Category Archives: News

French Scrabble!

french scrabble

In addition to Spanish and Italian Scrabble, the LRC now has French Scrabble! It’s a great way to practice spelling and vocabulary while having lots of fun, regardless of level.

You can play the same way as English Scrabble, with 2-4 players and words placed horizontally or vertically, players rotate turns, the game ends when all letters in the bag have been used and once one player finishes all of their letters. For a fun, new twist on a classic, you can incorporate the “tulies spéciales”. Each player gets three of the special tiles to use in addition to the normal 7. One of these three functions the same as the blank tile, but is worth 3 points, while the other two can be used to claim empty spaces for your next turn. There is also a variation for team play.

If you’re a French beginner, use a dictionary while you play to learn new words! Come down to the LRC to play! Jouons!

New Game at the LRC: Italian Scrabble


The LRC has now added the Italian Scrabble board game to its extensive collection of novels, dictionaries, computer games, and board games. You are encouraged to visit the LRC and play Italian Scrabble, regardless of your fluency level in Italian. Playing Scrabble is a fun and easy way to practice your Italian!

The Italian version of Scrabble has the same rules as English Scrabble: 2-4 players (giocatori), words must be horizontally or vertically placed, each player gets one turn, the game ends when all letters in the bag have been used, and once one player finishes all of their letters.

Feel free to stop by the LRC and play a game of Italian Scrabble with your friends!

Spanish Scrabble!!

Scrabble Post

That’s right! We now have a Spanish edition of Scrabble available to play with during office hours at the LRC! It’s a great way to practice your Spanish vocabulary & spelling with friends and peers!

The game has the same rules as English Scrabble: 2-4 players, words must be horizontally or vertically placed, each player gets one turn, the game ends when all letters in the bag have been used, and once one player finishes all of their letters. What’s new about this edition? It includes every letter in the Spanish alphabet such as: Ñ, RR, and LL !

Just because you aren’t fluent doesn’t mean you can’t play! If you’re a Spanish beginner, you could be to use a dictionary whilst you play and learn new words! So come on over! Vengan a jugar!

New game at the LRC: Dixit

dixit box

We have a fun new game in the LRC that can be played in any language! Dixit uses beautifully illustrated cards that players then have to either describe or match to another player’s description. We encourage you to use your second (or third, or fourth) language to play Dixit. Beginners can use single word descriptors and advanced language learners can put together an entire story about their card if they want.

One player chooses a card from their hand and, without showing the other players, gives a clue about the card. This clue can be a direct description, a proverb that relates to it, a story, a pop-culture reference… Anything goes as long as you use your language skills. Let’s use the following three cards as examples:

footstepsfuture picgood and evil

Left: 黒いです
Kuroi desu
It’s black

Middle: 未来の写真
Mirai no shashin
Picture of the future

Right: 時間が眠っているあいだ、二つの大きいな力が戦っている
Jikan ga netteiru aida, futatsu no ookiina chikara ga tatakatteiru
While time sleeps, the two great powers fight

These examples are in Japanese, but Dixit can be played in any language. Even if you only know a few words, you can try something like the first example. If you don’t know a word that you want to use, there’s no shame in looking it up. Rather, it’s an excellent way to supplement your vocabulary. Then you can teach the new word(s) to someone else! You could also try playing in pairs or teams. Two heads are better than one! You can work together to come up with something more correct or complex in your target language. Team members can also work together to figure out what the clue means in English. Then they can better match one of their cards to the clue and play it.

Once all the players/teams have submitted a card that they think matches the clue, all the cards are revealed. Everyone then votes on the card that they think the clue was originally based on. Scoring is based on how many people find that card.

Dixit can be played with as few as 3 people (with some minor adjustments) according to the traditional rules. However, you could also just use the cards to practice vocabulary, creating sentences, or other oral skills on your own or with only one friend. Try drawing a card and making up a story to go with it, or identifying all the visual attributes of the card. Beginners can try naming all the colors used, nouns, or something that uses equally basic language skills. You can do this individually or team up with a friend to help each other and check each other’s work. Alternately, try telling each other stories based on the cards and see if your partner can understand. If one of you is artistic, you could even describe the card and have your partner draw it.

