Posted by: SSU Lingua Franca | April 28, 2017

Thinking Globally: WLC Students Engage in Community Service Projects at Home and Abroad

Thinking Globally: WLC Students Engage in Community Service Projects at Home and Abroad

by Elizabeth Blood, Kristine Doll, Anna Rocca & Nicole Sherf

The adage “think globally, act locally” definitely applies to our World Language students who are engaged in a variety of projects here in the Greater Salem area, but our students also act globally, engaging with communities around the world. Here are just a few of the exciting projects our students have been working on during the Spring 2017 semester!

Researching Salem’s Gold Star Veterans: This fall, advanced students of French and Italian are collaborating with students in American Studies to research Salem’s Gold Star Veterans. In 2015, the City of Salem named 85 intersections in honor of Salem veterans, marking each with a “gold star” sign. This year, students are researching the lives of some of these veterans—many of whom are of French-Canadian, Italian, Irish, Polish or Greek origin—with the goal of creating a digital exhibit about the veterans, highlighting Salem’s multicultural history and global connections.

Gold Star sign of Ulric Charette, a Franco-American killed on the Ticonderoga in WWI

Visages d’en faces / The Faces Next Door: Advanced French Translation students are collaborating with Parisian artist Christine Boulanger to translate into English her community art project entitled “Visages d’en faces”. Boulanger is an artist who lives in the 19th arrondissement in Paris, a very diverse neighborhood in northeastern Paris. For this project, she has been interviewing, drawing portraits, and writing stories about people in her neighborhood. The portraits and stories are published on a website ( and the project is now being sponsored as a public art project in Paris, with digital exhibits of her work in the Paris Métro. The project aims to develop a greater sense of community, dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about her neighborhood and more generally about immigration itself, and to celebrate diversity and our shared humanity. With the help of SSU students, Boulanger will launch an English version of her website later this year.

WLC 501 students having a Skype conversation with artist Christine Boulanger in Paris

Cuatro características esenciales de un Salem ‘amigable con las personas de edad avanzada’ / Four Essential Features of an Age-Friendly Salem: Students in the Spanish Translation course (SPN450) translated a 19-page document from English into Spanish for the City of Salem. This document will be published by the City of Salem as well as posted on the city’s website as part of a program to identify Salem as an “age-friendly” city within the Commonwealth.

Spanish students delivering the document to Laura Assade, at Salem City Hall.

Translating for the Essex County District Attorney’s Office: WLC students (English/Spanish) translated pamphlets for the Essex County District’s Attorney Office on the use of drugs and what parents need to know: “Drugs 101/Drogas 101” and “What Parents Need to Know about the Abuse of Prescription Drugs/Lo que los padres necesitan saber sobre el abuso de medicamentos con receta médica.”

Translating for HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change): Senior translation capstone students are working with this prominent social welfare agency to translate important personal financial and public safety documents from English into Spanish.

Teaching Spanish at the Salem State Preschool: SPN 380 Peer Tutoring students Shantelle Batista, Caterina Macdonald, Marileidy Nolasco and Jacqueline Toledo are teaching multiple weekly Spanish lessons at the SSU Preschool in South Campus as a part of a routine cooperation offered through this internship course. The students involved are creating lessons, designing resources, singing songs and teaching the youngsters basic Spanish conversation around the themes of greetings, class commands, colors, numbers and the like. They are also involving themselves in the routine operations of the Preschool.

Tutoring Spanish Language Requirement Students at the Language Resources Center: SPN 380 Peer Tutoring students Kelly Cassidy, Phoenix Deruosi, Crusilda Joaquin, Joviana Morin, Marileidy Nolasco and Melanie Orellana are tutoring students in the Spanish language requirement courses as a part of a yearly opportunity offered through this internship course. The students involved are creating tutoring materials, helping students understand course information, practice their communicative skills and get ready for tests. They meet in the departmental Language Resource Center for the sessions.

Assistant Teachers of Italian

Advanced students of Italian are assisting high school teachers of Italian at Gloucester and Lexington High School. Some students are also assisting Professors of beginner and intermediate levels of Italian at Salem State. Students are learning teaching methodology and are responsible for: correcting homework; helping students in need in/outside of class; create teaching activities/worksheets/lesson plans; presenting grammar and cultural topics; posting a weekly online journal that reflects on changes/what worked or didn’t work/why; develop an e-teaching portfolio.

Lindsay Asaro teaching the past tense at Gloucester High School

Guided-Tour at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Advanced students of Italian planned a comprehensive guided tour to the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum in Boston, on Saturday April 1st, 2017, open to the community. Students were responsible for contacting the museum’s representatives, deciding dates and type of tour, advertising the event online and on paper, posting flyers on campus, developing an itinerary and a brochure with practical information on how to reach the museum, meeting and accompanying participants, and developing a bilingual brochure on three Renaissance paintings. The Italian Club generously sponsored both the tour and the cost of public transportation for 16 participants. (See the related article in this issue of Lingua Franca.)

Genealogical research

Advanced students of Italian volunteered to do a genealogical research on Italian families in Massachusetts. The Spinelli and Bavosi families, respectively of Peabody and Mildford, were chosen. Students were responsible for research for ancestors and for building a genealogical tree, researching city of origin and arrival, interviewing family members, developing a set of questions in both English and Italian, translating the interview, and creating subtitles in both English and Italian (when videos were included). Students will share their findings with members of the community through the Italian Club.

Italian Food for Vegetarians

Advanced students of Italian volunteered to develop a brochure for vegetarian travelers to Italy. Students were responsible for researching on Italian products/ingredients, researching on the Italian “Slow Food” movement, developing an informative bilingual brochure to promote vegetarianism through Italian cuisine, developing a bilingual vegetarian regional menu listing the most representative Italian vegetarian dishes/recipes, and describing where/how products are grown/used/treated. Students will share their findings with members of the community through the Italian Club.

Why study Italian?

Advanced students of Italian volunteered to develop a promotional video that includes SSU students and professors of Italian as well as members of the Salem community at large to elaborate on the reasons to study Italian. Students are responsible for interviewing selected members, developing study questions, editing videos, developing subtitles in both languages, and sharing the final product online.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: