News and notes

  • Per Urlaub was interviewed by MIT News, and discussed the growing popularity of language programs at the Institute.
  • Global Languages is now a member of the Global Engineers Language Skills (GELS) network, an informal group of language and communication teachers working at technical universities and engineering departments around the world. Takako Aikawa pointed out that “becoming a member of the GELS will give lots of networking opportunities and benefits for Global Languages.”
  • Ukrainian language and culture was the topic of a new subject offered by Global Languages for IAP, MIT students heard from Ukrainian scholars, artists, and activists about the country and the ongoing struggle against the devastating Russian invasion. MIT News
  • Taiwan study abroad: Ten MIT undergrads went to Taiwan to study Chinese for two weeks over IAP. The program was hosted by the Chinese Language Center of National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Read More
  • January Scholars in France brought eight MIT undergrads to Paris for a two-week linguistic and cultural immersion program over IAP. The theme of the trip led by Prof. Catherine Clark was “The Politics of Food.”
  • Personnel: Paula Cogliano joined Global Languages in February as the Director of Administration and Finance. Liana Ewald was appointed Senior Lecturer in Spanish commencing AY24. Ayae Uwabo was appointed Lecturer in Japanese commencing AY24.

Honors and awards

  • The Levitan Teaching Award included three honorees who teach classes that are part of the Global Languages curriculum! Nilma Dominique (Lecturer in Portuguese), Emily Goodling (Lecturer in German), and Margery Resnick (associate professor in Literature) were among the awardees. The James A. and Ruth Levitan Teaching Award is given annually by the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), honors superlative teachers across the school, who have been nominated by MIT students. MIT News article
  • Min-Min Liang was recipient of the 2023 MAFLT LCTL Innovation Award (Best Classroom Innovation Award ) Read More. She used Book Creator to reconceptualize a project in which students learn the Chinese characters for their names. She also wrote a blog post about her project.
  • Kang Zhou received a grant from the Innovation Fund of the MindHeartHand initiative for his project, “Tea and Ink Fragrance.” The goal of this project is to create a serene and immersive Chinese cultural space by utilizing two primary elements: tea-tasting and Chinese calligraphy. He also received funding from the 2023 Alumni Class Fund, for his project, Contemporary Chinese Society and Culture in the Lens.
  • Eva Dessein received funding from the 2023 Alumni Class Fund, for her project, “Designing a Global-Situation Based French Language Course.”
  • Global Languages awarded 2023 CLTL Innovations in Language Pedagogy Awards to Takako Aikawa for “Use of AI Chatbot for Language Instruction”; Emily Goodling for “Resistance and Solidarity: A Module for German-Ukranian Artistic Responses to the War in Ukraine”; Masami Ikeda and Wakana Maekawa for “New Curriculum Development for Japanese I through IV: Optimizing learning efficiency by meeting diverse student needs”; and Hee-Jeong Jeong for “Designing the Collaborative and Interactive Learning Environment in Metaverse.”
  • Joyce Roberge, Global Languages Academic Administrator, was a recipient of the SHASS Infinite Mile Award. MIT News

