August 2010 

Registration is in Full Swing

As you register, please read the class descriptions carefully, and look at
the self-assessment and/or prerequisites on the website, which appear below
the schedule on the "CLASSES" tab. We have added these to help students
decide where they should be placed. We have made some exciting changes. The
Spanish book is new and there are curriculum and schedule changes in the
Italian Department. (See below.*) Also, an Italian travel class is under
consideration. If you or someone you know would be interested, let a board
member know. Phone numbers are below.

Remember there is a $10 discount for registering early; to qualify, your
payment must be postmarked no later than Sept 1. For your convenience there
is a secured credit card option, which carries an additional charge of five
dollars (PayPal).

Students are encouraged to purchase their books through the website, which
does not cost members anything additional, but the club gets a tiny
percentage from Amazon. Also, all of the links on the "BOOKS" page assure
that you are ordering the correct edition of the text for your class. You
may find a great deal on an alternate textbook edition, but don't be tempted
to substitute or you will be "on the wrong page" all year in class!

Note: Remember that there will be no orientation event held this fall for
registration. If you have questions, the individuals to call for each
language are:

French - Barbara Shaw

Italian - Emily Wilhite

Spanish - Doug Eikerman

Help Us Spread the Word

Word of mouth is our best source of new members. We hope that you are
telling all your friends about La Causerie. If you have volunteered to
distribute materials to promote La Causerie, thanks! Please check the
locations you have offered to cover to be sure you have the materials. Judy
Pearlstein can get you more, if you need them.

If you are a Facebook user, join our new Facebook page and post a message
about our classes to your friends. You'll have to spell our name correctly
to find it (La Causerie Francaise). Then find the SHARE button on the lower
left hand side of the page. This will post our page for all your friends to

Spanish Textbooks

Our new textbook is Asi Es, the 4th edition. We have good news about the
price. Although we encourage using Amazon, President Martha Hogerty has
found an unbelievable deal on the textbook at bookbyte. They have numerous
copies of Asi Es, for under $10 with shipping included. You will find both
bookbyte and Amazon links on the website under books.

The workbook/lab manual is optional for Doug Eikerman's classes. There are
two editions and either is okay.

New Italian Teacher

We have a new Italian teacher, Eduardo Pepe, a native of Turin, Italy.
Eduardo is fluent in Italian, as well as Spanish and English.

His family moved to Mexico in 1986, when his father, an employee of Fiat,
was transferred there. Eduardo graduated from high school and college in
Mexico. He continued Italian studies at Dante Aleghieri (International
system for Italian study abroad). Though he does not claim fluency French,
he has studied it and does speak some French.

He is delighted to be associated with La Causerie and we are delighted to
have him. Please welcome him when classes begin.

New Treasurer

We are very happy to have Christie Lohmeyer as our new Board Treasurer.
Christie is a Spanish student who has been a member of La Causerie for the
past two years. Christie graciously volunteered for this position.

We are thankful to Monaem Elhawari for his contributions the past few
months. He is unable to continue because of computer conflicts, a problem
that most of us can empathize with.

Summer Luncheon and Tour a Success

About 35 members and their guests enjoyed a visit to the national World War
I museum at Liberty Memorial on July 14. It is the nation's most extensive
collection of artifacts, photography, art and narratives of World War I in a
single collection. We were lucky to have a tour led by Carl DiCapo, who is
very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the World War I exhibits. We are
thankful to Joan Adam for arranging the event.

*Italian curriculum

Changes to the Italian Curriculum

As you register for Italian classes this fall, please take note that some
important adjustments have been made to our Italian classes at Level III and
above. Please consider these enhancements as you register, as they may
change your thinking about where you will have the greatest success.

. Italian III Grammar has been expanded to 1.5 hours per week and will
complete the entire textbook, building upon the foundations established in
Levels I and II. The class finishes the remaining verb tenses and covers
other more advanced aspects of Italian grammar. We will expand our
vocabulary and communication skills to include a wider array of topics. A
large portion of the class will be held in Italian and there will be ample
opportunity for the students to practice their own speaking skills. Students
who have not mastered the contents of the entire textbook are encouraged to
take Level III Grammar, which has been considerably upgraded and expanded by
a half hour in length this school year.

. Italian III Conversation centers on practicing the grammatical tools
learned in Italian I and II, combined with use of the concepts learned each
week in Italian III Grammar. We will focus our discussion on
level-appropriate reading material or selected topics to be prepared before
class. Students will have the opportunity to take turns practicing creating
sentences and conversing with each other using the concepts we focus on each
week. The goal of this class is to gain verbal mastery over individual
concepts and to use them to build larger conversations.

. Italian IV Advanced Grammar will be conducted exclusively in Italian.
Members taking this course should have completed Level III, or its
equivalent (i.e. completed the entire textbook) and have attained a
comprehensive foundation in Italian grammar. Grammar study presented in
Italian IV Conversation will address complex issues not covered in the
textbook, with some review of the most advanced topics. The course will use
newspaper articles, news videos, short stories, and magazine articles, which
will be distributed in advance. Members will have the opportunity to do any
necessary research or translation at home in order to come to class fully
prepared to be engaged in Italian only discussion.

. Italian IV Conversation Members taking this course must feel
comfortable carrying the weight of a complex conversation, with a firm
foundation in advanced grammatical construction. Communication will be
exclusively in Italian. The main goal of this course is to maintain and
improve the members' fluency and competence in speaking and understanding
Italian. While some reading "on topic" may be assigned as preparation for
class, the course is mainly oriented toward spontaneous and impromptu

On the website under the Classes tab, you'll find Italian Self-Assessment
Tests to help you to determine which classes are most appropriate for you.
If you have further questions, contact Emily Wilhite.

Executive Board Members 2009-2010

President Martha Hogerty

1st Vice President (Membership Chair) Inez Pennington

2nd Vice President (Social Chair) Joan Adam

Secretary Gail Clair

Assistant Secretary (Newsletter) Judy Pearlstein

Treasurer Christie Lohmeyer

Assistant Treasurer (Textbook Chair) Dalene Bradford