February 2007 Newsletter


Study Aids


We’ve been asking members for ideas about how they extend their foreign language practice beyond the Friday classes. Here are some great ideas:


Carolyn Skelton recommends making one of these your home page: 





Carolyn says that having the French Yahoo site pop up each day encourages her to read in her language of study regularly. She also says that the language is a little simpler here than it is at some other foreign language sites she’s perused.  Another thing she enjoys are the short interviews that can be downloaded, played and replayed to practice listening skills and master comprehension.


Marcia Bailey recommends learning a foreign language using songs like those on Musica Italiana:  http://italiasempre.com/verita/mp3_1.htm .  When you click on a song, it is played and sung in Italian.  What a lovely way to learn!  Anybody know of a site like this in French or Spanish?


The Lied and Arts Song Text website has text versions of thousands of songs in our three languages (and more). You can find it at http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/  


Other members suggest children’s songs as a great way to build vocabulary and practice speaking.  Check out http://ingeb.org/catfr.html and there you’ll find songs in our languages (and the English translation as well).


If you have learning tips like these to share, send them to Dalene Bradford at dbradford@kc.rr.com and we’ll share them with the group.


Spring Break


As usual, the schedule of events for the next two months is listed at the end of the newsletter.  However, we wanted to draw special attention to our “spring break.”  Classes will not be held on Friday, March 23, 2007.


Have a suggestion related to your class?

Then tell your department chair.  Contact information is available in the Livret.

  • Italian – Carol Dirkes                 
  • French – Peggy Rooney              
  • Spanish – Annette Howard         




Do you want to expand on your La Causerie learning with a private tutor? Whether you’ve fallen a bit behind,or are really motivated to get ahead, local tutors are available to help you out. 


Here is a list of some tutors who are available to work with you (for a fee, of course). You can also ask any of our teachers (some of whom are listed).  Check your Livret for contact information or ask an officer for help locating them.


Our own Nina Mehta-Young tutors at her house in Brookside.


Native speaker, La Causerie prof (and UMKC Italian professor) Tiziano Cherubini tutors at his apartment. 

LCF member Dawn Mattera Young offers Italian tutoring at an agreeable place (such as a library). 


LCF professora Martha Penaherrera offers tutoring in Spanish at an agreeable place. 


LCF member Chris Kline offers tutoring in French. 


Kate White, former LCF professeur, offers tutoring in French. Kate also does court interpreting and translation.


Election of Officers


On Friday, April 27 La Causerie will hold its Annual Business Meeting, including election of officers for the upcoming year.


We are seeking interested members to assume roles on the board.  It is always good to have new energy in our leadership and several current board members have served full terms of office. 


If you are willing to serve on the board, please let one of our board members know.  You can find the list of current officers later in the newsletter.


Spanish Film Festival


The Seville Committee of Sister City Association in collaboration with the UMKC Foreign Languages Department presents the IV Spanish Film Festival, featuring Classics of the Spanish Cinema.  


All films are show in Spanish with English subtitles.  They are free and open to the public.

The films are shown at  UMKC, 800 East 52nd Street (Royall Hall Room 111) at 3 p.m. on these days (with commentary following):


February 11       “Carmen”

February 18       La linea del cielo (Skyline)

February 25       “Demonios en el jardin” (Demons in the Garden”

March 4            “Sal gorda” (Coarse Salt)


Can you help?


Each week Veronica Bergonzoni sets up for classes at the church.  It’s a big job that goes much easier when a couple of volunteers pitch in.  She has a special need for help on February 23 and March 16 when she will be out of town.


You don’t have to do the whole thing…just arrive a little early and set up the white boards, help put up chairs and a host of other little things that make it possible for you to take part in your classes.  You can also do set-up on Thursday afternoon if that works for you.


Please let Veronica know when you can help.  You can sign up at the coffee service table or contact her using information in your Livret.


Snow Policy


La Causerie Française follows the Shawnee Mission School District practice on snowy or icy days.  If the Shawnee Mission District closes its schools due to bad weather, La Causerie will also be closed.  In case of inclement weather, please listen to the list of school closings on television and radio or check the SMSD’s website.


February and March Calendar


Feb. 9            Classes Meet  Spanish Program at Noon (TBA)

Feb. 16          Classes Meet  French Program at Noon (TBA)

Feb 23           Classes meet  Italian Program at Noon (TBA)

March 2        Classes meet

March 9        Classes Meet  Spanish program (TBA)

March 16      Classes meet  French Program (TBA)

March 23 Spring break—No classes held

March 30      classes meet  Italian Program (TBA)


Is there a facilities issue you want to report?

Then please tell a board member, rather than someone who works at the church.  The church asks that La Causerie issues, suggestions and requests be funneled through Inez.