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World Languages and Cultures

Contents Expand yourself 

Study abroad!

Why is Culture Important?

Help for language learners

Meet your teachers

Focus on culture

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Study Abroad : Discovering Independence Help for YOU Piñatas!


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My memories of 5 growing up in China Meet and Greet your Professors


Costa Rica Connections


Tico Food!


Great Information


Culture is a strong part of people's lives. It influences their views, their values, their humor, their hopes, their loyalties, and their worries and fears. If you are from New Mexico or Montana, if your parents are Cambodian, French Canadian, or Native American, if you are German Catholic or African-American, if you are Jewish or Mormon, if you are straight or Gay, if you are a mixture of cultures your culture has affected you. So when you are working with people and building relationships with them, it helps to have some perspective and understanding of their cultures.

Dr Anne McGee Her article “La Reina del sure: The Globalization of Narcocultura” is accepted for publication in the book Cruzando fronteras en las

But as we explore culture, it's also important to remember how much we have in common. A person who grew up in Tibet, will probably see the world very differently than someone who grew up in Manhattan-but both people know what it is like to wake up in the morning and look forward to the adventures that of the day. We are all human beings. We all love deeply, want to learn, have hopes and dreams, and have experienced pain and fear. Article from:

Dr Ernesto Lombeida

The selection committee for the XIII International Congress on Latin American Literature has accepted Leslie L. Ginn his proposed presentation entitled “Myth, History and Being chosen as the Fall Américas/Crossing Boundaries in the Americas 2013 recipient for the Lillian Language in Latin American Barton Memorial Scholarship Literary Tradition” for March 2014



By Jenny Cheng


my professionalism and independence elevated to a moderate level where the rules was little bit more unrestricted. Living in another household commands a level of respect for the families. We were able to go out more and do our own thing independently, but there was still an expectancy from us to behave in a certain manner.

DISCOVERING INDEPENDENCE Throughout my life, I was standing on my own or so I thought. My study abroad experiences have truly made me see what being professional and independent means in another country. During my time in China, part of my exposure to the Chinese business world was to go the several tours of successful companies as well as visit historical sites pertaining to the Chinese cultures. In order for me to complete my role, I had to behave professionally during the experience as well as understand what my role is as an independent student. This was my first real visit outside the U.S., so I followed the tour guide’s lead. My level of independence wasn’t high here, but a certain degree of professionalism was expected from all of us. In my second experience as a study abroad student I elevated from traveler to inhabitant in Costa Rica as we lived with families that were part of the community. Both

Finally, in my semester abroad in Huelva, Spain, I was completely on my own trying to survive. My independence level skyrocketed, but I had been prepared for it. I transcended from traveler in a tour group setting to independent student for a semester abroad. At this point, I had confidence in my level of independence. I was able to find a place to live, a place to shop, and the location of my school through the help of the community. During my study abroad, I was required to do an internship where I was required to be a professional in a work environment. All of these experiences has truly prepared me in my endeavor to be an independent professional in

any environment.





“Where there’s a WILL, there’s a WAY.”

HELP FOR YOU Study Abroad Opportunities and Contact Person Costa Rica one month summer program Semester or Year Abroad At over 300 partner institutions

Green Cards The PURPOSE of green cards is to encourage students to have different cultural experiences. Green cards can be earned in a variety of ways. 

A student can earn a green card in 30 minutes for intensive assistance (i.e.having a concept explained or getting help with homework).

1 hour of work on Rosetta Stone in Language Lab 30 minutes of time participating in a conversation table 

Attending and writing about a movie night 

Tutoring Help in the Language Lab Located on the third floor of Wilson Hall room 317 The lab is staffed with students who have been prepared to be able to help you with your language studies. There are times assigned for Spanish, French and German tutors. The tutors will do their best to help you succeed in your goal to acquire new language skills. A schedule for this semester is available from the department office for World Languages and Cultures.

Charlas or Conversation Tables Help overcome your anxiety ispeaking in a new language in a supportive and positive environment. Conversation tables are designed to help you improve your current language level. These conversations are overseen and directed by language tutors or teachers. There are also Conversation Tables at either the Edge Coffee House or the Pub for any level. INTERESTED? This semester schedule will be available from the office for World Languages and Cultures.



P i ñ a t a s !