Publications and projects

Conferences, presentations, meetings

  • Takako Aikawa was an invited speaker, and virtually presented “Navigating the Future of Language Education: The Role of Human Teachers and AI in Language Learning,” at the 2023 Spring East Asian Languages and Cultures Guest Talk for Language Programs, Columbia University, in May. She also presented “AI Tutor for Language Learners?” as a guest lecturer (virtual) for the the Technology-enhanced Language Learning and Teaching Course at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Interaction, and Translation” in April. Aikawa also presented “Use of machine translation in language education and its practical examples”, at the 2023 Annual Spring Conference of American Association of Teachers of Japanese in Boston in March.
  • Tong Chen presented “A Mindset Shift: Accommodations in Higher Education CSL” at the CLTA Annual Conference, which took place at the the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA) Annual Conference in Washington, DC, in March. In May, Tong Chen was invited by MISTI-China program to give a talk entitled “Contrasting Cultures: Highlights Differences between Americans and Chinese” to students going to Taiwan and Singapore this summer.
  • Eva Dessein and Per Urlaub co-presented an invited workshop in January at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Second Language Studies in Nashville: “Machine Translation, Chat-GPT, and the Future of Language Education.” In March, they co-presented an invited workshop presentation at Language Educators Symposium 2023, co-hosted by the Penn Language Center and Educational Linguistics at Penn GSE in Philadelphia: “The Pocket Calculator, Google Translate, and Generative AI: Educational Challenges and Opportunities in Response to Technological Innovation.”  At the same conference in March, Per Urlaub gave an invited keynote presentation: “Integrating Language, Literature, and STEM Education: (Literary) Translation in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.” In April, Eva Dessein and Per Urlaub also gave an invited presentation at the Language Resource Center at Columbia University, New York: “The Pocket Calculator, Google Translate, and Chat-GPT: From Disruptive Technologies to Curricular Innovation”
  • Nilma Dominique participated in a private meeting held by MIT faculty with Cape Verde President José Maria Neves, during his visit to MIT in April. MIT News
  • Panpan Gao gave an invited talk, “Teacher-Student Interaction in Chinese Teaching: Classroom Questioning and Corrective Feedback” (virtually) for Xi’an International Studies University in China. She gave a talk, “Exploring Cultural Identity Dimensions in Second Language Teaching and Assessment” at the 22nd New York International Conference on Teaching Chinese in New York City in May. Gao also gave a panel presentation “Accommodations in Higher Education CSL: A Mindset Shift” at the the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA) Annual Conference in Washington, DC, in March.
  • Emily Goodling presented a paper, “Postmigrant Spatial Imaginaries in Lola Arias’ Futureland at the Maxim Gorki Theater,” on a literature panel at the Northeast Modern Language Association conference in March. At the same conference she also presented a paper was entitled “Connect and Structure: Podcasts as Project-Based Learning in Upper-Level German Conversation Courses” as part of a pedagogy roundtable.
  • Masami Ikeda presented “Towards Effective Email Communication” at the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) 2023 Spring Conference in Boston in March .
  • Dagmar Jaeger presented at this year’s Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) conference held June 6-10, 2023. The title of her talk is “Digital annotation: Turning Reading into a Social Process.”
  • Maria Khotimsky presented a paper  in February,“Leveraging Online Tools for Student Centered Instruction in RSL Classroom” for a panel on Student-Centered instruction at the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages Annual Conference, held via Zoom. At the same conference, she also participated in a round table on “ ‘Decolonizing’ the Russian Language Curriculum: practical advice, created examples, further steps, collaboration among educators.” On May 17 she participated in the New England Regional Russian Language Pedagogy Colloquium at Brandeis University, which she helped organize and moderate, and participated in an activity “share out” session.
  • Min-Min Liang presented “Textbooks for Chinese Heritage Language Learners: Present and Future” at the 2023 Annual Chinese Language Teacher Association Conference in March in Washington D.C.. She also presented “Project Designs for Empowering Students: 5E Model” at the 14th International Conference on Classical and Modern Chinese in May in Gaoxiong, Taiwan. In June she presented “Project Designs for Chinese Heritage Language Learners” atthe 14th Heritage Language Research Institute conference held at UCLA.
  • Haohsiang Liao was invited to give two keynote speeches. In January, the World Chinese Language Association invited him to give a keynote speech at their Fiftieth Anniversary International Forum in Taiwan. His speech was entitled “Digital Chinese Language Teaching and Learning 2.0: Profession and Implementation.”  In May, he gave a keynote speech entitled “W.H.O.M.: Conventional, Digital and Beyond” at The Fiftieth Annual Conference of Association of Chinese Schools in Westborough, MA.  Additionally, in May, he gave an invited presentation as a roundtable discussant entitled “Digital Chinese Language Teaching and Learning 2.0: Profession and Implementation,” at The International Conference on Language, Literature and Digital Learning, organized by the Department of Applied Chinese of National Taichung University of Science and Technology in Taiwan.
  • Leanna Rezvani presented a paper entitled, “Saintly Words, Holy Sacraments, and Ungodly Behavior: Tales Sixty and Sixty-One in the Heptaméron” on March 10 at the Renaissance Society of America Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • David Yagüe González presented a paper, “The Student As Flaneur. Experiential Learning In Study Abroad Programs,” at the Boston Area Pedagogy Conference at Northeastern University, in April. He presented “La contracultural y los movimientos sociales LGBTI+ en Barcelona post-dictadura” as a guest lecturer at the Junior Seminar: Barcelona and the Catalan Culture at Harvard University in April. Also in April he presented a paper, “Transatlantic Views on Trans Identities in Media,” at the 5th International Conference in Transatlantic Studies. Topographies of Medicine, Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard. He also was one of the organizers of the “Topographies of Medicine. 5th International Conference on Transatlantic Studies” held at the Real Colegio Complutense in April, and served as part of the Scientific Committee.
  • Kang Zhou presented “Designing a Comprehensive Chinese Calligraphy Course: Enhancing Students’ Cultural Understanding and Awareness” at the 22nd New York International Conference on Teaching Chinese in New York City in May.


