Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

  • BlazerPulse builds stronger connections among service-learning partners

    After using BlazerPulse in service-learning courses during spring semester, faculty feedback is helping make the online community-engagement platform an even better tool for promoting, organizing and measuring UAB’s impact in the community.

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  • UAB expands to meet demand for Japanese language instruction

    A grant awarded by the Japan Foundation Los Angeles will enable UAB Foreign Languages and Literatures to hire an instructor, expand course offerings and establish a major concentration in Japanese.

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  • UAB expands to meet demand for Japanese language instruction

    A grant awarded by the Japan Foundation Los Angeles will enable UAB Foreign Languages and Literatures to hire an instructor, expand course offerings and establish a major concentration in Japanese.

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  • The Life-Long Learning Endowed Scholarship Honoring Ruth J. and Robert J. Colvin

    The Life-Long Learning Endowed Scholarship Honoring Ruth J. and Robert J. Colvin has been established in the departments of English and Foreign Languages and Literatures that will support deserving students and relieve them of their financial pressures.

    Honoring literacy advocate Ruth J. Colvin and her husband Robert

    The Life-Long Learning Endowed Scholarship Honoring Ruth J. and Robert J. Colvin has been established in the departments of English and Foreign Languages and Literatures that will support deserving students and relieve them of their financial pressures. The scholarship is named in honor of Ruth J. and Robert J. Colvin to recognize their commitment to education and their impact on improving communication and understanding among people worldwide.

    Ruth J. Colvin was born in Chicago in 1916 and earned her associate’s degree from Thornton Junior College in Harvey, Illinois, before obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University. After reading census reports in 1961, Colvin learned about the serious illiteracy problem across the country, including in Syracuse. Catalyzed into action, Colvin began an effort to transform education and its impact on literacy for adults.

    With an innovative focus on community networks that empowered adult learners in new ways, Colvin founded and served as the first president and life board member of Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. (LVA), an organization that trained and developed volunteers to teach basic adult literacy and English to speakers of other languages through one-on-one interactions or small groups.

    In 2002, LVA and Laubauch Literacy International merged to form what is formally known as ProLiteracy, a nonprofit organization that supports programs that help adults learn to read and write. Over the decades, Colvin, along with her husband Robert, visited and worked in more than 60 countries. She has received numerous honors and awards including the U.S.A. President’s Volunteer Action Award in 1987, induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1991, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006.

    Hodges' scholarship will ensure that the Colvins' impact on education continues, as it will ensure financial security for College of Arts and Sciences students pursuing degrees in English and foreign languages.

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  • Extensive reading as a tool to acquire a language is topic of Dec. 3 lecture

    The lecture is part of the Jemison Lecture Series and is presented by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

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  • Japanese music focus of Nov. 15 recital

    On the program for “A Piano Event Encounter with Japanese Music” are autumn songs, Japanese nursery rhymes, Japanese/American anime songs, and more.

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  • New Spanish concentration preps students for popular professions

    A new Spanish concentration complements studies of everything from business management to education or nursing and more.

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  • New Spanish concentration preps students for popular professions

    The new concentration complements studies of everything from business management to education or nursing and more.

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  • You're invited: Open House

    You're invited to the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures open house.

    You're invited to the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures open house.

    • When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
    • Where: Sterne Library, INTO area

    Come and learn about the available programs, talk with faculty members, have some pizza, play some games, and earn prizes!

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  • Japanese Consul-General presents grant

    Takashi Shinozuka, Consul-General of Japan in Atlanta, presented the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures a grant for $30,000 to further Japanese education in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences.

    Mr. Takashi Shinozuka, Consul-General of Japan in Atlanta, presented the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures a grant for $30,000 to further Japanese education in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences.

    In his role as Consul-General of Japan in Atlanta, Shinozuka is responsible for strengthening relations between and Japan and the United States, specifically in the four states in his jurisdiction: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Unfortunately, on the day of the scheduled reception and award presentation, Hurricane Florence was making landfall and Shinozuka was required to stay in Atlanta to provide assistance to Japanese citizens affected by the storm. But he was connected to the reception via Skype and gave remarks praising UAB and the department for their support of Japanese-language and cultural education.

    In Shinozuka's absence, Mark Jackson, a local businessman and Alabama's Consul-General to Japan, shared remarks and presented the check to Provost Pam Benoit, Ph.D.; Dean Robert Palazzo, Ph.D.; Chair Julian Arribas, Ph.D.; and Yumi Takamiya, Ph.D., assistant professor of Japanese—all of whom spoke at the reception. Additional speakers included alumna Jolie Thevenot, who graduated with a minor in Japanese and is the director of the Japan-America Society of Alabama (JASA), and Bezawit Eyob, a current student and instructor of Japanese who is pursuing her minor in the language. Thevanot and Eyob gave their remarks in both Japanese and English.

