Integrated Language Option (ILO) Examples

Integrated Language Options (ILOs) constitute the core elements of the RCAH Cultures and Languages across the Curriculum Program. ILOs provide language immersion opportunities for students. In an ILO, students use the language to collaborate with each other and their language mentor on a semester-long project.

Fall 2016 topics and projects are listed below.

  • ArabicMathematics and Khawarizmi (Presentation). Students studied the contributions that Khawarizmi made to the field of Mathematics and how his work influences modern Mathematics today. Participants: Ray Weidner with fellow Azad Hassan.
  • ASLLet’s Party! The Art of Cooking in ASL.. One important characteristic of the Deaf community is their love for social gatherings. Online recipes and cooking tutorials in English are becoming increasingly common. However, there is a shortage of video cooking demonstrations in American Sign Language (ASL).  Students produced four cooking tutorials in ASL featuring food that would be welcome at any party. Participants: Emily Bengel, Miranda Blankenship, Monica Booker and Autumn Skye with fellow Mark Berardi. 
  • ChineseThe Sounds of China (Powerpoint and Youtube video). While you may be familiar with American Idol or The Voice, China has a multitude of vocal competitions that rival the creativity of U.S. shows. Students introduce popular Chinese groups such as The Voice of China, Sing!China, Let’s Sing Kids, I’m a Singer, Super Girl’s champion Li Yuchun, and Sing!China’s judge Jay Chou. Participants: Ethan Clarkston, Leea Fellows and Kate Rock with fellow Xuehong (Stella) He.
  • FrenchHip Hop and Social Movements in Francophone West Africa (Website). Students explored social issues in francophone West Africa (mainly Senegal) and how people promote social and political change through rap. Throughout the semster, they covered topics ranging from gender justice, civil society organization to democratic empowerment. Participants: Allison Costello, Abigail Kuplicki, Austin Martin, Sarah Teppen and Alexa White with fellow Emilie Diouf.
  • GermanThe European Migrant Crisis – Perspectives from Germany (Zine) Students created zines to explore the refugee crisis in Germany and the opinions of Germans toward refugees. Participants: Anna Backman and Kelci Henson-Forslund with fellow Ian Solheim.
  • JapaneseJapanese + Western =? : 和洋折衷 wa yo secchu (PDF and poster): Students explored connections and fusions between Japanese and Western culture, particularly focusing on language of food and holiday events. Participants: Lany Dyze, Leea Fellows and HuiYi Liu with fellow Tsuyoshi (Yoshi) Oshita.
  • ItalianILO’s got talent. Students created a video to showcase their skills in Italian in a fun way. Participants: Kristi Pollum, Shabnam Rajaei, and Leslie Welch with fellow Danilo Balzarini.
  • SpanishThe Educational Experiences of Emerging Latino Scholars (Website) This semester students delved deeper into questions about the educational experiences of Latinos. Students interviewed and spent time with Latino graduate students of the College of Education at MSU. Interviewees shared their stories about growing up bilingual, educational challenges and their passions as emerging education scholars. In a website, students presents their semester highlights along with their reflections on the importance of multilingualism. Participants: Claire Beutler, Madison Campbell, Aileen Dwyer, Craig Hedges, Austin Martin, Crystal Nance, Ashley Nance and Sadie Shattuck with fellow Abraham Ceballos.
  • SpanishVida Familiar en Latinoamérica. (Website( project explores family values in three Latin American countries: Mexico, Panama, and Dominican Republic. Through online research, news reports, and interviews with Latina/o individuals, students built a website that showcases changes to family composition in Latin America. Participants: Melissa Bush, Katie Harger, Paige LaBoskey, Krista Rodriguez and Katherine Stark with fellow Gerardo Aponte.
  • VietnameseComparing Perceptions of Eastern and Western Culture Through Fashion (poster). Students the perceptions of Eastern and Western inspired fashion through the eyes of our American and Vietnamese participants. Participants: Julia Le with fellow Ni-La Le.

Spring 2016 topics and projects are listed below.

