Student Workshop Descriptions

Language Learner Workshop Descriptions

Connecting Language Skills to Job Search Success

Are you searching for a job or internship? Are you interested in gaining an edge with employers by using your language skills? This workshop will help you learn how to market your language skills, with valuable information and advice from career counselor Jessica Hill. Discover where your abilities can take you by interacting with a panel of alumnae who will share their experiences and where their language skills have taken them.

Cultural Detectives

The Russian and Eurasian Studies Department with the Language Resource Center (LRC) and support from the Multicultural Community & College Life committee's Inclusiveness Initiatives Fund brings to you the *Cultural Detectives Workshop* led by Professor of Intercultural Communication from Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law University, Dr. Olga Kovbasyuk.

In this fun, hands-on and interactive workshop, you will gain increased knowledge and awareness of personal core values and those of others and begin to develop basic skills to cope with cultural differences in your academic, professional and/or personal lives.

The Cultural Detective is a new approach to a centuries-old challenge- how to better understand and collaborate with people from other cultures. What is new rather than memorizing a long list of do’s and don’ts, the facilitators will assists participants’ discovery of core values that have been derived from research by cultural insiders and experts in intercultural communication.

In addition, you will gain a deeper understanding of three specific cultures: Russian (the culture of the facilitator), American, and Mexican. Through case studies, music, readings, small group discussions and personal stories shared by the facilitator and participants, you will be able to take a unique look at the cultures, their traditions, customs and values. Once you understand core values of a culture, you are more likely to accurate decipher the intentions behind actions of their international colleagues, and most importantly see them as unique individuals influenced by culture rather than as stereotypical representation of a culture.

Cultural Detective method has been used by major multinationals and NGOs worldwide since 1989, and has been publicly available since 2004. It includes a series of culture- and topic-specific packages. The project is a unique collaboration of over 150 international business, organization and learning professionals.


English Grammar Basics for Foreign Language Study

In this workshop we will review a variety of English grammar concepts and terms. Many students find it helpful to have a good understanding of English grammar to support the study of another language. Furthermore, some foreign language textbooks assume that students are familiar with the grammar of English. This workshop was designed to help you better understand the grammar of the language you are studying through helping you to understand the English grammar terminology that is used in your language textbook. Workshop materials will include examples from a variety of languages taught at MHC.

Overview of the terminology/concepts practiced:

  • Parts of Speech (Word Functions): Adjectives, Adverbs, Articles, Conjunctions, Nouns, Pronouns, Prepositions
  • Verbs: Infinitives, Conjugation, Transitive/Intransitive, Basic Tenses, Compound Tenses, Participles, Mood/Voice (Active/Passive)

Finding Your Voice: Exploring and Writing Poetry across Languages

Presented by María Luisa Arroyo, an "award-winning poet, educator, literacy and arts advocate, multi-linguist, single parent, and North End Springfield native."

Workshop activities include:

  • Reading and discussion of poems that code-switch (change between languages) and why
  • Use of these poems as springboards to write one's own poem-in-progress on the spot
  • Reading aloud on-the-spot poems-in-progress in order to use the voice as an instrument
  • Every participant is welcome to bring in one poem. Each participant will have the opportunity to say whether the poem is finished (and is sharing for listening pleasure) or is a poem-in-progress (and welcomes feedback).
  • Enrollment limited to 15 participants


Foreign Language Resources for Study Abroad

Learn about the usefulness of foreign language skills abroad, and the LRC language study resources that can help you prepare for your experience overseas. Language study resources include languages not taught at MHC, such as Portuguese, Thai, Polish, Swedish, Vietnamese, and many others.


Getting the Most out of Your Bilingual Dictionary

Dictionaries are a fantastic language tool and they can be a good friend if used properly. In this workshop we will practice basic and advanced strategies for using bilingual dictionaries and we will go over the many ways in which a dictionary can further your journey as a language learner. We will explore many of the features that online dictionaries have to offer, and do activities that will help you to gain a deeper understanding of how to use both print and online bilingual dictionaries to your advantage. Designed for students of all languages, the workshop will include examples from a variety of languages taught at MHC.

Selected topics:

  • bilingual dictionary vs. monolingual dictionary (pros/cons)
  • abbreviations
  • verb conjugation tools
  • parts of speech/word functions
  • verb types (phrasal, transitive, compound, etc.)
  • false cognates
  • idiomatic phrases
  • cultural connotations/terms
  • language forums
  • audio links
  • practice resources
  • trouble shooting and word-checking strategies

Introduction to Linguistics

What is linguistics? What do linguists study and what type of work do they do? How does the field of linguistics related to second language learning? Daryl Beres, Director of the LRC, will lead participants in a series of interactive, problem-solving activities to explore some the major areas within the field of linguistics, and Prof. Esther Castro Cuenca, Spanish Language Program Director, will share some of her current research in linguistics.

Language Learning Styles & Strategies

Are you not a "language person"? Maybe your previous language courses are not taught in a way that complements your learning style. Learn more about your style of language learning, and effective learning strategies that won't leave you frustrated in your language classes.


Reading Strategies for Second Languages

Examine the mental processes involved in successful reading, and explore both low-tech and high-tech strategies for improving your reading skills in your second language(s).


Speech Recognition for Language Study

Did you know that speech recognition is available in the LRC for Arabic, Chinese (simplified), English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish? Speech recognition allows you to speak into a microphone and the computer will transform your words into text. For example, instead of typing a paper, you can speak it! Speech recognition can be used for language study in a number of ways. Come to this workshop to learn how speech recognition works, try it out for yourself, and get some tips on how to use speech recognition as an effective study tool.

Studying Vocabulary with Web 2.0

Not your momma’s flashcard… Web 2.0 brings us very cool, completely free, and incredibly useful vocabulary tools.



Teaching English Abroad

In this workshop, you'll get a basic introduction to the pedagogy of teaching English as a foreign language, you'll hear from people who have taught English in a variety of places around the world, and you'll learn about resources for finding a position teaching English abroad.



Translation and Interpreting: An introduction to the discipline and careers

This workshop will give students an introduction to translation and interpreting, including major topics in the discipline, information about career directions, and a hands-on introduction to the practice. (Led by Prof. Carolyn Shread, Visiting Lecturer in French.)


Your MP3 Player – The Best Language Learning Tool You Never Knew You Had

Explore strategies for using your mp3 player or other mobile device to support your language learning goals, focusing on resources to maintain your language studies over the summer break.