Elizabeth Polli

Obama’s Inauguration Poet to Read at Dartmouth

As part of Dartmouth’s celebration of [email protected] Heritage Month, poet Richard Blanco will give a reading on October 3. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. in Filene Auditorium of Moore Hall.

Blanco became the nation’s fifth inaugural poet when he read One Today at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration on January 21, 2013.

The first Latino and first openly gay writer so honored, he joined Robert Frost, who read at President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, and Maya Angelou, who read at President Bill Clinton’s.

“Blanco’s poetry offers an intimate portrait of Latino and LGBT experiences,” says Associate Professor of Spanish Israel Reyes. “His visit highlights the great contributions that minority writers and artists are making to our national discourse.”

Blanco, whose memoir, “For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey,” will be published in November, will also conduct a creative writing workshop with students on Thursday.

Tweeting Along the Path to Fluency in French and Spanish

Imagine a couple of college students hanging out after class and tweeting about popular music. Now imagine them claiming that they’re working on their foreign language homework. Yeah, right.

But at Dartmouth, such students would be telling the truth. Language instruction has its feet planted firmly in the 21st century, with Twitter and blogs and other Generation Y-friendly pedagogical techniques supplementing traditional drills and textbook exercises.

Tania Convertini, director of the French and Italian Language Program, and Elizabeth Polli, director of the Spanish Language Program, are among Dartmouth faculty members who are leading this effort.

We must “take into account that we work with digital natives,” says Convertini, “with students who use their iPhones and iPads all the time. We have to come to terms with making these digital tools an active part of teaching languages.”