Modern Language Events:  More News

Summer 2013

French Program Awards 

Two students in the French Program received prestigious awards this spring 2013: 

Felicia Mr. Anthony Bucher received the Joseph Yedlicka Scholarship from the French Honors Society, Pi Delta Phi.  This award will allow him to travel to Aix-en-Provence to study for six weeks over this summer, while living with a French family.  He will attend classes at the Institute of American Universities College.  The award covers travel expenses, tuition, room and board.

 Ms. Felicia Franklin received the Benjamin Franklin Grant awarded by the French Embassy in Washington D.C.  This grant allows double majors to go and research in France.  Ms. Franklin, who majors in French and Criminal Justice, will research on women in the police force in France during her stay.  She will spend three weeks in Boulogne-sur-mer for her project.  The award covers all her travel expenses and the cost of her research. 

Professor Receives Certification

Dr. Blandine Mitaut, Associate Professor of French, received her OPI certification at the end of the spring semester.  OPI stands for  Oral Proficiency Interview and is the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages)  instrument to measure the levels of proficiency of speakers.  Dr. Mitaut attended a four-day workshop at Middlebury College in the summer of 2011 then went through the rigorous two-year process of certification.  Congratulations!

Learn more about OPI at: 

Visit of an Alumnus

Matt Murphy, who graduated five years ago, came to the department in early summer and visited with Drs. Ragone and Mitaut.  Matt has been in the Navy these past years.  He attended the Monterrey Institute in California and studied Korean.  He has been stationed in Hawaii since.  Upon completion of his tour of duty, Matt would like to come back to Shippensburg,  get his certification for teaching and move on for a dual Master’s in French and Spanish Education.  Matt, we will be waiting for you!

German Professor Conducts Research over the Summer

Dr. Wildermuth reports that he was in Germany at the beginning of the summer and conducted research on the WWII:

"From May 13th until May 23rd, I was in Baden-Württemberg, Germany working on my research project “The Oral History of the 35th Wehrmacht Division.”  I received a Council of Trustees Presidential Faculty Development Grant and additional support from the College of Arts to make my research trip possible.

During my ten days in Germany, I was able to visit with four surviving members of this German infantry division which had fought in the Soviet Union from 1941 until the end of the Second World War.  They were willing to be interviewed about their own personal experiences of the war against the Soviet Union, which both the Wehrmacht and the Soviet Red Army fought as a war of annihilation.  All of them served in the East between three and four years, and had much to say about the conditions there, their contact to enemy soldiers, civilians and partisans.  They shared the documents and photographs they had kept from their service in the Soviet Union. 

As a German professor, I am very interested in how this generation – the German equivalent to our “Greatest Generation” – reflected and internalized the hegemonic, racial goals of their Germany, a country quite different in both its shape and mentality than the democratic, pluralistic Federal Republic of today.  How this war is remembered and recorded in Germany has almost exclusively been based on the documents that survived the war.  I have now interviewed a survivor from all subunits of this division, something that I believe will give me much greater insight into experiences the division had that are only alluded to in the written record.

Certainly, my entire approach to this question is predicated on my ability to communicate effectively in German.  Having only begun with my study of German as an undergraduate, I am particularly thrilled to be putting my language skills to such practice, and to hopefully gain more insight into this important socio-historical question."
Congratulations on Dr. Wildermuth’s success! 

Spring 2013

High School Language Contest at Shippensburg University 

High School 2    High School 1 
High School 3    High School 4 
  High School 5  High School 10  
     High School 6     High School 9 
The Modern Languages Department held in April a highschool language contest.  Over thirty high school students from the area and beyond came and participated in poetry, Jeopardy and karaoke events. First, second, and third place students received ribbons and medals. The high school with the most winners was the recipient of a High Point Trophy. This year the High Point Trophy winner was Chambersburg High School. Drs. Ragone and Mitaut were the coordinators of the contest.


A Visit from our Partners at the College Saint-Joseph

The Skype pals for two of Dr. Mitaut classes came to Shippensburg in April to pay a visit and enjoy the United States. The College Saint-Joseph is in Saint Martin-Boulogne, in the north of France. The students of the institution have established a great rapport with the students of Shippensburg University and all were delighted to meet partners face-to-face. A trip to visit with the college next year is in the works. Here are some photos of the visit that was qualified of "coup de coeur amical."


   basketball1a    student_bonding 

 Haiti Service Learning Project 

Click on the graphic above to view the presentation announcement.

Following their courses on Haiti and service-learning project in Haiti, Drs. Mitaut and Ragone will make a presentation on the 28th of February as part of the International Education Travel Series.  Members of the group that went to Haiti will be there.  The presentation is free and open to the public.

In remembrance: 9/11

The students of Dr. Ragone's SPN 211 (Intermediate Spanish Grammar) course wrote memorial poems in honor of the 9/11 events.  Here they are:

Rebecca Stimmler

Mi corazón está triste
Porque está pintado de rojo, blanco y azul.
Todo el país llora.
Tenía dieciseis anos
Cuando el mundo se paró 
y no teníamos la seguridad
que teníamos antes.
Nueva York tiene un cementerio nuevo,
y un campo de Pennsylvania tiene tumbas nuevas.
El cuerpo ha muerto
pero la memoria vive.

