Despina Margomenou, Classical Studies, LSA
Anna Hatzitheodorou, Center for Foreign Languages, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Terms: Winter 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Winter 2021.
Students in Intermediate and Advanced Greek courses engage in Cultural Conversations with college students in Greece who are learning English as a second (or third) language to develop and enhance listening and speaking skills via peer learning activities as well as cultural dialogue. Conversations are based on students’ analysis of the results of a cultural questionnaire that both groups have answered. The survey is based on the MIT Cultura project and customized to address “hot topics” (topics of cultural clash) between the two cultures. Students spend half of their meeting time speaking Greek and half speaking English.
In 2016 and 2017, students presented their reflections on the experience at a Global Citizenship in Practice, sponsored by the U-M Global Scholars Program.
The Modern Greek program also arranges videoconferences to allow U-M students to participate in cultural events and have direct contact with Greek artists, performers, authors, journalists, activists, and other personalities whose work is discussed in the culture classes. This affords students a new means of personal exploration and investigation on issues discussed in class or on paper topics, adding a personal and intimate dimension to the student learning experience.