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Language in Motion Program Community Outreach

Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Westminster College Language in Motion program reached nearly 1,500 area students during its sixth year.

Language in Motion is an innovative outreach program that gives study-abroad returnees, international students, and upper-level language students the opportunity to create language and cultural activities for presentation in K-12 language, social studies, and other classes where culture can be studied.

This year's team of nine Westminster students, led by Milagros Swerdlow, Spanish lecturer and coordinator of Language in Motion, gave a total of 72 presentations at area schools this spring and hosted 113 high school language students for Intercultural Day.

"High school, middle school, and elementary teachers were excited to have their students exposed to innovative lessons on international subjects," Swerdlow said.  "Topics included German fairytales, a comparison of the Spanish and American systems of government, Greek food and dance, Korean Culture, April Fool's Day in France, and a look into London and Scotland."

Feedback from area teachers was positive.  Wilmington High School Latin teacher Marylee Houston has invited Language in Motion into her classroom from its inception.  "I have always enjoyed Language in Motion," Houston said.  "It's really important that we as Americans understand that our way isn't the only way.  We have to see how other cultures have impacted us."

Joan Altman, who teaches first grade at New Wilmington Elementary School, has also been involved from the beginning.  "This is an outstanding program from which my students learn so much," she said.  "The presenters are always well prepared and eager to share wonderful experiences.  I hope that many teachers from our district will carry on with the program."

Westminster's Language in Motion program is sponsored by Westminster's Department of Modern Languages, Drinko Center for Experiential Learning, and the Heritage Chair of Humanities

Contact Swerdlow at (724) 946-7264 or email for additional information.

(L-r) Stella Campbell, Marlee Tonks, Milagros Swerdlow, Carlos Rodriguez, Caitlyn Paternoster-Bové, Kimberly Pavilonis, Alyssa Hanna, Christine Moudry, Addison Domske
High school students dancing the tarantella on Intercultural Day
Chrissy Moudry reading Aschenputtel (Cinderella)