  • Arabic: Baklawa (video) Students chose poems from prominent Arabic poets around themes of feminism, love, revolution, injustice and resistance. They also collaborated to write a poem about Baklawa. Madeline Aulicino, Brian Batayeh, Austin Littley, Uchechi Okeke, Casey Paskus, and Ray Weidner with Language Fellow Aida Amroussia
  • Chinese: Exploring Chinese minorities (PowerPoint #1 | PowerPoint #2) Students chose the places that they are interested in and explored the culture of Chinese minorities in those places. In this study, Sichuan and Inner Mongolia were explored. Leea Fellows and Katherine Rock with Language Fellow Jenni Lee
  • French: Virtual visits to Francophone places (Visit #1 | Visit #2 | Visit #3) Paris gets a lot of attention (and rightly so!), but there are A LOT of other places in the world where French is important. Students studied the language, culture, politics, and history of Mali, Guyane, and Saint-Martin and then used the interactive storytelling software Twine to let others explore these amazing places on their own. These virtual visits are rich in multimedia, using music, videos, images, and text to teach about la Francophonie. Marie Kaniecki, Sarah Teppen, and Alexa White with Language Fellow Spencer Greenhalgh
  • Hebrew: Srugim (see poster image below) Poster presentation based on the award-winning Israeli television series Srugim, about young, professional singles in the Jewish Modern Orthodox community of Jerusalem. It's about their lives and their search for love. Lindsey Beaver with Language Fellow Ellen Rothfeld
  • Italian: Who do you meet in college? (video) A video, with a hint of Italian comedy, consisting of a collection of short episodes written and performed by  the students, having as the main theme the funny characters you can meet in college. Nicole Sherman, Andrew Texel, and Leslie Welch with Language Fellow Danilo Balzarini
  • Japanese: Making and playing with Karuta, a traditional Japanese card game (see photo below, PowerPoint, & video) Students created a traditional Japanese card game, Karuta. Using their favorite Japanese games and anime as a theme of the game, students developed the Karuta cards by writing Japanese sentences (Yomifuda cards) and drawing pictures corresponding to the sentences (Efuda cards). Students also prepared presentation slides about Karuta, including its rules, history, and influences on the popular culture. Emily Callaghan and Leea Fellows with Language Fellow Tsuyoshi Oshita
  • Korean: Comparing Korean and U.S. patriarchal systems (Video #1 | Video #2) Students interviewed two Koreans and asked them about their experiences related to patriarchy, roles in their families, and more. The students compared whether or not Korea and the U.S have similar or different patriarchal systems. Laney Hult and Sarah Teppen with Language Fellow Jenni Lee
  • Spanish:
    • Exploring the cross-cultural role of music in people's lives (video) This short documentary examines the role of music in people's lives. RCAH students interviewed each other and also three participants from Latin America to explore the intersection between music, dance, and culture as both an art form and a way of seeing the world. Juwan Clarke, Jenny Crakes, Jackie Guzman, Katie Harger, Kristin McConnell, Taylor Peterson, Sadie Shattuck, Alexandra Stano, and Morgan Torre with Language Fellow Fredy Rodriguez-Mejia

    • imPACT of tolerance: Sharing small acts of tolerance to change our world (website) In this project, we define, analyze, and reflect on what creativity and tolerance are. As a result, we created a website. The goals of the website are to share our understandings of what tolerance is, to creatively inspire others to think about tolerance in their lives, and to learn from others about how to enact tolerance. An important component of the site is the PACTOs (Spanish acronym for Small Acts of Tolerance), examples of how Spanish speakers in different countries enact tolerance in small events in their daily lives. Jess Black, Maggie Devins, Ryan Roehler, and Krista Rodriguez with Language Fellow José Martinez-Hinestroza

  • Swahili: Understanding the bilingual education system in Tanzania (see poster image to the right) This Work in Progress looks at the nature of the education system in Tanzania and the language of instruction in the classroom. The student created a poster based on the structure and goals of the education system in Tanzania. Marie Kaniecki with Language Fellow Rose Mnzava

  • Vietnamese: Bánh cam ‘Orange cake’: A street food specialty of Vietnam (video) We created a video project that explores one of Vietnam’s most popular snacks, banh cam. In this video, the student will show the audience how to make banh cam as well as giving her opinion on the culture surrounding Vietnamese street food. Julia Le with Language Fellow Ni La Le

If you would like more information about ILOs, what it’s like being immersed in a world language while learning about other cultures, and how ILOs can help you reach proficiency, contact Professor India Plough via email.

See Spring 2014 projects here, Fall 2014 projects here, Spring 2015 projects here, and Fall 2015 projects here.