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The Learning Through Languages Research Symposium is a unique way for your students to conduct and present preliminary research in their language of study. Eligible students include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian or Spanish students, including heritage speakers. Participating students are encouraged to be at Level III or higher.

Stay tuned for infomration about the fourth annual Learning through Languages Research Symposium in December, 2018!

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the program.

Click here to access the 2017 Participant Portal which contains the program guidelines, rubric, and suggested reseach topics.

Student participants:

  • Create teams of 2-3 students
  • Choose from four research tracks with regional focuses: Contemporary Asia, Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East and North Africa
  • Write a 2-3 page research paper on a topic related to the track of their choice
  • Create a project visual to present to UNC and Duke language instructors at the Symposium in December
  • Present their research to UNC and Duke faculty and language instructor judges in the target language
  • Come to UNC for the symposium and network with UNC and Duke faculty, staff, students, and other high school language learners from throughout the state

Your students:

  • Learn basic research methodology
  • Practice oral and written expression in a practical setting
  • Participate in cooperative learning
  • Use creativity and 21st century skills
  • Engage in global studies
  • Interact with UNC-CH and Duke faculty and language instructors

 

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If you have questions about the program, please feel free to contact:

  • Emily Chavez, Outreach Coordinator, UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Emma Harver, Program/Outreach Coordinator, Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations
  • Noel Bynum, International Education Program Coordinator, UNC Center for European Studies

Congratulations to the 2017 winning teams

Best Overall Research Project on Contemporary Asia

  • Noah Cox and Sheridan Kum of Durham Academy, teacher Bonnie Wang, for “中国大陆的网络审查:挑战和措施” (China’s Internet Censorship: Challenges and Policies)

Honorable Mention of Research Project on Contemporary Asia

  • Makenna Meyer, Noah Clapacs, and Natalie Troy of East Chapel Hill High School, teacher Justin Seifts, for “La respuesta mundial a la crisis de los rohingya: Buscando soluciones cooperativas para una crisis en crecimiento” (“The World’s Response to the Rohingya Crisis: Seeking Cooperative Solutions for a Growing Crisis”)

Best Overall Research Project on Contemporary Europe

  • Reyna González and Brandon Hinojosa-Landa of Columbia High School, teacher Beatriz Calderón, for “Cataluña: ¿sueño o realidad sobrevivir como país independiente?” (“Cataluña: Dream or Reality to Survive as an Independent Country?”)

Honorable Mention of Research Project on Contemporary Europe

  • Anna Grillo and Clara Grillo of Broughton High School, teacher Chiayang Lee-Fitzgerald “欧洲难民危机:合作的必要 难民危机对欧洲的影响” (“European Refugee Crisis: The Need for Cooperation; The Impact of the Refugee Crisis on Europe)

Best Overall Research Project on Contemporary Middle East and North Africa

  • Layan Shahrour and Nesreen Shahrour of Broughton High School, teacher Chiayang Lee-Fitzgerald, for

 اﻵﺛﺎر   اﻟﻜﺎرﺛﯿّﺔ   ﻟﻠﺤﺮب   ﻓﻲ   ﺳﻮرﯾﺔ   ﻋﻠﻰ   ﺗﻌﻠﯿﻢ   اﻷﻃﻔﺎل   وﺳﺒﻞ   اﻟﺤﺪ   ﻣﻨﻬﺎ
(The Catastrophic Consequences of the War in Syria on Children’s Education and Ways of Limiting its Effects)

Honorable Mention of Research Project on Contemporary Middle East and North Africa

  • Jillian Breithaupt, Ethan San Pedro, and Haruna Tsukiyama of Chapel Hill High School, teacher Yoshimi Yamagata Aoyagi, for “イスラエルの政治への欧米の影響” (“Western Influence on Israel’s Politics)

Best Overall Research Project on Contemporary Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Julia Cummer, Meenakshi Kaundinya and Daniela Martínez Leal of East Chapel Hill High School, teacher Valerie Huet, “L’Ouragan Maria Révèle La Négligence Envers Porto Rico” (“Hurricane Maria Reveals Negligence towards Puerto Rico”)

Honorable Mention of Research Project on Contemporary Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Janae Andrews, Charles Berghausen, and Raymond Palma of Riverside High School, teacher Gabriella Faria, for “Cómo acción afirmativa contrarresta las desigualdades raciales en brasil” (“How Affirmative Action Counters Racial Inequalities in Brazil”)

Best Use of Written and Oral Language

  • Alec Caruana, Robin Huang, and Daniel Zaretsky of Chapel Hill High School, teacher Christen Campbell, for “Une investigation de la présence des réfugiés syriens au Liban” “An Investigation of the Presence of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon”

Honorable Mention of Best Use of Written and Oral Language

  • Justin Holly, Emmy Soll, and Nikita Zaretsky, of Chapel Hill High School, teacher Christen Campbell, for “Les effets du Printemps arabe sur la traite des humains en Tunisie” “The Effects of the Arab Spring on Human Rights in Tunisia”

Best Scholarship

  • Noah Cox and Sheridan Kum of Durham Academy, teacher Bonnie Wang, for “中国大陆的网络审查:挑战和措施”  (China’s Internet Censorship: Challenges and Policies)

Honorable Mention of Best Scholarship (tie)

