Honors and awards

  • Javier BarrosoCheol-Rin Park, and Mariana San Martin were recipients of this year’s SHASS Levitan Teaching Awards. Awardees are among the finest teachers at the Institute. Nominations are made by students.
  • Takako Aikawa received an award in April from the Hayashi-ULVAC MISTI Seed Fund for the project called “A bespoke comprehensive language learning interaction partner.” The same month she was awarded 2024 Alumni Class Funds for  “Collaborative and Adaptive Language Learning with Generative AI” project.
  • Joseph Borkowski received the SHASS Infinite Mile award in May.
  • Nilma Dominique was a recipient of the 2024 Black Excellence on the Hill Award, awarded by the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus in March.
  • Masami Ikeda-Lamm and Wakana Maekawa received a grant from the 2024 Alumni Class Fund for their project “Development of  Special Subject Japanese Courses: A Hybrid Approach for Enhanced Engagement and Autonomy.”


  • Tong Chen served on both the ACTFL and the CLTA proposal review committees.
  • Eva Dessein served as a 2024 Visiting Research Fellow in Assessment for College Board.
  • Nilma Dominique taught a new subject over IAP: Portuguese 21G.S07 Special Subject: Language conversation and Brazilian Culture taught in São Paulo. It was presented through MISTI MIT-Brazil / Global Classrooms. Read More.
  • Haohsiang Liao and Tong Chen taught Chinese subjects over IAP in Taiwan.
  • The JSF program brought eight students to Paris in June in a tour led by Bruno Perreau.
  • Maria Khotimsky was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Council of Teachers of Russian.
  • Min-Min Liang is the Past-Chair of Special Interest Group, Heritage Languages Group of ACTFL. Her responsibilities include co-hosting webinars, composing newsletters, and attending business meetings. In other news, Liang is conducting research on the impact of project-based language learning as part of a cross-institutional study. She will be examining how project-based learning impacts students in 21G. 108, the beginning level of Chinese for heritage language learners. She will collect students’ writing samples, projects, and surveys, and tape the classes.


In the news

Northeast Modern Language Association

The NeMLA 55th annual convention was held in Boston in March.
  • Eva Dessein presented “Challenging Perspectives: Transformational learning through critical inquiry in language classrooms” with Julian Ledford and Roxane Pajoul.
  • Dagmar Jaeger presented a paper titled “Opening the Writing Process: Constructive Peer-to-Peer Review using Social Annotation.”
  • Maria Khotimsky presented “Digital Tools for Exploring Spaces and Places in L2 Classroom” at a round table pon “Discovering and Teaching Through Space and Place in Second Language Acquisition.” She was also organizer and moderator for a round table on “Changing the Optics: How to Diversify Russian  Studies.”
  • Larysa Smirnova presented “Boule de suif de Mikhaïl Romm: entre l’excès et le manque de voix.”