  • The Global Languages Pedagogy Lecture Series in February featured a talk by Dr. Uju Anya, a scholar of language learning and Black experiences in multilingualism. Her talk was entitled, “Antiracist, Equity-Minded, and Inclusive Language Teaching Practices.” In April, the series sponsored a virtual talk by Kris Aric Knisely on “Trans Remaking and Reimagining: Toward Gender-Justice in the Language Classroom.” Language teaching and learning can be a site of expansive possibilities for identity (re)construction, despite the ways that gendered impossibilities and invisibilities have often been allowed to persist.
  • The Global Languages Spring Colloquium, convened by Masami Ikeda, presented  “Approaches to Hybrid Courses” in March. The panelists were Takako Aikawa, who presented on “Approaches to Hybrid Courses: Development of the hybrid Japanese classes with synchronous zoom instruction”; and Nilma Dominque and Maria Khotimsky, who resented on “Reflections on Hybrid Teaching Mode in Portuguese and Russian Classes.”
  • Global Languages Spring Fest was held April 24 in the Bush Room. The event is a salute to our graduating seniors and student award-winners, and a celebration of the Global Languages community! Read More.
  • “Friendship and love across cultures” was held February 13. Almost 60 students from Global Languages classes came together to for a lively conversation on how different cultures convey friendship, love, appreciation, and other cross-cultural topics while sharing the treats of pizza and cupcakes. Read More
  • Global France Seminar brought three speakers to campus co-sponsored by Global Languages: (March 15) Mary Hunter, professor of Art History, McGill University, speaking on “Waiting for Hugo: Time, Death, and Representation”; (April 6) “The Parisienne Demystified”: A film by Rohkaya Diallo Screening followed by a conversation with Rokhaya Diallo; and (April 26) Annabel Kim, Roy G. Clouse Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University, speaking on “The Excremental Canon of French Literature: For a Fecal Universalism.”
  • The German Studies Excellence Award celebration was held May 4 with special guests: Consul General of the Germany Sonja Kreibich, and the Director of the Goethe Institute Boston Jörg Süßenbach. Read More (list of prize winners below).
  • The Chinese language group had a year-end celebration with students May 8. Students enjoyed Chinese food, engaged in games, socialized with teachers and other students, and celebrated the successful conclusion of the semester. In addition to fun Chinese character riddles and games, a highlight of this event was the awarding of certificates and student prizes. Six MIT students were admitted to the CLTA National Collegiate Chinese Honor Society, sponsored by the Chinese Language Teachers Association, Additionally, three students were awarded for prizes in April at the Third Annual Chinese Character Art Exhibition organized by the Chinese Department of the University of Pennsylvania. Read More.
  • The Korean language program held Korean Movie Night, with support from MISTI-Korea and Global Languages, featuring the film “Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War” (2004), which beautifully portrays the Korean War. Prior to the screening, Matt Burt, the Managing Director of MISTI Korea, provided a brief introduction to the film, giving the audience some context and background. Korean chicken was served, enhancing the enjoyment of the film.
  • The Portuguese program collaborated with MIT-Brazil and MIT Open Space to host a screening in March of the Brazilian film “The Sound of the River.” The event included a Q&A with producers Val Manduruku and Maria Gadu. In May, the program collaborated with the Literature section to co-sponsor a talk: “Black Girls Creating Kilombo: ‘Raçuda Bodies,’ Racial Violence, and Ontological Ginga in Brazil,” by Dr. Antônia Gabriela Pereira de Araújo, of the Hutchins Center for African and Research at Harvard.
  • The Japanese group, in collaboration with MISTI-Japan, hosted the Japan@MIT event in February. About 80 students attended to learn about more what’s happening at MIT related to Japan — including opportunities to go to Japan for an internship, research or study abroad; studying the Japanese language at MIT; and taking classes on the history and culture of Japan.

