First World Languages week celebrates incredible diversity of Mirman, world

01/24/18 05:03:pm
| Category: World Languages

These are only some of the questions explored during Mirman's inaugural World Languages week, courtesy of the Celebrations Committee of the Parent Service League and both divisions in concert with the Seitz-Shewmon family, who helped to organize the event.

During the week, events included an hour-long assembly, lunch and learn periods in the library, and a special edition of Mirman Mosaic on the topics of language and identity.

In many ways, the assembly itself was the culminating event of the week, featuring extensive programming that explored the many languages spoken by the community of Mirman and taught within our classrooms.

During the assembly, the Pledge of Allegiance was said in Latin, led by two Upper School students, Beckett L. and Mason L., followed by a few iterations of the Birthday song in Latin, French, and Mandarin. It was a highly musical assembly, with songs including "Borquito de Papel" (Spanish), "An die Musik" (German), "Hotaru Koi" (Japanese), "Amavolovolo" (Zulu) and "Jasmin Flower" (Mandarin), all sung by the community along with the Concert Singers and, in the case of Jasmin Flower, the Mustang Chorus and Mandarin teacher Dan Song. Through a collaborative activity where students introduced themselves and the many languages they spoke, we saw the linguistic groupings of various languages on a "Mirman Language Tree" (pictured above). The substantial crowd assembled was also treated to an interview with Leslie Mirman Geffen, daughter of founders Norman and Beverly Mirman, and a video interview conducted by Sophia S.-S., filmed by James P. and Joey Z., and edited by Masha Tatarintseva.

Lunch and learns in the library throughout the week showcased various parent volunteers reading books in and presenting on other languages, including Mandarin, Hebrew, Swahili, Farsi, Korean, Hindi, and Turkish. Students in Room 3 through Upper School were invited to sit in for the events. In the Upper School, a LEAP class called "The Evolution of Languages" was co-taught by Magistra Whalen and linguist Dr. Elisabeth Seitz-Shewmon.