More Conferences, presentations, meetings

  • Takako Aikawa was invited to be a panelist for “Supporting Learners through Technology and Course Iteration: A Panel Discussion with MIT Faculty and Instructors,” part of the Festival of Learning, organized by MIT Open Learning, in January. In March she was an invited speaker at the “AI and Language Education: Challenges and Opportunities,” workshop at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Languages. In April she presented “The AI Tsunami in Language Teaching: Prompt Writing as a Pedagogical Innovation” at the 30th Central Association of Teachers of Japanese Conference held at DePaul University. In May she was a keynote speaker, presenting “AI-Enhanced Language Learning: Cultivating New Perspectives” at the JALTCALL conference at Meijo University in Nagoya, Japan. JALTCALL is a Special Interest Group of Japan Association for Language Teaching for educators sharing an interest in digital technology and language learning. She was a keynote speaker, presenting “The Role of AI in Language Education: Call for Perspective-Shift,” at the Japanese Language Teachers Association of New England Conference held virtually in May. Also in May she presented “AI-augmented language pedagogy: the art of prompt writing” as an invited speaker for the Generative AI and L2 Instruction: A Practical Focus event hosted by the Princeton Center for Language Study.
  • Tong Chen presented at CLTA Annual Conference in April on “Fostering a Seamless Transition from High School to College-level Chinese Course with ACTFL’s 5C Standards.” Also in April Tong he invited to deliver a talk to MISTI/CETI China Program students on Cultural Differences between China and America.
  • Eva Dessein and Per Urlaub co-presented “Socrates, Google Translate, and Generative AI” at the Annual Convention of the Modern Language Association in Philadelphia in January. In February they presented “Disruptive Technologies or Curricular Innovations: Literacy, Pocket Calculator, Machine Translation, Generative AI,” an invited talk at the Harvard Language Center. In March they presented “Kasparov, Vygotsky, and Chat-GPT: What a Chess Prodigy and Child Psychologist Can Teach Us about AI in Education,” as an invited presentation to Global Voices: Exploring Multilingualism in the 21st Century for the Slavic and Eurasian Language Resource Center (SEELRC) at Duke University. In May they presented “Centaurs in the Zone of Proximal Development: What A Chess Prodigy and a Child Psychologist can teach us about AI in Humanities Education” for J-Wel Week, AI Education Revolution: What will it take? for the Jameel World Education Lab at MIT.
  • Eva Dessein presented “Plurilingual Collaborations: Enhancing Linguistic Skills and Cultural Competence through a Tele-Collaborative Project” with Joseph Borkowski at the Boston Area Pedagogy Conference at Northeastern University in April.
  • Nilma Dominique served as an advisor for the 10th edition of the Brazil Conference held in April. She was moderator for two panels and gave the opening remarks at events on the MIT campus [Video of opening remarks]. The Brazil Conference at Harvard and MIT is an annual event held since 2015 by the Brazilian student community in the Boston region
  • Panpan Gao gave a presentation entitled “The Multiple Roles of Authentic Materials in Business Chinese Teaching” at the Association of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language (ATCSL) International Annual Conference in Taiwan in December. She was also invited to present at the CLTA-SIG (Chinese Heritage Language Learning) Workshop in June (virtual). Her paper was titled “Teaching Through Stories: From Expressive Chinese, Film Resources, to News Documentaries and Biographical Literature.”
  • Hee-Jeong Jeong presented “On Air Confessions: Your Stories, Our Playlist” for the Learning Scenario of the World Readiness Standards for Learning Korean Initiative at the 29th American Association of Teachers of Korean (AATK) Conference at Indiana University in June.
  • Maria Khotimsky made a virtual presentation entitled “Gamification and Interactive Games in the Russian Language Classroom.” in January at the Teachers’ Lounge of the American Council of Teachers of Russian. In February, she participated in the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages Conference in Las Vegas. She was round table organizer, chair, and presenter for “Creating Transformative Learning Opportunities in and Beyond the Classroom.” She was also round table presenter for “Teaching Russian from Advanced to Superior Proficiency.” She also co-organized a poetry translation workshop and poetry readings.
  • Min-Min Liang presented “Curriculum Design for Chinese Heritage Language Beginning Level Course” as a (virtual) invited speaker in January for The Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan) organized by U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative. In April she presented at the 2024 Annual Chinese Language Teacher Association Conference in St. Louis: “Empowering Heritage Language Learners through Innovative Approach and Resource Development,” as well as, “Project Design for Chinese Heritage Language Beginners: A Chinese Tour guide.” In May she presented “Mapping the Terrain: Evaluating and Envisioning Chinese Language Textbooks for Chinese Heritage Learners in the U.S.” at 2nd Heritage Languages Around The World conference at UMass Amherst.
  • Haohsiang Liao gave an invited talk, entitled “Three Dimensions of Chinese Culture and Their Implementations of Communication,” at the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures of College of The Holy Cross in March.
  • Leanna Rezvani presented a paper entitled, “Lust and the Liturgical Calendar: Lessons from the Heptaméron” at the Renaissance Society of America Conference in Chicago in March.
  • Larysa Smirnova presented “Les secrets de Félicité: mémoire et subjectivité dans Un coeur simple” at the The Society of Dix-Neuviémistes annual conference in London in April.
  • Per Urlaub  was invited to present “The Glass is Half-Full: An Optimistic Academic Career Outlook for German Studies PhDs in U.S. Higher Education” for the Department of German Studies at Princeton University in February. Also in February, he also gave an invited graduate student workshop “From Here to There: Career Paths and Job Market Strategies for Language PhDs” at the Princeton Language Center. In April he gave an invited conference keynote at the Boston Area Pedagogy Conference at Northeastern University. (For his joint presentations with Eva Dessein, see above.)
  • Kang Zhou was invited by the Cambridge Center for Chinese Culture to deliver a talk in March titled “How to Cultivate Children into Lifelong Learners: Misconceptions and Effective Strategies.” In May, he was invited by the Public Library of Brookline to conduct a calligraphy workshop called “Discover the Beauty of Chinese Characters through Chinese Calligraphy.”