You can also use Dixit to practice dictation. While one player gives their hint or describes the card orally, the other player(s) write what they hear. This could be especially useful for languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic which have writing systems other than the Roman alphabet that English uses.

Dixit is incredibly flexible, with so many different ways to play, it can be both fun and educational for all language learners regardless of skill or language. Come try it out!

Der Mauerfall von Gettysburg College: Reflections on the Fall of the Berlin Wall at Gettysburg College

I may not have been there for the fall of the wall, I may have been only a distant twinkle in the sky of my parents’ eyes, and yet, through the eyes of my professors and words of my books, I can feel a sense of connection, of shared emotion, at what remains a pivotal moment of recent German history, memory, and culture.

The 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall events hosted by the Gettysburg College Dept. of German Studies sought to do exactly the opposite. Although a wall was built, it did not seek to exclude, but rather to include. Kicking off a week-long celebration, students, faculty, and administrators from across campus were invited to help construct the wall in Musselman Library from 12-1pm on Monday, November 2nd. Constructing the wall out of cardboard boxes and tape, community members elicited a number of perplexed stares and confused glances from students expecting the library to be full, but not of a construction crew.



Building the wall seemed like a game, something comical, but, when I stop and think back on my experience of ripping tape and fitting together boxes, it created much more. I was a part of a community, and we were doing something together –something to make us US. Although we laughed, and graffitied everything from penguins and light-hearted messages to profound thoughts on our wall, I found myself to be deconstructed by it, by the process of stacking, drawing, creating.

Who was I to build this wall? What right did I have to create a barrier between students and their much needed open space in the library? Our wall could be moved by two people using only three fingers; it stood five boxes tall and eight boxes long. So small, when compared with the mammoth structure built, first in secret, by the German Democratic Republic (GDR). We did not start at night, we began and ended in the daylight, our purposes opposite of back then.

Night did play a role in our celebration. Throughout the week, a video of images and facts about the Berlin wall played on the side of Pennsylvania Hall.








Again seeking to cross boundaries and be inclusive, Tuesday evening’s event brought current and former faculty members to the Junction in order to remember the Wall and what it meant. The evening began with a short film shot and edited by Prof. Henning Wrage, originally from the former East Germany.

Afterwards, an audience of students sat and listened to an enlightening series of readings performed by Henning Wrage, Eric Scheufler, and Laurel Cohen (German Studies), Arthur McCardle and Michael Ritterson (formerly of German Studies), William Bowman* (History), Radost Rangelova (Spanish), Joseph Brandauer (Health Sciences) and Sandra Tausel (German Studies TA), both of whom are from Austria, and Alan Perry (Italian Studies). Flags of both nations flew behind them, willing their audience to remember another time.

Our Tuesday evening of powerful reflection was followed by an insightful, lunchtime panel discussion about the Fall of the Berlin Wall in a global context. Joined by faculty members Nina Barzachka and Robert Bohrer (Political Science), Susan Chen (Asian Studies), Abou Bamba (History), Alvaro Kaempfer (Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies/Globalization Studies), and Henning Wrage (German Studies), German Studies engaged in a dialogue about the purpose of the Berlin Wall and the ramifications of its fall on various countries.

Thursday evening, students of German gathered together to watch Das Versprechen (The Promise), a 1995 film which chronicles the fictional lives of two characters separated by the building of the wall.

Friday, Nov. 7th, found Prof. Cohen translating during a skype interview with Dirk Moldt, a former Wall protester and demonstration organizer. Much of his discussion centered around the role of the Wall as a symbol of oppression.

Sunday, events drew to a close with the tearing down of the wall; a catharsis for students, faculty, and staff who had viewed it with a mixture of mirth, apprehension, and confusion.





