the last three years were invited:

  1. to hear original poems in Spanish and English translation by Julia Barella (f07);
  2. to learn about “The Art of Translation” from well-known German translator, Shelley Frisch (f08);
  3. to enjoy music and poetry with Dr. Dick Swain from Fine Arts and his Hot Tango Band during the “Poesía, Música, y Sueños: Hispanic Dreams in Words and Music” performance (f09),
  4. to hear Dr. Dick Swain’s performance with his Poquelin Players of “Ah Paree:  An Evening of French Cabaret”  (f10).