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Commercialism Distorts Art (en français)

By Laura Drepanos, VI Form

Commercialism Distorts Art (en français)

Editor’s Note: This is a timed in-class essay in Advanced French. Following several weeks discussing the contemporary theme of aesthetics, the class was tasked with referencing texts and videos to determine whether society shapes art or art shapes society. 

On doit noter que l’art joue un rôle important dans la société. Il y a des événements, des emplois, et des rapports qui sont formés par l’art. Mais, aussi, il y a un autre rapport entre l’art et la société; la société peut jouer un rôle dans la formation des arts. En considérant tous, parce qu’on ne peut pas contrôler l’interprétation de l’art, l’art est beaucoup plus une réflection d’une communauté.

La première preuve que l’art n’a pas beaucoup d’influence sur une communauté, c’est le fait que seulement 35% des canadiens visitent des musées des beaux-arts chaque année. Alors, si la plupart des gens ne regardent jamais les œuvres d’art, comment peuvent-t-ils former la société? De plus, d’après le même sondage, fait par Phoenix SPI, pas mal de gens voient l’art comme un moyen de s’exprimer, socialiser, et se sentir bien, mais pas pour communiquer un message. Alors, les arts n’ont pas un grand impact sur les croyances d’une communauté. (more…)

“Das Brotchen”: The ‘Flouring’ of Culture All Across the Globe

By Alan Gao, VI Form

“Das Brotchen”: The ‘Flouring’ of Culture All Across the Globe

“Das Brotchen.”

I remember learning this phrase in one of my first German classes. This word could be separated into two parts, “Brot” for bread and “-chen” for referring to smaller versions of things. “Das Brotchen” just refers to little bread.

Yet when my German teacher, Frau Wells, told my class that word, it seemed to carry much more than the simple meaning. She told us with great excitement about her time in Germany when the sweet smell of the roasted fresh wheat flowed over the streets and the bakeries presented their newest baked bread. As an American who had no family relations with Germany, she amazed me with her love and passion for German culture. At the time, I was surprised how this daily word created such a deep impact on her.

Before then, bread, or pastry, didn’t mean much to me. Although Shanghai is a very international city with chain bakeries like Paris Baguette and Lilian Cake, I never paid much attention to them and bought them only in times when I’m rushing down subways and hurrying to classes, paying no attention to their characteristics. (more…)

Herbst Musikvideo Projekt: 99 Luftballons

By Lukas Hanenberger, Syndey Howard, Cait Lochhead, Lucy Martinson, Hans Wu, Ryan Yang, and Justin Zhang, VI Form

Herbst Musikvideo Projekt: 99 Luftballons

CLICK IMAGE FOR GERMAN IV’s CLASS VIDEO or CLICK HERE:

Read below for assignment parameters in Mr. Daniel Mertsch’s class (auf Deutsch): (more…)

Examples of Experiences in Chinese Class

Examples of Experiences in Chinese Class

From Ms. Yuhong Xu: “My main pedagogical approach is teaching vocabulary, grammar, and speaking. I focus a lot on speaking, and my students are able to speak and communicate with a stronger confidence in and outside of class.”

On speaking by Caroline Sullivan (III Form): “Speaking is the most important part of learning Chinese. Although learning grammar and new vocab is essential to becoming fluent in Chinese, speaking and being able to communicate in the language is most important. If students only study Chinese grammar, they will never be able to make use of the language and communicate with their Chinese peers. By practicing speaking in class every day, I am making progress in mastering the language.”

Click on the image for a video of conversation in action.

(more…)

Language Immersion Trips: A Must-Have For A Student’s Bucket List

By Paige LaMalva, IV Form 

 

Language Immersion Trips: A Must-Have For A Student’s Bucket List

I have loved the French language ever since I was in sixth grade. My middle school French teacher, Mrs. Okacha, made French my favorite subject because her class was both engaging and interactive. When I was in eighth grade, I helped lead one of her younger classes because I appreciated and enjoyed French so much.

After arriving at St. Mark’s and hearing about the French language trip offered every other year, I wanted to pursue it. I still loved the language, and I was to speaking a lot more French with my teacher, Ms. McColloch. I kept telling myself, “I can’t wait to be a sophomore and communicate in a real-world scenario.” I was exhilarated to find out that I got a spot on the trip. My French education would be applied in a real-world setting! Reading and speaking French was going to be challenging, but I was ready to take it on. (more…)

Words, Words, Words

By Mr. Jonathan Golden, Systems and Information Services Librarian

Words, Words, Words

I love words. What’s not to love?
It’s amazing to think that nearly the totality of human knowledge and understanding is expressed through a set of squiggles. What’s even more amazing is that each of us, every day, hears or reads sentences that we’ve never heard or read before and we are able to understand them.

Come to the library and pick a random book, flip to a random page, and read a random sentence. Ludwig Wittgenstein did not hold words in such high esteem. He argued that words merely express facts and are therefore devoid of any sort of value. Everything other than facts, everything that we care about, and everything that makes life worth living must exist outside of language. Language, according to Wittgenstein, is insufficient to capture the meaning outside of pure facts. He concludes his famous Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus with the statement, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” It’s hard to take a bleaker view on words.

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