As we tore down our wall, destroying any reminders that it once caused a division, Berlin remembered in its own way. Creating a wall of light, the city once again remembered its division, choosing to release balloons into the sky, a signal of letting go of the pain. As Prof. Laurel Cohen wrote in an email to her students, “This event changed the world you live in today…“ and it has. For those of us not old enough to remember the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the German Studies Dept. gave us a chance to create our own memories, to experience –in part– the emotion accompanying such a momentous event.

Walls are built and torn down every day, but that does not mean that we should forget that they splinter; they divide. Twenty-five years ago, on Nov. 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, opening the dividing line between two halves of a whole, reuniting pieces of land and family members. Two countries once again became one. Almost immediately after the Fall of the Wall, another wall was built –this time between the United States and Mexico; another wall, the Security Fence/Apartheid Wall surrounds the West Bank. It is almost as if the world could not go on without walls. Each was built in order to keep people out, but a wall does more than that. A wall sets up dichotomies: what is over THERE is bad which makes us good; what is over THERE is dangerous which makes US safe and protected behind OUR wall. It seeks not only to exclude people, but their ideas, their culture, their languages.

I may not have been there for the fall of the wall, I may have been only a distant twinkle in the sky of my parents’ eyes, and yet, through the eyes of my professors and words of my books, I feel a sense of connection, of shared emotion, at what is a pivotal moment of German history, memory, and culture.

For another take on the events, please see Stephany Harrington’s reflective piece from The Gettysburgian.
For more information and an “insider look“ at the Fall of the Berlin Wall, please check out these recently released NSA documents. Many Thanks to Prof. Abou Bamba of the Gettysburg College History Dept. for drawing my attention to these documents.
*Prof. William Bowman’s insightful reading was published on Sunday, Nov. 9th in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
For more information about post-war culture, please see Paul Hockenos’s article from the Boston Review.

Photo Credit goes to the German Studies Dept. and Prof. Henning Wrage.

More photos, links, and videos can be found at the German Studies webpage and at the German Studies Facebook Page

LRC Workshop – Digital Storytelling

Thank you to those who attended the second LRC faculty workshop of the fall.

In about 45 minutes, I explained what digital storytelling is and how and why you might want to use it in your classroom. We also had hands-on practice using two tools: VoiceThread and YouTube.

If you were unable to make it to the workshop, you can still access the materials, which are all linked from a Google Doc.

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the next workshop!

Betsy Lavolette

Betsy Lavolette is the director of the Gettysburg College Language Resource Center.

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LRC Workshop – CLEAR’s Audio Dropbox, Video Dropbox, and Conversations

Thank you to those who attended the first LRC faculty workshop of the fall.

In about 45 minutes, I covered three tools from the Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR): Audio Dropbox, Video Dropbox, and Conversations. These tools are free, easily to embed in Moodle, and allow students to record audio or video directly in a web browser. For more about these tools, please check out the following article:
Rich Internet Applications: Overview, Audio Dropbox, Conversations

If you were unable to make it to the workshop, you can still access the materials:

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the next workshop!

Betsy Lavolette

Betsy Lavolette is the director of the Gettysburg College Language Resource Center.

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LRC Student Staff Member: Yifeng Chen


The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members.

Hi, i’m Yifeng Chen, a sophomore Mathematics major from China, which is the world’s most populous country with over 1.35 billion people. China is also a historical country containing a long history over 5000 years as well as modern facilities. I speak Chinese, Japanese, English and I am currently learning French. I interested in math, Japanese, computer science and traveling around the world. In addition to studying at Gettysburg College, I also work in LRC as a student staff member.

For traveling around the world, I have visited lots of countries in Asia including Japan, North Korea, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. I also visited some countries in Europe, for example, Germany, Italy, France and Monaco. Unfortunately, I have never been in Africa before, but it is on my wish list.

