Posted on July 28, 2020

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Language Placement Tests 

Partyka, Students Attend Cincinnati Romance and Arabic Languages Conference

 Dr. Betsy Partyka and 3 HTC Students

Dr. Betsy Partyka, Professor of Spanish, and three OHIO Honors Tutorial College Spanish majors attended the Cincinnati Romance and Arabic Languages Conference on April 7.

Partyka presented a paper on a Paraguayan dictator novel by Renée Ferrer with a focus on the psychopathic features of the main characters and a feminist rendition of poetic justice.

Sophomore Suzy Aftabizadeh gave an interpretation of the role of disabilities in a Mexican novel by Sofía Segovia.

First-year students Carrie Summerford and Kaitlyn Booher attended multiple sessions in French, Arabic, English and Spanish in order to observe, learn and prepare for their future presentations beginning in 2020.

Sophomore Spanish major Suzy Aftabizadeh smiles after her presentation on Murmullo de las abejas.

“As this was my second time at the Cincinnati Conference, I felt quite prepared for the experience. I presented in an early morning panel as I did last year, but with a much larger crowd,” Aftabizadeh said. “Despite nerves, I felt confident with my paper…. My favorite part of the conference … was meeting very interesting people who spoke different languages, all from different places. Attending conferences is a fantastic way to meet new and intelligent people, which attracts me to these events.”

“…UC’s language conference was an extremely informative experience. There were plenty of examples of what and what not to do in an academic presentation,” said Summerford, a first-time attendee. “What I enjoyed most about the conference was the opportunity to speak. For eight hours, the only languages I spoke were my second ones, Spanish and French. On that note it was interesting to jump between languages. I would go to a Spanish panel and then a French panel, so it was good practice. Overall, I’d say the conference was worth the 4 a.m. drive to Cincinnati.”

Carrie Summerford, Suzy Aftabizadeh and Kaitlyn Booher share conversations in Spanish, French and Farsi with other conference participants.

“It was the first I have attended and was a brand-new experience for me. I was able to meet, listen to and learn from various language enthusiasts from across the country and the world,” Booher says. “One of the most interesting presentations I went to was actually about the Arab Spring, and I learned about a completely new topic…. I really enjoyed the amount of Spanish I experienced and the variety of dialects to which I was exposed. I also watched a variety of presentation platforms and discovered what type I think works best for me. Overall, I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend this conference, and of course to have gotten to watch my D.O.S., Dr. Partyka, present in her own element.”

Kaitlyn Booher, Carrie Summerford and Suzy Aftabizadeh sharing newly acquired Colombian detective novels over some Mexican dishes.

“Every year the Spanish HTCers and I attend and give papers at conferences as part of their four-year preparation toward presenting their theses to a professional audience,” Partyka says. “These events serve as a bonding and growing time for the students and a critical learning experience as we discuss the attributes of the presentations they witness. The more experienced Spanish students coach the younger ones and give useful advice during the multiple practice sessions prior to the events. I’m always pleased to hear colleagues at other universities say that the OU students are always well prepared.”

“We look forward to presenting at the Ohio Latin Americanist Conference (OLAC) in 2020 which will be hosted by Ohio University’s Department of Modern Languages,” Partyka says.


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