Posted by: SSU Lingua Franca | November 20, 2009

The Foreign Languages Department on the Web

By Dr. Jon Aske

The Department Goes Facebook

Various constituencies associated with the Department of Foreign Languages are now represented in Facebook groups. Probably by now everyone knows what Facebook is, namely a “global networking website.” Once you create a personal Facebook account, you can add friends to your list of friends (anybody you want to be in touch with), join networks (such as the SSC network), and groups (anything from SSC French Club to… well anything, since you can create your own groups).

Groups are useful for those sharing a common interest, from being members of a club to being in the same program at SSC.  Members of a group share a “wall” where they can leave messages that can be read by other members of the group and can be notified of upcoming events. You are notified in your main page every time there is a change to a group you have joined.

Facebook is not meant to be a replacement for real face-to-face interaction–a concern of some people–or an immense waste of time–another common complaint. By keeping you in touch with people and events, your chances of having more face-to-face interactions are actually increased (Facebook may remind you in the morning about that French Club meeting you had forgotten about) and the amount of time Facebook requires of you is really up to you. You don’t have to become Facebook friends with everybody you pass by and you don’t have to see everything each friend or acquaintance posts to their wall if you don’t want to. For those of you who prefer email to stay in touch, you should know that Facebook allows you to get notifications of changes to your page through email. That may make a nice transition tool for newbies.

Because Facebook is not as ubiquitous as email, clubs and other constituencies in the department–such as Spanish majors–still use a mailing list for communication. So, although we would like you to join us on Facebook, you won’t be left out if you don’t, as long as you are getting the messages through email. Go to this page if you need to join a mailing list (listserv).

The following are some of the current Facebook groups associated with the department:

Just because these groups have been created, though, doesn’t mean that they have reached their full potential. People need to join and participate if they are to become useful to people who share a particular interest. So I want to encourage you to join the relevant groups and participate in them. We cannot do it without you!

Other SSC groups on Facebook that you may find interesting are:

The New Salem State College Web Site

It’s very likely that by know you have noticed that Salem State College finally has a “real” website, one in which every page has identical format, so that things are easier to find, and where nobody is left out. The new site went live during the summer. This is something that had been a long time coming and that is very welcome. If you want to find information about the Foreign Languages Department (soon to be World Languages Department), you can still head to the same URL There you will find information about all our programs, faculty and upcoming events. There is even a section in which departmental alumni will be featured (we urge you to participate).

On the left hand column of the main departmental page you will find the following navigation links:

On the right hand side we have added a few quick links of our own that you may find useful:

We hope you visit often. If you can think of ways in which we can improve our site, don’t hesitate to let us know.

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