College of Liberal Arts celebrates Foreign Languages Day

By Sedonia Martin on November 28, 2016

Students enjoy conversation, information and ethnic foods

(l-r) Marco Preiner, ’18, Regis Breen, ‘18, Alexander Jantsch, ‘17,  and Matt Conner, ‘17, prepared their German table for the Foreign Languages Day, including German potato salad, candies, pastries, beer steins and a soccer ball.
(l-r) Marco Preiner, ’18, Regis Breen, ‘18, Alexander Jantsch, ‘17, and Matt Conner, ‘17, prepared their German table for the Foreign Languages Day, including German potato salad, candies, pastries, beer steins and a soccer ball.

Portuguese, French, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, Chinese, Spanish and German speaking student majors and minors offered more than a 100 guests food and information about their languages at The College of Liberal Arts Foreign Languages Day on Friday, November 18.

The event included a reception and keynote speaker in the Liberal Arts Building, all focused on celebrating foreign languages and learning about studying abroad.

“We’ve been doing foreign languages day for about eight years,” according to Lea Ramsdell, Ph.D., chairperson, foreign languages department. “It’s an opportunity for students to talk with other students who are studying a foreign language and traveling abroad. It gets students interested in taking classes.”

Students like junior French secondary education major Adina Lowenstein.

Female student behind a table at a fair
Adina Lowenstein, ’18, shares information about studying French to an attendee at the Foreign Languages Day.

“I recommend it for everybody,” Lowenstein said. “I want to become a French teacher.”

Rachel Fenney, a Spanish literature major who graduates in December, plans to work in international relations teaching English. “Speaking another language completely expands your world,” said Fenney.

Each table featured foods and information about their respective countries. Guests enjoyed Chinese eggrolls, German potato salad, French cookies, Arabian hummus, Russian chocolates, Italian cannolis, Japanese cookies, Brazilian pastel, Hebrew potato boukeras and more.

Towson University photographer and Japanese instructor Kanji Takeno spoke to the group, telling students “language is the tool that made it possible [for me] to come here [United States].”

Takeno, who was born and raised in Japan, said, “I wanted to see the world, and if I learned English, I could get out of Japan.” Kanji, which means “perfect control” in Japanese, explained to the students he was so determined to learn English, he memorized 10 phrases every day. “Determination is important.”

Takeno told the students that the goal of university instructors is to “prepare you for the new global world by making you a desirable, ideal employee. Learning another language prepares you to think differently.” He added, “I love teaching. I see students grow.”

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Campus