  • Julia Connor and Danielle Kaufman-Sedano of Carrboro High School, teacher Amy Olsen “Examinando la crisis rohingya como limpieza étnica” (“Examining the Rohingya Crisis as Ethnic Cleansing”)
  • Makenna Meyer, Noah Clapacs, and Natalie Troy of East Chapel Hill High School, teacher Justin Seifts, for “La respuesta mundial a la crisis de los rohingya: Buscando soluciones cooperativas para una crisis en crecimiento” (“The World’s Response to the Rohingya Crisis: Seeking Cooperative Solutions for a Growing Crisis”)

Best Visual Presentation

  • Anna Grillo and Clara Grillo of Broughton High School, teacher Chiayang Lee-Fitzgerald, for “欧洲难民危机:合作的必要 难民危机对欧洲的影响” (“European Refugee Crisis: The Neeed for Cooperation; The Impact of the Refugee Crisis on Europe)

Honorable Mention of Best Visual Presentation (tie)

  • Rebecca Guo, Jane Hwang, and MeiXuan Zhu of East Chapel Hill High School, teacher Yoshimi Yamagata Aoyagi, for “中国、日本、インド、ベトナムの 勢力拡大による国境紛争”  “China, Japan, India, and Vietnam’s Increasing Power and the Resulting Border Conflicts”
  • Reyna González and Brandon Hinojosa-Landa of Columbia High School, teacher Beatriz Calderón, for “Cataluña: ¿sueño o realidad sobrevivir como país independiente?” (“Cataluña: Dream or Reality to Survive as an Independent Country?”)

Students’ Choice Award

  • Layan Shahrour and Nesreen Shahrour of Broughton High School, teacher Chiayang Lee-Fitzgerald, for

 اﻵﺛﺎر   اﻟﻜﺎرﺛﯿّﺔ   ﻟﻠﺤﺮب   ﻓﻲ   ﺳﻮرﯾﺔ   ﻋﻠﻰ   ﺗﻌﻠﯿﻢ   اﻷﻃﻔﺎل   وﺳﺒﻞ   اﻟﺤﺪ   ﻣﻨﻬﺎ
(The Catastrophic Consequences of the War in Syria on Children’s Education and Ways of Limiting its Effects)

Honorable Mention of Students’ Choice Award

  • Lauren Franklin, Grace García, and Anusha Tummallapalli of Marvin Ridge High School, teacher Alejandra Elliott for “¿Qué esfuerzos se han hecho por los países del Asia meridional para erradicar el problema de la trata sexual en la región?” (“What Efforts Have Been Made by the Countries of Southern Asia to Eradicate the Problem of Sex Trafficking in the Region?”)

Resources for the Sponsoring Teacher

  • CLAC Consortium: The Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) movement intends to make global competence a reality for students and to create alliances among educators to share practices and find ways to incorporate an international dimension in curricula, and, more generally, to achieve internationalization goals.
  • UNC Languages Across the Curriculum Program
  • Duke Cultures and Languges Across the Curriculum
  • APA Style Guide from the Online Writing Lab at Perdue: The APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).
  • What Makes A Good Research Question? From Duke University: A research question guides and centers your research. It should be clear and focused, as well as synthesize multiple sources to present your unique argument. Even if your instructor has given you a specific assignment, the research question should ideally be something that you are interested in or care about. Be careful to avoid the “all-about” paper and questions that can be answered in a few factual statements.
  • Constructing a Thesis Statement from UNC Writing Center: Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.
  • Resources for oral communication in the classroom

Sample Research Topics

Students will neither receive preference nor be penalized for use of suggested research topics.
Contemporary Latin America and Caribbean Track:
● What issues and challenges to people who have been deported from the U.S. to their home countries, such as Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, face?
● What reforestation efforts have been most successful in Latin America and why?
Contemporary Europe Track:
● What are the main effects of the refugee crisis on Europe?
● What is the nature of the EU and NATO’s relationships with Russia?
Contemporary Middle East and North Africa Track:
● How has the Turkish Government responded to the attempted coup in July 2016? How has this response impacted Turkey’s domestic civil rights and international relations?
● From which countries are Arab refugees fleeing? Pick one group and explain the causes for their escape, the places they have resettled, and the challenges they face in their host countries.
Contemporary Asia Track:
● How has the recent aggressions by North Korea affect how people might perceive Asia?
● With India currently being the world’s fastest growing economy, what role does India have to play in securing stability and peace in Asia?

Press

Student Projects

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LTL 5

Testimonials

“Participating in Learning Through Languages has taught me so much. It has taught me how to research, how to make something interactive, how important it is to know what is going on in the world, how to cooperate, and so much more. It was so nice to be in a room filled with other students who have spent time learning another language, and who have as much of a passion as me, and my classmates, about language and other cultures.” – Student Participant

“The students loved the open atmosphere of the symposium. It was a great experience for them to interact with the judges and witness the impressive quality of work of other students across the state. They expressed that they would love to come back if given the opportunity again.” – Teacher Participant

“I am grateful that I had opportunity to showcase my language abilities and further my knowledge of Chinese through partaking in Learning Through Languages. It was encouraging to realize that there are other people, including college professors, who are just as passionate about my journey to learn Chinese as I am.” – Student Participant

For names of winning teams and photos from past symposia, please visit the LTL2015 and LTL2016 pages.