Skip to Main Content
Mobile Menu

News & Events

Kelly Arispe Presents at 34th annual Convention for Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium in Flagstaff, Arizona

Portrait of Kelly ArispeKelly Arispe recently presented a paper with co-author Jack Burston of Cyprus University of Technology at the 34th annual Convention for Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The presentation, “Bridging the Gap from Intermediate to Advanced Level Foreign Language Competency in American Colleges and Universities: The Contribution of CALL,” stems from their meta-analysis of studies in computer assisted language learning and exposes the fact that almost all of the research has been geared towards beginner learners.

Their presentation focused on the scarce 17 studies that did include intermediate learners and found that most fell short because of oversights stemming from foreign language pedagogy. As a result, they suggested a pedagogical framework that integrates proficiency-based assessments, learner autonomy and instructional technology to appropriately scaffold intermediate learners towards improved linguistic competence. Specifically, Arispe reported on the results from the 241 oral proficiency interviews that have been conducted in the Spanish program over the last four years as compelling evidence that language learners at the 300-level are in dire need of augmented opportunities for language practice outside of the classroom.  

Instructional technology, if implemented appropriately, is one way to leverage augmented language practice.

Annual Treasure Valley High School Japanese Speech Contest Held in Meridian

Portrait of Tetsuya Ehara

Tetsuya Ehara

Department of World Languages
College of Arts and Sciences

The annual Treasure Valley High School Japanese Speech Contest was held on April 20 at Centennial High School in Meridian. The event, which was organized by Tetsuya Ehara and sponsored by Boise State’s Japan Club and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland, included Centennial and other area high school students.

The following organizations donated gifts in support of the event:

  • Consular office of Japan in Portland
  • BSU Football Office
  • BSU Marketing in Athletic Department
  • BSU Center for School Improvement & Policy Studies
  • BSU Department of World Languages
  • BSU Japan Club
  • Hosei University Football Team in Tokyo, Japan

Korean Students Participate in Speech Contest

The First Korean Language Speaking Contest was held at the 14th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference on April 17th in the Student Union Building. Eleven Korean 102 students participated in the contest and spoke of any topic related to themselves for two minutes entirely in Korean. Dr. Jae Ryu, the President of Idaho Korean Association and Eunyoung Choi, the Director of Sejong Korea Language School judged students speech and their communication skills. Three winners, Cerose Cedoux, Carley Marie Baeta, and Jenni Irene Domanowski, were awarded. You can read the full project abstract at Scholarworks.

Heike Henderson Presents at Popular Culture Association National Convention

Portrait of Heike Henderson

Heike Henderson

Professor, Associate Chair
Department of World Languages
College of Arts and Sciences
Heike Henderson, professor of German, presented a paper at the National Convention of the Popular Culture Association (PCA) held April 12-15 in San Diego. The PCA is highly regarded in academe with well over 5,000 academic oral presentations given internationally, two top-tier journals (The Journal of American Culture and The Journal of Popular Culture) and over 3,000 members.The title of Henderson’s presentation was “Food, Marketing, and Murder: Tom Hillenbrand’s Culinary Mysteries.”

Congratulations to Our Top 10 Scholars!

Samantha Wicks
Degree: Bachelor of science in health sciences, bachelor of arts in Spanish and a minor in psychology
Honored Faculty: Scott Conger, assistant professor, Department of Kinesiology

Coming to Boise State from Anchorage, Alaska, Wicks competed as a member of the Boise State swimming and diving team for four years and was a team captain for her final season. During three of those years, she represented Boise State at the NCAA championship meet. Wicks received All-Mountain West honors for each semester she participated, is a three-time Mountain West Scholar-Athlete and was named the 2016 Mountain West Swimmer of the Year. In addition, she is a three-time Scholastic All-American and was named to the 2016 Academic All-American Third Team. She finished her swimming career at the 2016 Olympic Trials. Wicks now works with the Boise State swimming team as a volunteer.

Wicks spent the fall 2016 semester studying in Costa Rica where she advanced her fluency in Spanish. The time spent living in Costa Rica has influenced her plans for the future. Wicks is currently in a program off-campus to become a certified Spanish medical interpreter so she can work with Spanish-speaking people.

Océane Pelloille
Degree: Bachelor of science in political science and minors in nonprofit management and American Sign Language
Honored Faculty: Nicole Bird, head coach of women’s golf

An international student from France, Pelloille came to Boise State after receiving a four-year scholarship to play on the golf team. An All-American athlete, she currently serves as part of the leadership team for the Student Athlete Association Committee (SAAC). As part of SAAC, she led the community event committee with the goal of engaging fellow athletes in community service. She also co-led the creation of a personal development program for children in Title I schools.

Pelloille participated in the Boise State Student Involvement and Leadership Center’s Partnership Jamaica, serving on a team of students who built and reconstructed parts of schools in Jamaica. She has also volunteered with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and has interned at Make-A-Wish Idaho. From that experience, she created the “Wish Makers on Campus” club to increase awareness about Make-A-Wish Idaho on campus by organizing fundraising events. She currently serves as president.

Pelloille is fluent in three languages: English, French and American Sign Language with intermediate fluency in Spanish.

Jennifer Domanowski
Degree: Bachelor of science in materials science and engineering with a certificate in elementary Korean
Honored Faculty: Harold Ackler, clinical associate professor, Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering

Domanowski, from Arlington, Washington, came to Boise State to compete on the swimming and diving team. She has served as national corresponding secretary for the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, is president of the Boise State chapter and was recently recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Aviation Week as part of the 20 Twenties, an award that honors 20 STEM students across the globe as the top leaders in the aerospace industry.