  • Hee-Jeong Jeong initiated a Culture Learning and Teaching in Applied Linguistics in March, co-organized with SUNY at Binghamton, and supported by the Academy of Korean Studies. Speaking were Claire J. Kramsch, Emerita professor of German, UC Berkeley and Sang-Seok Yoon, Assistant Professor in Korean Linguistics, University of Iowa. She also reported that the Korean language program hosted its annual Korean Movie Night on March 14 with a screening of Ode to My Father accompanied by a Korean dinner. The event was attended by 70 students (see picture below).
  • Nilma Dominique, organizer of the Solta a Língua series, hosted several special guests. Percussionist Marcus Santos on March 13 (see photo below) talked about his journey as a percussionist from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, to the US (learn more about his life in this YouTube video) and his Grooversity project. Ballet dancer Irlan Santos da Silva spoke on April 10 (see photo below). A music performance by the Brazilian trio Cia Armorial was held on May 8. Nilma Dominique was also involved in organizing “Joy is an act of resistance,” a concert May 1 at the MIT Open Space with BatucadaMIT, a Brazilian percussion group at MIT.
  • The French Group organized a French Film series, screening The Innocent and The Big Hit in  February, and Aline in April.
  • The Spanish group held the Ibero-American and WXGS film series, screening Yuli in February, La camarista / The Chambermaid in March, Mosquita y Mari in April, and Canela in May.
  • A virtual Global Languages Colloquium was held in March, which the following speakers: Takako Aikawa, speaking on “How to communicate with AI: the art of prompt writing”; Eva Dessein, speaking on “Digital storytelling and intercultural practice through global simulation”; and Kang Zhou, speaking on “Enhancing Autonomy and Language Proficiency through Collaborative Platforms and Documentaries.”
  • Together with Joyce Roberge, Dagmar Jaeger hosted a webinar panel discussion as part of the CPW Virtual Parent Programming. The panelists were Eva Goldie, Class of 2024, Major Mathematics, Concentration in Korean; Arina Khotimsky, Class of 2023, Major Materials Science, Minor French; Zixuan Liu, Class of 2025, Major Biological Engineering, Concentration in Chinese; and Vaneeza Rupani, Class of 2025, Major Aeronautics/Astronautics, Concentration in Portuguese.
  • A screening of The Master and Margarita and Q&A with film director Michael Lockshin, moderated by Maria Khotimsky, was held in April, attended by 200 people. It was organized by the MIT-Eurasia Program and the MIT Center for International Studies with support from Global Languages (see photo below).
  • In April the Arabic program hosted the renowned calligrapher Mr. Haj Wafaa. Mr. Wafa gave a presentation on the history and styles of the Art of Arabic calligraphy. The presentation was followed by students’ A/Q segment and an invitation from Mr. Wafaa to students to practice signing their names in Arabic calligraphy. Read More.
  • Kang Zhou’s 21G.111 Chinese Calligraphy class had a special open class on April 24 to cultivate a sense of community through the art of Chinese calligraphy and the shared experience of tea tasting. Read More.

