New program provides cultural outreach to high school students

“One benefit I gained from studying abroad [in Costa Rica] was the ability to experience and understand a different way of life that people have but still appreciate it and learn from it,” senior Sydney Waite said.

Waite is the leader of the Modern Language Department’s new outreach program called Language in Motion.

Language in Motion is a new Linfield community engagement program that was started in April 2013. The program is part of the Northwest consortium, which is made up of a group of colleges in the Northwest that participate in Language in Motion.

The group consists of Linfield College, Pacific University and Lewis and Clark College are the leading colleges of the program.

The consortium founded the program with a grant from Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, which helps fund private higher education along with other interests that include secondary education, health care, religion and public television.

The program’s mission, according to the web page, says that it “enriches, and energizes [foreign] language and culture teaching and learning through educational outreach and professional development opportunities.”

But for now, Linfield College is doing outreach at McMinnville High School. Masayuki Itomitsu, assistant professor of Japanese and co-leader of the program along with Spanish professor Violeta Ramsay, said that the goal is to expand Language in Motion to other high schools in neighboring towns.

The program’s aims to “inspire local high school students to learn another language and study abroad,” Itomitsu said.

The program unites colleges and public schools, allowing college students to do outreach that will hopefully lead to creating connections between college and high school students, increasing the high school students interest in language and culture by demonstrating the benefits of attending college,

learning and studying abroad.

“As a whole, the program hopes to spread the importance of language and culture in our society today and also the importance of experiences in other countries and with other languages and cultures,” Waite said.

Part of Waite’s job is to recruit student volunteers and to prepare and give presentations at local high schools or organizations to share her abroad experience.

Mariah Gonzales / Culture editor

Mariah Gonzales can be reached at