World Cinema Series offers glimpse into another world

Students visit before the movie hosted by the Chinese Department begins. Baylee VerSteeg | Multimedia Journalist

By Pablo Gonzales | Assistant News Editor

The World Cinema Series, sponsored by the Department of Modern Foreign Languages, held its last screening of the semester Tuesday night in Bennett Auditorium.

Every week, a film is shown from a different country in one of the languages that is taught in the department of modern foreign languages. According to the department of modern foreign languages website, the World Cinema Series is an ongoing series of international film screenings aimed at exposing students to other cultures and languages.

On Tuesday night, the series concluded with a screening of the film “Romance Out Of The Blue,” a romantic comedy from China. A professor from each language picks a movie to be shown in that language.

Senior lecturer in Chinese Holly Shi chose this particular film and believes that showing films like these helps students add to their learning in the classroom in a fun environment.

“Film is a great teaching and learning tool in foreign language education,” Shi said. “International movies expose students to the target language used in its natural setting and provide authentic language input to the learners. Movies in the target language help students develop cultural competency by allowing them to observe the lives of people in ‘real-world’ settings in the target culture.”

For many students in foreign language courses, these films provide a way to learn more about the culture that surrounds the language that they are studying.

For Leander senior Parth Amin, foreign films provide an inside look into life in another country and at the way that language changes depending on where it is spoken.

“I have really enjoyed the World Cinema series this year,” Amin said. “I have studied Italian at Baylor for three years and every time I watch a foreign film it’s like I’m seeing a whole new dimension of the language. I feel like as a foreign language learner, I have learned a lot in class, but I really enjoy hearing new languages in their natural context. With movies you get a chance to practice the language and add to your vocabulary.”

Lecturer in Spanish Dr. Rosario Colchero-Dorado and associate professor in French Dr. Christian Bratu organize the World Cinema Series every semester. They oversee the film selection and the scheduling for the events.

Colchero-Dorado said she enjoys organizing the World Cinema Series because it gets students out of their comfort zones and exposes them to a new and different application of a foreign language.

“Movies communicate a different aspect of culture and language,” Colchero-Dorado said. “It is important for students to be exposed to different perspectives and stories to see the way that people live in other parts of the world. Most of the time when you go to watch a movie, you know what you’re going to see. But when you go to a foreign movie, you don’t know exactly what you’re going to see and for 90 minutes, you can step out of your comfort zone and enter a new world.”

The World Cinema Series will resume next semester starting the first week of classes. For a complete list of the film screenings, visit the Department of Modern Foreign Languages website.