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Kelsey Donk

Holland, MI
Study Abroad:
Clermont-Ferrand, France (extended term)
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Dark chocolate
Best Adjective to Describe You:

In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
French is so full of warmth, encouragement and learning!

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
At first, I joined the French department for a very simple reason: because I’d done French in high school. I stayed because I learned so much more than I had in high school and it was so interesting to me. The professors are incredible and the material is fascinating. I haven’t gone a quarter without taking a French class.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Learn as much as you can from your professors, take tons of notes, and do the reading more than once. When you read something twice, everything becomes so much clearer! Take advantage of office hours and don’t be afraid to speak in class. Everyone wants to hear what you have to say!

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
I’m a ballet dancer, and almost all dance words come from French. The same goes for cooking and baking, two things I absolutely adore. The French do it best! You see the whole world differently once you start a second language.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
The most valuable thing I’ve learned at K is the ability to take control of my own learning—both inside and outside of the classroom. I’ve learned that I’m in charge of what I do and how I do it. Everyone has his or her own way, and K helps you develop your abilities and interests in a very personal sense!

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
My favorite class at K was Food and Travel Writing with Dr. Marin Heinritz. In this English class, I was able to merge my interests in French and food. I learned how to write about food in English and this helped me, strangely, talk about food in French! Remember that at K, all subjects intersect somehow.

What is your SIP?
My SIP is about French adolescents and their motivations for learning English. I’m working as an English teaching assistant in France this summer and interviewing English teachers about their students. I’m trying to figure out which types of English learning motivations lead to the best learning outcomes.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
After K, I’m still not quite sure what I’m going to do. My hope is to return to France to teach. I’d like to go to school to become an English language teacher.

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