Service Learning Courses
Students participate in a community outreach program and work in the Pittsburgh Public Schools with either elementary school, middle school, or high school students, and, depending on the site, foster their studies of Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish or ESL. The elementary school experience will involve regular visits, mentoring, and tutoring at school sites in the East End of Pittsburgh. The middle school experience provides opportunity for tutoring in Japanese, French, or Spanish at Barak Obama Academy of International Studies. The high school experience invites advanced students, majors, or minors in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish to work with language students and teachers at local high schools. During the early weeks of the semester, students will meet to arrange their outreach activities and prepare for their experience. Depending on the number of units to be earned, students will spend a certain number of hours per week engaged in some of the following activities: attending and participating in the individual and group meetings, tutoring four to six hours per week, reading and preparing for the school visits, keeping a journal of tutoring experiences, writing a paper or completing a project at the end of the term that reflects experiences. Students earn 6 units by spending 4 hours per week at a school site plus completing related activities. Students earn 9 units by spending 6 hours per week at a school site plus completing related activities. Prerequisites: Permission of the faculty liaison plus completion of an information sheet available in the Department of Modern Languages and clearance forms available though the Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach.
In this course students of Modern Languages will work in the Pittsburgh community to promote learning of cultures and languages. This work may be done to complement course work in modern languages on campus and involve an experience in one of a variety of community settings, such as a heritage language school, hospital translation center, or neighborhood center. Grade will be based on the student's participation at the outreach site and fulfillment of the plan set at the beginning of the semester.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
This course provides advanced ML language students and non-ML students enrolled in an Alternative Break student trip project the opportunity to earn credit by engaging in "connected" modes of knowing, by identifying and analyzing a problem, and developing plans for short-term and sustainable solutions, reflecting, and creating and disseminating an informational and interpretive website and print materials about their experience. Students will also bring to bear or gain experience in non-academic skills/talents/interests in areas like photography, image editing, video production, writing, design, website development, sound recording, and art, etc., by doing community service under the auspices of Carnegie Mellon University's Alternative Break program. Students will earn three (3) units for full participation and fulfillment of course requirements. With the approval of the faculty facilitator, an additional three (3) units may be earned by completing an additional assignment.
This is a community-based research (CBR) course for 400-level students of Modern Languages who wish to bridge service and action research. The course provides an experiential component for advanced students of Modern Languages. Such a component will allow ML students to use their second language and culture while acquiring or honing their research skills. CBR helps bridge the gap between university and community life to facilitate the development of life-long learning habits and humanistic citizenship. ML students and faculty will jointly design and create ways in which to "give back to" the community under study, which will be chosen based upon the language, culture and/or history of a specific community. Some examples of this would be to: document a community's history or culture, establish an ongoing link between the university and the community, or identify and solve a community problem. Using both English and their target language, students in this course may participate in historical, ethnographic and cultural research; ethnographic fieldwork; and problem solving around the question of how best to identify a particular linguistic/cultural community and document, interpret, preserve and disseminate its history and culture. Class activities may include group, pair and independent reading and research; group and pair travel; group, pair and one-on-one interaction with community members; public presentations; photography/filming/scanning; webpage and document design; and different kinds of writing in both English and the target language.
Prerequisites: A 300 level course or permission of the instructor.