Piñatas have traditionally been parts of Hispanic celebrations in many parts of the world. They come in a plethora of shapes, sizes, and colors and people of all ages have fun whacking at them with a stick to reveal the goodies that come tumbling out. Most people have seen a piñata before, or been part of destroying one. Essentially, a piñata is an enclosed box that has a particular shape (like a star, donkey, sunshine, or even different movie characters) and is covered with paper mache of different colors! The most fun part is that the piñata contains candy or dried fruits that come tumbling out when it’s hit hard enough with a stick. Most often, people have piñatas at their parties or festive events. There are many ideas as to where this idea and tradition originated but its commonly thought that friars introduced it during the masses held in the days leading up to Christmas. They used the piñata to aid in their evangelism by making it a star whose 7 points represented the 7 deadly sins. The bright colors of the piñata were supposed to represent temptation and the people were blindfolded so that they had to have faith in order to overcome “temptation”. Additionally, the goodies inside the piñata symbolized the riches of Heaven that could be gained if one faith in God to resist the sin in their life. By Victoria Childress WORLD




There is even a song that sometimes is sung while someone hits at the piñata! “Dale, dale dale No pierdas el tino Por que si lo pierdes, Pierdes el camino Ya le diste uno Ya le diste dos Ya le diste tres Y tu tiempo se acabo” Translation: Hit it, hit it, hit it Don't lose your aim Because if you lose it You will lose your way You hit it once You hit it twice You hit it three times And your time is up Whether you live in a Hispanic country or just have fun copying this tradition at your own parties, piñatas are so much fun to hit and most of all, to get the goodies inside once the piñata splits open!






There may be as many stories about growing up in China as there may be as many people and many settings. My memory of growing up as a child in the 70s and 80s is characterized of scarcity of everything. Most of the time we did not have clothes of rights sizes and had to reuse clothes left over from older siblings and very often these clothes were covered with patches everywhere. Sweet potatoes were our main food along with occasional supply of rice. Meat was rarely available throughout the year. Our house was spacious but had no HVAC, running water, toilet, or bathroom and taking a hot-water shower was unimaginable. Going to school did mean “going to school� as there was no school bus, no bike, or any other transportation except for your own foot, no matter it being warm or cold, windy or rainy, day or night. Most kids were put in a one-room school, where kids different ages were placed in the same classroom and taught by the same teacher on a younger first basis. Our class-interval activities (i.e. recess) included digging holes in the ground, running in the wood, gathering wild apples or nuts. There was no electricity, and thus no any modern entertainment except for adults sitting around and listening to their folkloric stories which adults might have told a thousand times. While scarcity dominated our childhood life, recalling that life phase is pleasant. It was pleasant to enjoy the closeness among family members, neighbors, and community. People could talk to each other face to face as there was no phones or emails as we use today. People could walk to everywhere safely as there was no automobiles running beside you. People cooked their own food with materials planted by themselves as there were no supermarkets or restaurants. Author: Name Withheld


DR YVONNE UNNOLD Department Chair “Make the most of your opportunities” Speaks German, English, and Spanish Born and raised in Germany Taught in Costa Rica, Mexico, USA and Germany

GABRIELA VARELASANCHEZ Instructor of Spanish “Flamenco (dancing) is all about evolution. If you don’t go forward you’ll fall by the wayside.” ~Doitsujin* Loves cooking, hiking, dancing flamenco.

DR ENRIQUE BERNALES Assistant Professor of Spanish

Lo cortés no quita lo valiente (kindness is not a weakness) Born and raised in Lima, Peru Loves films, soccer, poetry

DR MELANY BOWMAN Instructor of Spanish

“Put on a little lipstick and you’ll be fine.” Raised bilingual in Costa Rica, Chile and Colombia for the first twelve years of her life

DR RUTH OWENS Associate Professor of Spanish

“Carpe Diem.” (Seize the day) - because life is too short to just watch it go by. First became interested in languages by listening to her grandmother chat with a neighbor in “Slovak” Chose to study Spanish because of a crush on a football playing exchange student from Spain

HANNE PARDOS Instructor of German “Embrace differences and cultivate them in a harmonic coexisting manner with an open mind, healthy curiosity and courage!” Born in Germany and raised speaking German and French with summers in Spain

DR WARREN JOHNSON Associate Professor of French “Pay no attention to what the critics say… Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!” ~Jean Sibelius * Has published over twenty articles Has a passion for silent film and classical music


DR ERNESTO LOMBEIDA Associate Professor Of Spanish

“Nunca es tarde quando la dicha es buena” (It’s never too late for joy)* Speaks Spanish, French and Quechua Specializes in Spanish Phonetics, Andean Studies, Contemporary Spanish American Literature and Latin American Studies

DR ANNE MCGEE Assistant Professor Of Spanish

“When riding a horse, we leave our fear, troubles, and sadness behind on the ground.” ~Juli Carlson * Grew up near the shores of Lake Michigan Enjoys running and horseback riding

STEPHANIE BATES Instructor of Spanish “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~Nelson Mandela Born and raised in Bartlesville OK Enjoys reading, traveling, music, dancing and vegetarian cuisine

DR VINCENT MORENO Assistant Professor of Spanish “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald Born in Valencia, Spain Enjoys literature, film, culture and teaching

* indicates the quotes that have been chosen based on interests of professors, not by the professors themselves

MEMORIA (MEMORY) JAMES Instructor of Spanish “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~Mahatma Gandhi * Speaks Italian, Spanish and Portuguese Enjoys traveling, cooking dancing and hiking Presently learning to speak Korean

CLAUDIO EDUARDO Instructor of Spanish “Let us read and let us dance — two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.” ~Voltaire * Originally from Arequipa, Peru Loves running reading and dancing salsa



