March 2, 2015 |
Anita Magistro Udell's father was a North Jersey shoemaker from a small Sicilian town. Sicilian was the language at home, and so "she did not speak English until elementary school," daughter Ruth Kunstadter said. But soon, still in elementary school, she was commuting from her East Orange home for piano lessons in Greenwich Village. Living in three languages - and music is certainly a language - might have seemed quite natural for the youngster. On Wednesday, Feb. 18, Mrs. Udell, 93, foreign languages department chair during a 34-year teaching career at what is now Arcadia University in Glenside, died at the Rydal Park retirement community in Rydal.
March 1, 2014 |
The city's court system has taken steps to help Philadelphia's growing immigrant communities navigate their way around the courtroom. This month, the First Judicial District released Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese translations of some of the most frequently used documents in Family Court and Municipal Court. The translation project, a $25,000 undertaking, is designed to make life easier for non-English-speakers who have a tough time making sense of jargon-loaded court documents.
June 16, 2013 |
In May 1918, with America embroiled in the First World War, Iowa's Gov. William Lloyd Harding dealt a blow against Germany. His Babel Proclamation - that was its title; you cannot make this stuff up - decreed: "Conversation in public places, on trains, and over the telephone should be in the English language. " The proscription included church services, funerals, and pretty much everything else. Iowa's immigrant communities that spoke Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, and French objected to this censorship of the languages of America's wartime allies.
April 14, 2012 |
Bully Never mind the hoo-ha over the MPAA ratings, that's beside the point. The point is that bullying isn't being addressed adequately by teachers, administrators or parents, and the kids profiled in this powerful documentary clearly suffer for it. A compelling piece of advocacy filmmaking, with heartbreaking stories, and real-life heroes, too. PG-13 The Deep Blue Sea Shot in a gauze of melancholy, Terence Davies' crushing adaptation of the...
August 5, 2011 |
Imagine if you and your servant arrived in a strange city only to find that everyone there knew you by name; who are these people who invite you to dinner, hang jewelry around your neck, and know all your business? This is the plot of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors , the current production of the Classical Acting Academy of the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre. The academy gave us last summer's brilliant and charming Henry V , showing what talented young actors can do with a few weeks of intensive training under the guidance of an imaginative director.
April 12, 2011 |
Jerry A. Caponigro, 90, of Jenkintown, who taught foreign languages at four Philadelphia public high schools from the 1940s into the 1980s, died of heart failure Wednesday, April 6, at Rydal Park, the retirement community where he had lived since November. His wife, Rosina, said that in 1998, the Alumni Association of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education gave him its William B. Castetter Alumni Award of Merit. And, she said, "at his retirement dinner in the 1980s, he said, 'I should have paid the Board of Education for the experiences I had.' " After teaching in 1944 and 1945 in Vineland, N.J., and 1947-48 at West Philadelphia High School, his wife said, he spent most of his career at the two premier academic public high schools of his time.
January 14, 2011 |
Francis J. Mulhern, 64, of Lansdale, an innovative foreign-language educator, died of leukemia Tuesday, Jan. 11, at Abington Memorial Hospital. As supervisor of foreign languages in the Wissahickon School District, Mr. Mulhern instituted an exchange program with students from France and accompanied a group of 36 students on a trip to Germany; promoted the teaching of Latin; and found grants to fund Chinese lessons and to teach immigrant parents to...
June 10, 2010 |
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: My husband and I have fallen into a "small talk" rut. He's been unemployed for a year, and some days he just sits at home watching TV and I'm the only person he interacts with. I feel like a general "How was your day?" question can be a springboard to other conversation - but not when he just says, "Fine. " What can we do about this rut? Answer: Obviously this is a bigger problem than small talk - unemployed spouse, getting depressed, losing confidence and sense of self - but sometimes small adjustments can help ease the stress of bigger problems.
April 12, 2010 |
Students in Madame Maria Wells' fifth-grade class at Cynwyd Elementary School were having great fun Thursday morning - while learning French at the same time. Through songs, games, and discussion, mostly in French, Wells taught anatomy vocabulary words to the Lower Merion district children, now in their fourth year of instruction. The class, which meets three days a week, also talked about English words that have their origins in French terms. "The connections between French and those words helps me remember them and know what they mean," student Benjamin Nagle said.
December 29, 2009 |
David Parry, Keith Goldsmith, and Sylvia Ruiz-Tresgallo were pondering the future, each in his or her own way, at the 125th annual meeting of the Modern Language Association this week in Philadelphia. That future is bringing a change from paperbound authorship to online maintenance of a scholar's writing and the discussion that surrounds it. Publishing is increasingly digital. As for the present, it's about praying to the academic gods for employment. Regina B. Oost, chair of the English Department at Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga., described the employment outlook succinctly: "Fewer jobs.