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Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum

October 31, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


After a brief introduction, Yan will share her experience teaching the Mandarin CLAC course on Global Health. In particular, she will demonstrate both curricular and co-curricular activities that engage students with native speakers and promote students’ translingual and transcultural competence in a foreign language learning context. She will also share with the audience her reflections on teaching CLAC and propose some suggestions for future foreign language curriculum development.

Maha will present alongside two undergraduates, Amulya Vadapalli and Marivi-Howell Arza, who completed the Voices in Global Health CLAC course in Spring 2018. Maha will talk about the opportunities and challenges of involving the refugee community in an academic environment; Amulya and Marivi will reflect on their experience in the course, specifically on how their mid-semester and final poster project presentations were inspired from Skype conversations with refugees whose voices are often not heard. Edgar will present his experience working in a CLAC and Environmental Studies course that paired Duke students with the Fundacion Ayuda por Colombia during the last two years. By means of short audiovisuals, participants shared environmental knowledge in Spanish with children interested in the goal of understanding the local environmental challenges they face.

Dr. Yan Liu is a Lecturer of Chinese in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. She got her Ph.D. degree in Second Language Acquisition from Carnegie Mellon University in 2013. Since she joined Duke, Dr. Liu has been teaching second-year Chinese courses for non-heritage learners and third-year Chinese courses for heritage learners. In addition to traditional language courses, she also teaches a course on Chinese Translation and Interpretation and a Mandarin CLAC course on Global Health. Dr. Liu was awarded David L. Paletz Innovative Teaching Funds in 2015. She was also a Service-Learning Faculty Fellow and a Mellon Arts and Language Fellow. Her primary research interests include second language acquisition in Chinese, intercultural competence, Chinese language pedagogy, and Chinese curriculum development.

Maha Houssami is a lecturer of advanced Arabic language and culture in the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department at Duke. She launched a Community-Based Language Initiative in an effort to increase community engagement in Duke’s academic language programs and to allow Duke students studying Arabic to meet weekly with local refugees from Arabic speaking countries for language and cultural exchange. This program has resulted in solidifying the student-run volunteer organization at Duke, INJAZ (INJAZ means “achievement” in Arabic), whose board members have put together an English-Arabic tutoring ibook. In Spring 2014, Maha received the David Paletz grant and took her Shami Dialect class to DC to meet with officials in the Jordanian and Lebanese Embassies, network with Duke Alumni in the DC area and shadow Arabic speaking employees in the World Bank and Al Jazeera. Maha taught a CLAC tutorial course in Arabic, Voices in Global health, in the Spring of 2015 and 2018.

This presentation is sponsored by the John Hope Franklin Center and the Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum. A light lunch will be served. Parking is available in nearby Trent Rd. and Erwin Rd. parking decks. The series provides 1-hour parking vouchers to guests.


October 31, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Catherine Angst


Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall
2204 Erwin Rd. Room 240
Durham, NC 27708 United States
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