In and out of the classroom

  • Tong Chen took students from his Chinese class 21G.106 on a field trip in May to Peabody Essex Museum to see the Yin Yu Tang House, built in 1800 by a prosperous Chinese merchant. Students were able to develop a better understanding of its architecture, the history of traditional Chinese houses, and the fascinating stories of its owners. In April, Chen invited a guest speaker, Min Wan, Senior Lecturer in Chinese at Tufts, to deliver an in-person talk on “How Chinese Songs and Music Reflect Chinese Social Changes” to the students of 21G.106.
  • Nilma Dominique brought students of Portuguese to a concert by Cape Verdean musicians Cesária Évora Orchestra at Berklee Performance Center in April.
  • Maria Khotimsky took a group of students from several classes to the “Molchat Doma” concert (Belorussian punk band that performs in Russian) on April 4. She also met with several students from 21G.077 (Introduction to the Classics of Russian Literature)  to see the musical performance of “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812,” a musical based on Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” at the Repertory Theater. A CAST Artist in the Classroom Grant supported a visit by ethnomusicologist Ghilyana Dordzhieva, who visited MIT campus on April 12 to give a presentation on her research of traditional Kalmyk music and culture preservation. During the presentation, students got to hear live performance of traditional Kalmyk long song, they also had a chance to play the dombra. On May 4, students in 21G.S64 Russian IV class practiced their cooking vocabulary during a hands-on cooking session to learn about traditional dishes and to practice new vocabulary on recipes and cooking instructions. Working together in the New House Kitchen, students prepared several dishes and shared a dinner to celebrate the end of the semester.
  • Leanna Rezvani took a group of students to see Nicolas Boulerice and Frédéric Samson in concert at Club Passim on April 20. Her students even participated by reading poetry during the performance! (See picture below).
  • Emily Goodling organized a new series, “Stammtische” (German Table), which drew between 13 and 17 students to chat informally in German, listen to music, and enjoy pizza together. Students came from every German class being taught in GL, as well as from the German-speaking community at MIT at large. Read More
  • Nilma Dominique organized a series of monthly Portuguese discussion events, Solta a Língua. On March 1, the event featured a special guest: Paula Moura, who talked about her experience as a reporter on the WBUR Climate and Environment team, and as a producer of “The Territory” and “The Amazon is still burning. Blame beef.
  • The French group organized a film festival open to students of French. Read More

Global Languages student awards

  • Global Languages Excellence Awards are presented to outstanding students who best reflect the unit’s goals for achievement of proficiency in language, cultural understanding and enthusiasm in language learning. Michael Sutton, class of 2023, Course 6, won First Prize for his studies of Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Theo St. Francis, class of 2023, Aero-Astro, is the recipient of the Ellen Crocker Distinguished Scholar award for his studies of Portuguese. Nghi Nguyen, class of 2023, Course 6, is the recipient of the Margarita Ribas Groeger Distinguished Scholar award for her studies of French and Japanese.
  • The Miyagawa Japanese Prize is awarded annually to students who demonstrate excellence in their study of Japanese. The First Prize recipient is Rawisara Lohanimit, class of 2024, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The Second Place recipients are Madison Bronnimann, class of 2024, Aeronautics and Astronautics; and Brandon Wong, class of 2025, Mechanical Engineering.
  • The Jing Wang Memorial Prize recognizes students who have excelled in their study of Chinese. Winners of the award this year are Anna Chau, class of 2023, Course 6-2; and Stanley Chen, class of 2024, Course 6-7.
  • The German Excellence Award honors students who exhibit excellent language skills and creativity in the study of German language and culture in classes at MIT. The First Prize this year is Sherry Nyeo, class of 2023, for her essay “Die Einsamkeit des Schachspiels” written for 21G.420 Visual Histories. A special prize went to Stefan Damchevski, class of 2023, for continued outstanding work in German. Second Prize winners were: Lili Wilson, class of 2025; Sofia Haug, class of 2025; Elizaveta Tremsina, G; Alexis Zitzmann, class of 2024; Liane Makatura, G; Vin Armelin, class of 2023; Lucia Padilla, class of 2023; and Sophia Sonnert, class of 2023. Third Prize winners were: Inoela Vital, class of 23; Loreta Arzumanyan, class of 2026; Elmar Cruz, class of 2023; Haris Imanovic, class of 2026; Laura Schmidt-Hong, class of 2023; Tamara Hinderman, class of 2025; Paul Portmann, class of 2023; and Willow Huang, class of 2025.
  • The De Courtivron Writing Prize recognizes high-quality undergraduate writing (creative or expository) on topics related to immigrant, diaspora, bicultural, bilingual, and/or mixed-race experiences. First Prize went to Kenny Logan, class of 2026, for “La Balsa (The Raft).” Second Prize went to Alexandra Nwigwe, class of 2023, EECS and Design, for “Before You Cross the Street.” Honorable Mentions went to Layal Barakat, class of 2023, Mechanical Engineering, for “The Ride Home”; Sophie Vulpe, class of 2026, for “Shedding Skin”; and Cindy Xie, class of 2024, Urban Planning and Biology, for “My Parents Visit Ralphs on Their First Halloween in America.”