In 2012, I went to Japan with my friends and i found Japan is a really cool country with traditional Chinese culture as well as modern facilities. After traveling in Japan, I started to study Japanese in order to get better experience next time when I visit Japan. The most stunning thing in Japan is the fantastic public transportation. Compared with Amtrak, the Shinkansen train can run about 200miles per hour and is the world’s busiest high-speed rail line. More importantly, Japanese rail way system reaches almost every city and towns, which means people can take trains to anywhere in Japan.

During this summer, I volunteered to take care of patients in a hospital in China.  Duties are simple, for ​example, checking monitoring equipment, helping patients to check in and out and assisting patients to walk around. I have learned a lot from it,which is to be patient and be careful.

In the future, I’m going yo continue my study of Math and Computer Science and go to a grad school for a higher education and I’m also on my way to travel around the world.

LRC Student Staff Member: Katie Hanson

The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members.

はじめまして! I’m Katie Hanson, a senior Japanese Studies major originally from Wilton, CT, also known as the town “Stepford Wives” was based on (I promise it’s not like that anymore!). I took my first language class in 3rd grade and proceeded to study French through the remainder of elementary and middle school. In high school I switched from French to Latin, but was forced to cut my studies short my sophomore year after moving to New York. In the absence of a formal language class, I began studying Japanese on my own, though I’ll admit to not learning much that way. Thus when I came to Gettysburg, I enrolled in Japanese 101 and have been studying the language ever since. My sophomore year I also picked up Arabic 101.

Last semester I studied abroad in Japan at Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata City, Osaka Prefecture. While there I explored both Kyoto and Osaka, took a trip to Hiroshima to listen to a lecture by an atomic bomb survivor, and over spring break went snowboarding in the Japanese Alps.

I’m involved in the Women’s choir (we’re doing some awesome pieces in Inuit and Creole this semester, come see our concert on 11/22!), the fencing club, Sigma Alpha Iota (all-women’s music fraternity), MEIS house, the PLA program for Japanese 101, and the local Episcopal church. Between my various musical endeavors, I’ve performed music in over 10 different languages.

In the future, I would like to continue my study of Japanese, Arabic, and French as well as learn Greek, Korean, and Spanish. Eventually I would like to go to grad school for a master’s in international affairs or education and work in the realm of international education.

LRC Student Staff Member: An Sasala


The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members.

Hallo! Hola! Hi! My name is An Sasala; I am a senior from Cleveland, OH with a double major in German Studies and Spanish/Latin American/Caribbean/Latino Studies with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. As if that was not already enough, I fill up the rest of my time with long (and by that I mean short) naps, homework, the Women’s Rugby Team, tutoring for German 101 and 103, and being a Tour Guide for the Office of Admissions (plus a gajillion other things, but nobody wants a laundry list!).

This is my third year working for the LRC providing focused language assistance for individuals interested in learning German, Spanish, Yiddish, or Dutch. Not only will my smiling face and mass of curly hair greet you at the front desk when you check in, but the LRC is full of what else: Language Resources. Our library is full of manga, novels, and dictionaries in various languages; board games abound; and we even got some nice comfy chairs over the summer that are great when you need to practice conjugating all those verbs.

Language has always been a passion of mine, and helping other grow beyond the constraints of knowing only one tongue remains one of my highest goals. Being a double language major comes with a lot of scoffing. ‚Oh, what an easy course load you must have!‘ ‚Languages, that’s easy, right?!‘ If you think languages are easy, I double doggy dare you to sit in an upper level German grammar class; it is JUST as difficult as economics or physics, and every bit as applicable to real life. However, just like I need the basic functions of a calculator explained to me over and over, some people need a helping hand with languages. My hand (and my shoulder if conditional tenses make you want to cry) is here to help you along whether it is finishing that German Movie Maker Project, or picking up some basic Portuguese. Remember: Se puede! Es wird besser!​

p.s. The picture is of me with Mozart while in Vienna during my second semester abroad in Berlin, Germany; one of the most famous German/Austrian chocolates are the delicious Mozarkügeln! (I went to Valparaíso, Chile my sophomore year!)