Recent Events: Iwami Kagura and Linguistics Symposium

"Iwami Kagura": Japanese Shinto Theatrical Dance Performance

On Friday, September 21st, 2012 from 11 am to 12 pm, the "Iwami Kagura": Japanese Shinto Theatrical Dance Performance was held in GC 243. Co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Japan in Miami, Japan Foundation, Department of Modern Languages, and Asian Studies, the event experienced a great turnout that captured an overwhelming crowd of students and professors who love and appreciate Japanese culture. The dance group came from Masuda City, Shiname Prefecture in Japan as part of their U.S. tour.

This Japanese folk dance performed by Iwami Kagura was originally performed by Shinto priests at the yearly autumn festival as a show of thanks to the gods for the bountiful harvest for the year. From the priests the tradition was passed on to the lay people and became a traditional folk art ritual. This dance is accompanied by a dynamic sound of drums and flutes, with performers wearing splendid customary attire.

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Photos of the huge turnout as the Iwami Kagura dance group performs their first dance – a lighthearted fishing scene as well as a greeting to the audience

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Linguistics Symposium: “A Comparison of Foreign Language Teaching Methodologies and Policies in EU & Asia"

On Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 from 1 pm to 3 pm, the Linguistics Symposium, titled “A Comparison of Foreign Language Teaching Methodologies and Policies in EU & Asia" was held in GC Panther Suite and it garnered another impressive turnout with an audience of fully engaged students and faculty. This event was co-sponsored by the Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence (MEUCE), Department of Modern Languages, and Asian Studies Program. Two top scholars came to critically examine language teaching methodologies, policies, and trends in Asia and the European Union.

Dr. Chaunren Ke reviewed language methodologies and trends in Asia, namely China. A leading scholar in Chinese second language acquisition theory and research, Dr. Ke is currently a Professor of Chinese and Second Language Acquisition at the University of Iowa and Zijiang Chair Professor at East China Normal University in Shanghai. He is Immediate Past President of the U.S. National Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA) and founding director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Iowa. Dr. Ke received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Indiana University at Bloomington.

Dr. Meg Malone synthesized the current situation in Europe in foreign language assessment. She is Assoc. Vice President for World Languages & International Programs at the Center for Applied Linguistics and Co-Director of the National Capital Language Resource Center. She directs research projects in English and foreign language testing and acquisition abroad as well as professional development workshops. She also serves as Secretary of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) and on the advisory board for the Language Assessment Quarterly. She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University.

To review the presentations from the linguistics speakers, please click below:

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(Left to Right) Dr. Melissa Baralt, Dr. Hitomi Yoshio, Dr. Rebecca Friedman, Dr. Steven Heine, Dr. Meg Malone, Dr. Chuanren Ke and Instructor Ma Li.

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The audience listening to the guest speakers at the Linguistics Symposium

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Dr. Ke and Dr. Malone answer questions during the Q&A session led by Dr. Melissa Baralt, Assistant Professor of Spanish Applied Linguistics at FIU.