Student notes

  • Arina Khotimsky, ’23, French minor, was awarded a prestigious scholarship. Read More
  • Paola Amadeo (Russian II) won first place in first-year level poetry recitation contest and Diego Coello (Russian IV) won first place in second-year level song contest at the New England Olympiada of Spoken Russian, which was held on Sunday, March 19 via Zoom.
  • Sophia Sonnert, ’23, German Minor, was awarded a Fulbright fellowship.
  • Three students from Kang Zhou’s calligraphy class participated in the 3rd Annual Chinese Character Art Exhibition, sponsored by the Penn Language Center, and were honored with the Best Work Award for their exceptional and innovative works: Katherine Huang, and Peihua Huang & Kristina Chen.
  • Vivian Hir, a student from Kang Zhou’s calligraphy class, wrote an article entitled “The Power of the Brush” published in The Tech.
  • Two MIT students participated in the fourth New England Korean speech contest held April 8 at Boston College, hosted by the NEACKE (New England Association of College Korean Educators) and sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea. Min Thet Khine, a graduate student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Korean IV) received the Grand Prize in the Intermediate level. Eva Goldie, class of ’24, Mathematics major (Korean VI) was awarded First Runner-Up in the Advanced level. Read More
  • Victor Damptey, minor in Spanish, featured in MIT News
  • Theo St. Francis, concentrator in Portuguese, featured in MIT News
  • Four MIT students were invited to a lunch with the First Lady of South Korea in April during President Yoon’s visit to Boston. The four are currently studying Korean at MIT. They were: George Bian, ’23 (Course 6); Eva Goldie, ’24 (Course 18); Cameron Hilman, ’23 (Course 16); and Arthur Liang, ’23 (Course 6-9).
    It was an exceptional opportunity for these students to interact with notable figures from South Korea and participate in this special luncheon. Read More (in Korean)

Image Gallery

Global Languages Student Awards for Excellence First Prize winner Michael Sutton

“Languages of Love” event held in February

German Excellence Awards event in May

Chinese language group celebration in May

About 80 students attended Japan@MIT on February 17

Stammtische is a chance for students to chat informally in German, listen to music, and enjoy pizza together

Dr. Uju Anya speaks at MIT in February.

MIT students traveled to Taiwan to study Mandarin over IAP.

January Scholars 2023 brought eight undergrads to Paris in tour led by Prof. Catherine Clark.

Leanna Rezvani’s French students at Club Passim in Cambridge, to see Nicolas Boulerice and Frédéric Samson in concert.

Nilma Dominique with students of Portuguese from MIT, at Berklee Performance Center for a concert by Cape Verdean musicians, Cesária Évora Orchestra, on April 23.

Nilma Dominique (in black and white blouse) and others greet José Maria Neves, president of Cape Verde

Hee-Jeong and Masami enjoying the end-of-the year party / boat cruise in May

Dorothy joined Global Languages as a part-timer when her human, Paula Cogliano became a GL administrator.