    [widgetkit id="35" name="FFL Consul General Grant"]

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  • UAB alumna recognized by National Spanish Honor Society

    Cayla Hamilton has been recognized for outstanding achievement by the National Spanish Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi.

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  • Record number of UAB students, alumni selected for prestigious Fulbright Student Program

    Six students will travel abroad to study, teach or conduct research for the 2018-2019 academic year.

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  • Three UAB students win Critical Language Scholarships

    Three students will spend the summer studying in China, South Korea and India.

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  • Everyone has a story

    “How did you end up in Alabama?” I get that question a lot, both here and abroad. I suspect that every immigrant is frequently asked the same question out of genuine curiosity, maybe interest.

    Lourdes Sánchez-López, Ph.D.

    Professor of Spanish, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

    “How did you end up in Alabama?”

    I get that question a lot, both here and abroad. I suspect that every immigrant is frequently asked the same question out of genuine curiosity, maybe interest. “UAB,” is my answer. I too ask that question to other fellow immigrants. Their answers vary, but they typically involve either professional opportunity or personal betterment. "Isn ́t that what we all aspire to in life?" We should ask ourselves. Everyone has a story.

    I was born in Southern Spain, under a fascist dictatorship that had been controlling the country and its people for almost four decades. I was a little girl, and my memories about this time are vague. My recollections start becoming clearer after the dictatorship ended, as I grew up in a country that struggled at first, but eventually succeeded in developing a new identity under a brand-new democratic system. In that sense, I consider myself fortunate to have been part of such critical historic change, which of course, shaped the person who I have become.

    Although my parents had lived their entire lives under the same dictatorial government, and did not really know anything else, they were (and still are) very progressive and forward-thinking. As soon as the country opened to the exterior and foreign information and ideas started coming in, my parents determined to do anything in their power to give their daughters a well-rounded education. That begun with learning another language and culture at the age of eight. Until college, my sister and I attended an English academy daily after regular school. I immediately fell in love with the power of languages, as it became clear to me that they are the most direct vehicle that connects us to other cultures and their people. I also took classes in four other languages at various times throughout high school and college, participating in three long-term exchange programs in two countries. With time, my passion became the scientific study of languages, ultimately pursuing a career in applied linguistics. Knowing a second language definitely opened doors for me personally and professionally.

    Unlike most children who aspire to become astronauts, doctors, police officers, or pop stars, I always knew I wanted to spend my professional life as a college professor of language and culture. My goals as an undergraduate student were rather practical: travel, make valuable connections, make a comfortable living. Once in the profession, those goals turned more idealistic: educate, broaden horizons, make a difference in my students’ lives, and in my community. Today my motivation as a language and culture professor is to educate the next generation of global leaders who will use their knowledge and skills to make their profession and communities a better place.

    At home, my husband and I are raising two intelligent and independent daughters, who are also bilingual and bicultural. It is my hope that, one day, they will use their skills in whatever professional area they choose, to become strong, productive and compassionate leaders and members of the society, contributing to making their world a better place. I have no doubt that their multilingualism and multiculturalism will help them achieve their professional goals and personal dreams.

    Under the current national and international political climate which, sadly, fosters division, marginalization, and exclusion, I feel privileged to be a humanist, an academic, and a college professor. Everyday, I have the opportunity to open my classroom to the world. Everyday, regardless of course or level, our language students learn about the fundamentals of diversity, equity and inclusion. And everyday, my life is enriched by my students ́ constant strong desire to become more intercultural competent.

    Why am I telling my story? Because everyone has a unique story, delineated largely by their education; and every story matters. UAB proudly ranks among the most diverse universities in the nation. We are all part of a global, interconnected world, and our responsibility as college professors and administrators is to prepare our students well to interact and work with people of diverse backgrounds nationally and internationally. Of course, we want our students to thrive after they leave UAB. I am always curious to know what our students ́ stories will be.


    What's your story? Share it on the College of Arts and Sciences Facebook page.

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  • UAB sophomore awarded Project GO Scholarship from Department of Defense

    Benjamin Harvey will spend the summer studying Arabic in Morocco.

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  • High school students compete for $20,000 in UAB scholarship funds

    Students put their cybercrime fighting skills to the test in the Blazer42 Capture the Flag Scholarship Competition.

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  • UAB Senior selected as official delegate for national public relations assembly

    Chelsey Jordan is the first UAB student to be selected to serve as a delegate.

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  • BMEN program at UAB celebrates 10 years

    A peer mentoring group for black male students, BMEN is designed to provide academic and social support to those entering UAB.

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  • Read the Newest DFLL Newsletter

    Want to catch up with what's been happening in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures? Read the latest newsletter to get an overview of of student awards and scholarship, study abroad news, and upcoming events!

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  • Moore awarded highly competitive National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship

    Professor John K. Moore Jr., Ph.D., is conducting the first comprehensive study of a centuries-old legal case in Spain.

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