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We Are What We Eat: Enhancing Cultural and Linguistic Competency in a Foods Related Course

Thursday, April 7, 2022


In the past two years, student engagement initiatives have focused on how to foster learning and community in the online environment. As we return to face-to-face learning, we have the opportunity to redesign and develop courses and activities that build on all five senses and that engage students in deep learning. This presentation will describe a course on the foods of the Middle East and North Africa that invites students to learn with all of their senses through planning for, preparing, and eating food together in a way that fosters the 5 Cs (communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities) as well as intercultural competency.

About the discussant:

Dr. Ben Romdhane is a Fulbright Alumna and an advocate of Integrated Approach to Arabic language instruction. One of her main research interests focuses on how to simultaneously teach the two varieties of the language successfully in a way that reflects the authentic practice of native Arabic speakers. In the spring 2015, she received a Stanley Grant for International Research and a university-wide Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the University of Iowa. In 2019, she served as a judge at the US Universities Arabic Debating Championship in Harvard University, organized by Qatar Debate Center in the United States of America. In the past few years, she has been dedicated to helping Arab refugees integrate and assimilate in the new culture through her translation and interpretation skills.