Costa Rica Connections



“An amazing and beautiful place…”

El verano pasado yo tuve el oportunidad a estudiar en Costa Rica por un mes. Durante las primeras dos semanas, viví con una señora de más o menos sesenta años. Cuando yo llegué a la casa de ella, yo me di cuenta de que no vivía solamente con ella. Mí mama Tica vivía en una parte de la casa y su niñas y sus familias vivían en las otras partes. Estaba sorprendida porque las familias estaban muy cerca. Las familias en Costa Rica tienen un conexían fuerte. Yo nunca necesitaba una alarma porque yo podía escuchar la mientras se despertaba. Temprano a la cama y despertarse temprano es la mejor expresión para Costa Rica. Yo me acostaba a las nueve todas las noches y cada manańa yo me despertaba a las cinco de la manańa. Me gusta esta rutina. Muchas estudiantes en mi grupo estamos de acuerdo que nosotros teníamos el major sueño en Costa Rica. Costa Rica es un lugar fantastic hermoso donde usted puede experimentar una cultura diferente de los Estados Unidos.




This past summer I was blessed with the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica for one month. I was assigned to an older lady for my first host family. When I arrived at her house, I realized I wasn’t just living with her. My mamá Tica lived in one section of the house and her daughters and their families lived in other sections. I was surprised at how connected the families are. Families in Costa Rica have a strong bond with each other. I never needed an alarm to wake up because I could hear the city come to life in the mornings. Early to bed, early to rise is the perfect saying to describe Costa Rica. I would be in bed by 9:00 pm every night and every morning I would wake up around 5:00 am. I enjoyed this routine. Most students in our group agreed that we got the best sleep while living in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is an amazing and beautiful place where you can experience a culture different from that of the U.S.




Tico Food!



La experiencia cultural que yo encontré interesante en Costa Rica es la comida. La comida cultural de Costa Rica es similar como la comida de Japón que se llama chimika. Esta comida está envuelto con las cascaras de plátano mientras que chimaki está envuelto con cascaras de bambú. Un día, mi mamatica y su hermana me enseñaron como cocinar empanadas. Eran como las empanadas mexicanas. También me enseñaron como cocinar raviolis Italianos y las bolas de masa hervidas de China. Algo más interesante pare mi fue que los Costarricense comen arroz con frijoles rojos y cebolla. Los japoneses tienen una comida similar que se llama sekihan. Ellos comen arroz con mochi con frijoles rojos sin una cebolla. Ellos tienen un sabor completamente diferente a pensar que sus ingredientes son casi los mismos. Yo creo que todos los países tienen algo en común, pero nosotros cocinamos en un modo muy diferente que es interesante y único. Muchas culturas están en armonía con la cultura de Costa Rica.


A cultural experience I found interesting in Costa Rica is their food culture. Their food culture seemed to be composed of many cultures from other countries. One night, my mamatica served me a traditional Costa Rican meal, which Costa Rican people eat in Christmas season. It looked quite like Japanese chimaki. This Costa Rican meal was wrapped with platano peels while chimaki is wrapped with bamboo peels. Another day, my mamatica and her sister taught me how to make empanadas. They looked like Mexican empanadas, Italian raviolis, and Chinese dumplings. And one more interesting thing for me was that Costa Rican people eat rice with red beans and chopped onion. We, Japanese, have a similar meal which is called sekihan. We have mochi rice (very sticky rice) with red beans without an onion when we cerebrate something. They have completely different taste even though their ingredients are almost the same. I believe every country has something very close to the same, but we cook different ways that make our own culture unique and interesting. A number of culture have been in harmony with Costa Rican culture. It will certainly entertain you with showing cultural

Experience Costa Rica YOURSELF! Utilize more opportunities than just classrooms at ASU. Study abroad for one month in beautiful Costa Rica. It is a trip well worth the time and money! HURRY!! contact Dr.Vicent Moreno at

World Languages & Cultures

The Mission Statement

ASU-Jonesboro Wilson Hall, room 220 P.O. Box 2400 State University, AR 72467 Phone: 870-972-3887 Fax: 870-972-3927 E-mail: Educating multilingual leaders, enhancing their understanding through a multiplicity of cultural perspectives, and enriching their

The Department of World Languages and Cultures seeks to facilitate the communication skills, knowledge and appreciation of diverse languages and cultures that are necessary for students to achieve a successful professional career in today's global society.

lives through cross cultural exchange.

The Department of World Languages and Cultures would like to apologize to Dr. Enrique Bernales. The article on Peruvian Christmas Dinner on page 5 of the December Newsletter was mistakenly attributed to Dr. Ernesto Lombeida. The article was in fact composed and submitted by Dr. Enrique Bernales. We would also like to thank Ms. Leslie Ginn for her impressive and considerable work on the WLC Newsletters for the Fall 2013 semester. She did a fabulous job!

WLC Newsletter, January 2014  

Arkansas State University's Department of World Languages and Cultures' Monthly Newsletter

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