Terran Williams-Porter, Angelica Williams, Briana Blewett, Megan Lawver

Fue un mal día
Fuego en el cielo
Había muchas vidas perdidas
Fue un evento sin perdón
El país se despertó 
Teniendo escombros en las manos
La destruccion ocurrió rápidamente
La pena es presente todavía
Eramos menores pero recordamos todavía

Angela D'Ambrosio, Kaitlyn Griffith, Iratze Basile-Gómez, Chris Paoli

Era un día horrible
El día en que muchas personas
perdieron sus vidas, sus padres, sus amigos
Era un día horrible
El día en que las torres cayeron
Era un día horrible
El día en que el mundo cambió para siempre
Un día cuando mi inocencia fue perdida
Era un dia horrible
cuando había una nube oscura sobre una ciudad
pero no para siempre
El 11 de septiembre 

French Club

The French Club and the French Honors Society hosted a Mardi Gras event this February.  The event was a fundraiser for Projet Haiti, a project to help a school in the island.  The event featured Zouk classes by Dr. Ricardo.  Zouk is a dance from the Caribbean.  Students could sample beignets and king cake from the French and Louisiana Mardi Gras traditions.  The members of the club and society had also a table with artifacts and information about Haiti.  Participants to the event could win prizes for best costume, best mask and best dancer.  A king and queen of Mardi Gras were also crowned.  Thanks to the generosity of all, $300.00 were collected.

  Students with Costumes  Students with Costumes 
  Students with Costumes    Poster Presentations 
   Food Table    Students with Mardi Gras Necklaces  


Fall 2012

United in Verse 

Dr. Lesman organized the 5th United in Verse evening in November. Languages from five continents were read by the participants. The evening, which took place which took place in the Spiritual Center, was well attended by the campus community.

  Students Sitting    Faculty Speaking 
  Faculty Speaking    Faculty Speaking 
  Faculty Speaking    Faculty Speaking 
  Socializing    Faculty Speaking 
  Students and Faculty Sitting    Students and Faculty Sitting 
  Faculty Speaking    Speaker   
Speaker    Students Sitting 
  Faculty Speaking    Faculty Speaking 
  Students clapping    Speaker 


Student wins AATF (American Association of Teachers of French) award.

Ben Woodward 

Ben Woodward, French major with secondary certification won this years second place AATF contest. The award was monetary and he also received a certificate.

Read Ben's essay: PDF 

Inter-club Fall Picnic

The members of the different language clubs spent Sunday afternoon at Laurel Park. They had a picnic and even hiked around the Michaux State Park. 


  Students Socializing    Socializing 
  Students socializing with Food    Socializing 
  Socializing    Socializing 
  Socializing    Students 

Students and Faculty 



The Return of Dr. Grewling!

Dr. Grewling was in Shippensburg on the 9th of November to make a presentation on Karl May for the German club. It was nice to have her back.



  Projected Presentation    Projected Presentation 


Look what we do in Spanish 101! 

Dr. Wildermuth's Presentation

Dr_Wildermuth Flyer 

Immersion Afternoon
Fall 2011


   Students Socializing 

    Projected Presentation 

  Students getting Food 

  Students Socializing 

  Students clapping 


Cultural Book    Student Speaking 
   Students Socializing with Food    Students with Poster Presentation 
  Puerto Rico Poster Presentation    Projected Presentation 

The Immersion Afternoon 2011 in the  Modern Languages Department was a huge success. Each professor represented a different country for the students to explore and enjoy. In these pictures you can see Germany, Chile, Argentina , the French and Spanish speaking Caribbean, as well as Korea.   Student enjoyed a variety of foods and had a great time with karaoke led by Dr. Ricardo.


The Modern Languages Department received National Recognition in January, 2011 by the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for the excellence of its Language Education Program. Over a period of three years, the program submitted reports which demonstrated the students' attainment of the following standards:

Standard 1: Language, Linguistics, Comparison
Standard 2: Cultures, Literatures, Cross-Disciplinary Concepts
Standard 3: Language Acquisition Theories and Instructional Practices
Standard 4: Integration of Standards into Curriculum and Instruction
Standard 5: Assessment of Languages and Cultures
Standard 6: Professionalism

What this means is that our students can compete nationally thanks to the quality of the education that they receive at Shippensburg University. Our program follows rigorous assessments and renovates its curricula in order to meet the demands of the workplace, offering exceptional preparation for the students it serves. The Modern Language Department is one of four in the PASSHE system receiving National Recognition.

Fun with Phonetics


Who says that we can't have fun with phonetics? Here is the French phonetics class presenting plays in the Fall of 2010.

Faculty in Action:  A Spanish 102 Class with Dr. Ricardo