Domanowski began a relationship with NASA in 2014, holding internships at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in the Failure Analysis and Metallurgy Branch and the NASA Glenn Research Center in the Materials and Structures Division. The next year she became a Pathways Intern at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in the Materials Engineering Branch. She will continue to work at NASA in a full-time position post-graduation.

Read more about the selected students here.

Top 10 Scholars Photos


Boise State Students Collaborate with Local Immigration Attorneys

Photo of Project Laura Mock TrialDuring the spring 2017 semester, students from Concordia Law University and Boise State University collaborated with local immigration attorneys to represent individuals in the Boise immigration court who seek asylum, protection under the convention against torture, and special immigration juvenile status as part of PROJECT LAURA. Students from Boise State University assisted with bilingual interpretation during attorney-client visits, as well as with document translation.

Project LAURA is Boise’s legal community’s response to the Latin American refugee crisis. Since 2014, the number of Latin American families fleeing violence in the U.S. has significantly increased, and as of 2016, unrepresented refugees facing deportation total approximately two-thirds of all Boise’s non-detained removal cases. Until Project LAURA, no pro bono program existed in Boise to provide legal representation of these individuals.

Nicole Derden, immigration attorney and founder of Project LAURA, was the instructor of record for the Immigration Clinic at Concordia Law School, and Fatima Cornwall, federal certified court interpreter, was the instructor of record for the Department of World Languages with Boise State.

During the semester, all students were encouraged to observe hearings at the immigration court in Boise. Bilingual students were able to listen to the official interpretation provided by certified court interpreter Mark Conta, who later debriefed them on language and procedure questions.

The culminating project for all students was a mock immigration merits hearing at Concordia, where law students played the role of defense attorneys, and language students provided simultaneous and consecutive interpretation services. Several local attorneys who also taught the immigration clinic played different roles: Angela Richards played the role of judge and Angela Levesque played the role of therapist.

Many Idaho certified court interpreters also contributed to the success of the mock hearing. Diana Arbiser, federal court certified interpreter, was in charge of providing formative assessment during the mock hearing; Sandra Barrios, statewide language access manager for the Idaho Supreme Court, played the role of the monolingual Spanish-speaking respondent; and Vanesa Bell, language access coordinator for the fourth judicial district, was also in attendance.

German Section Hosts Sixth Annual Do Deutsch Day

Last month, the German section of the World Languages program hosted its annual Do Deutsch German Outreach Day for local high school students. Approximately 450 students from seven high schools across the Treasure Valley participated in the all-day event. “The event is designed to raise awareness of the value of language learning, and how languages open up opportunities,” said Dr. Heike Henderson, associate chair of the Department of World Languages and Literatures and German Section Head. Read the full article here!

Larraitz Ariznabarreta Serves as Editor for “Espacios de la heterodoxia”

Larraitz Ariznabarreta

Department of World Languages
College of Arts and Sciences
Larraitz Ariznabarreta has edited the book “Espacios de la heterodoxia del exilio” (Spaces of the Heterodoxies of Exile) published by Hamaikabide (San Sebastian, Spain. ISBN: 978-84-617-8883-5).The volume includes articles written by more than 20 scholars revising the social practices of resistance to Francoism, and it analyzes the intellectual contributions of various men and women whose work had been previously overlooked by the canonical scholarly publications on the subject of Spanish exile. The book includes an article by Ariznabarreta titled “Polifonias heterodoxas y Silencios” (cf: Heteterodox Polyphonies and Silences).

Amber Hoye and Fátima Cornwall to Present “Best of PNCFL” Presentation at 2017 ACTFL Conference

Each year, one member state from the Pacific Northwest Council for Foreign Languages (PNCFL) selects a speaker to present at the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign languages (ACTFL) annual conference. 2017 is Idaho’s year to select a presenter and the Executive Board of the Idaho Association of Teachers of Language and Culture (IATLC) has selected Department of World Languages’ Amber Hoye and Fatima Cornwall’s presentation titled “A Teacher’s Toolbox: Comprehensible Input Strategies for Language Educators.” Their presentation was selected from the IATLC conference which took place in Pocatello, Idaho, last October. Cornwall and Hoye will have the honor of presenting their session at ACTFL as the BEST of PNCFL this coming November in Nashville, Tennessee.

Fatima Cornwall at IATLC Amber Hoye at IATLC

The Eloise Garmendia Bieter, Chair in Basque Studies Inaugural Event Held March 8th

The Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair in Basque Studies was created through an agreement between Boise State and the Etxepare Basque Institute of the Basque Government in July 2015. A professor is invited to teach graduate students, with the aim of increasing the study and research of issue related to Basque language and culture. This is one of several chairs of Basque Studies maintained by the Etxepare Institute around the world.

The chair is named in honor of Eloise Garmendia Bieter. Eloise was born in Boise in 1925 to immigrant parents from the Basque Country and remained active in the Basque community throughout her life, as did her husband, Pat Bieter, a former Boise State professor and Basque convert.

In 1974 their family lead the drive to launch a study abroad program connecting Boise State to the town of Oñati in the Basque Country. Eloise and Pat passed away in 1999, but the Bieter-Boise Basque ties remain strong.

This chair strengthens the academic presence of Basque culture at the university and Treasure Valley community. A scholar is invited to Boise State to teach a course to graduate students, with a stay that ranges from a few weeks to a few months.

Our Basque Studies Minor student Madalen Bieter singing in Basque

Boise State Meistersingers singing in Basque