In and out of the classroom

  • Informal conversation monthly gatherings for students were held: Portuguese (Solta a Língua), German (Stammtisch), and Russian (Russian Conversation Table).
  • Muna Ibrahim Bruce took a group of students of Arabic to view the Mediterranean Fever, at the Annual MFA Palestine Film Festival in January. Afterward, students shared reflections on social and cultural perspectives presented in the movie. Then everyone enjoyed a lunch meal at a local Middle Eastern restaurant in the Boston area. (see photo below).
  • Tong Chen took students of Chinese 21G.106 on two filed trips. At the Boston Museum of Fine Arts students saw a wide range of Chinese traditional paintings, including the renowned 13 Emperors scroll from the Tang dynasty. At the Peabody Essex Museum, students delved into the architectural marvels of the Yin Yu Tang house. He also organized hands-on Chinese cooking events for the students of 21G.105 and 21G.106. He also hosted in-class guest speakers on Chinese music and songs, and one on Chinese tea ceremony.
  • Eva Dessein took her 21G.315 French students for dinner to Marseille restaurant, where they got to taste and rate regional specialties. The panisse and bouillabaisse were crowd pleasers!
  • Iryna Kovalchuk organized art workshop for students in IAP Ukrainian class. READ MORE.
  • Leanna Rezvani took her students to see the opera, La Tragédie de Carmen, at Arrow Street Arts in Cambridge on April 6th. (see photo)
  • Emily Goodling, Mark Roemisch, and Dagmar Jaeger took students of German to local events that were part of a tour by Max Raabe and the Palast Orchestra who perform cabaret and popular songs in German in the style of dance bands typical of the Weimar area of the 1920s and 1930s. READ MORE

Student news

  • Global Languages celebrated the winners of its student awards for excellence at Springfest in May. The winners were: Viktor Baltin, First Prize winner; Nicole Harris Margarita Ribas Groeger Distinguished Scholar; Kenneth Choi, Ellen Crocker Distinguished Scholar; Katherine Kostecki and Zixuan Liu, Jing Wang Memorial Prizes; Ella Kazazic (first prize), and Tyler Matsuzaki (second prize), Miyagawa Japanese Prize. READ MORE.
  • The 2024 de Courtivron Writing Prize announced winners: First Prize to Fiona Lu; Second Prizes to Pragnya Govindu, and Janina Ojeiduma,; and Honorable Mentions to Ari Peró and Vivian Hir. READ MORE.
  • Student excellence in German Studies in AY24 was recognized by a celebration in May. READ MORE.
  • Students of Chinese celebrated student achievement at an event May 3. READ MORE.
  • MIT News profiled Mikayla Britsch, minor in Spanish. READ MORE.
  • Jacqueline Mitzenmacher, minor in German, exhibited in a Student Art Showcase. READ MORE.
  • Two MIT students were recognized at regional Korean speech contest: Kingston Lew, class of ’27 and Amber Wang, class of ’24. READ MORE.

Image Gallery

Claire Kramsch speaking at the Culture Learning and Teaching in Applied Linguistics in March.

Korean movie night

Students of Arabic share a meal and discussion after a film.

Russian IV class get-together for cooking and sampling traditional foods.

Students of French on outing to see La Tragédie de Carmen.

Students trying their hand at Arabic calligraphy demonstration in April.

Students at German Excellence Awards celebration.

Spring Fest was held to celebrate student achievement in Global Languages.

Campus Preview Weekend in April. Wakana Maekawa is on the left.

Students gather in March for Solta a Lingua and to hear from percussionist Marcus Santos.

Ballet dancer Irlan Santos da Silva (left) with Nilma Dominique in April.

Left-to-Right: Slava Gerovitch (MIT), Elizabeth Wood (MIT), Michael Lockshin (The Master and Margarita filmmaker), Gerald Peary (Boston-area film critic), Maria Khotimsky (MIT) and Ekaterina Zabrovski (MIT).

Students of Chinese at end of year party in May. Some students unveil a scroll they created in Chinese Calligraphy class.

Lecturers at Global Languages end of year event in May.