Author Archives: lantzarielwriting

Book Club is Back!

Welcome back to a new semester students! Great news – Book Club will be resuming our weekly meetings! 

Come to an informational meeting next Thursday (20/02/14) at 11:30am in the English Department. At that meeting I will give information about what book club is, some exciting new changes from last semester, and we will vote on a time for our weekly meetings. 

Important: This is not the weekly meeting time for book club this semester, it is just the informational meetingIf you cannot attend the meeting this Thursday don’t worry – just check the website for updates or email me. 


Exciting Events at Dar America this Month!

Dar America has lots of great events for students this month. Here are a few that I think will be interesting to you… 

Your Five Steps to U.S. Study 
Friday February 14th at 16h
Saturday February 15th at 14:30h
Sunday February 23 at 14:30h 

Reading and Discussion: MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”
Saturday February 15th at 10h 

CorpsAfrica: A Moroccan Volunteer Opportunity
Tuesday February 18th at 16h 

Fulbright Opportunities for Moroccan Students
Wednesday February 19th at 16h 

U.S. Government Exchange Programs
Saturday February 15th at 16h 
Saturday February 22nd at 16h 

New York: America’s Melting Pot
Thursday February 20th at 16h 

For more events and information about Dar America, visit their Facebook page:

Free Online Courses at American Universities!

How would you like to take an online course from a world-renowned U.S. university—for free?


Dar America Casablanca is seeking Moroccans from all backgrounds to take free, online courses at Dar America, complemented with weekly group meetings.


Starting in mid-January, the U.S. Consulate in Casablanca’s American Center, Dar America, will be hosting three Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered by prominent U.S. universities. Discussion group members will watch course videos and complete readings/assignments at home, and then meet once a week at Dar America in Casablanca to discuss that week’s material.


The courses are:

1.  Sports and Society with Duke University

2. What’s Your Big Idea with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

3. Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms with Relay Graduate School of Education


Background Information

What is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)?
According to Wikipedia: “A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent development in distance education.”

 Who is eligible?
Anyone—regardless of age or educational background—is welcome to apply. The only requirement is proficiency in English. Motivated high school students, university students, professionals, lifelong learners, and more are all encouraged to apply.

What will I get out of this course?
Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certificate from and from the U.S. Consulate in Casablanca. You will also make valuable connections with other participants and the facilitators, deepen your understanding of the topic, and get first-hand experience with the U.S. university system. 

What are your responsibilities as a course participant?

  • ·         Complete all coursework/readings/assignments for the class prior to the discussion group.
  • ·         Attend all course meetings (8 meetings total for Sports and Society; 7 meetings total for What’s Your Big Idea; 5 meetings total for Teaching Character). Please note: In keeping with standard U.S. university practice, attendance policies will be strict and absences will only be excused at the discretion of the instructor in the case of emergencies.
  • ·         Be an active and engaged participant in course meetings.

How do I apply?
Fill out the application form for the course you are interested in by clicking on the link below. The deadline for applications is January 13.

 How can I find out more?
Attend an info session on Thursday, January 9 at 16:00 at Dar America. 

Please contact Angela Wyse at

What’s Your Big Idea? (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)

Course description: You want to make a difference in the world, and you’re not sure where to begin. You have an idea a day, but are they good ones? How do you turn those ideas into reality? We have started and sustained commercial, social, artistic, scientific and educational enterprises for most of our adult lives, so we’ve grappled with those same questions. This course will draw heavily from our experience and that of our three world-class guest entrepreneurs who will also share their insights. The goal of this course is to provide a practical framework for identifying a promising opportunity, assessing its impact, and then developing the idea to a point where it could become a sustainable enterprise. Whether your idea is commercial, artistic, scientific, or social, we’ll give you the specific tools you need to proceed. We’ll cover idea generation, marketing, strategy, financing and the all-important pitch. We’ll introduce you to a “lean start-up” methodology that will help you refine your idea with real-world tests. By the end of the last module you should be prepared to pursue your big idea.

Facilitator: Samir El-Aichaoui is currently the Managing Director of The Moroccan Center for Innovation, an institution dedicated to the development and promotion of innovation initiatives at the country level. From 1996 to 1998, he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology as a Fulbright Scholar.

More information:

Course dates: Meetings will take place every Wednesday from 5-6 PM, starting January 22 and continuing until March 5.

Apply here by January 13.


Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms (Relay Graduate School of Education)

Course description: Psychology, sociology, and neuroscience point to the existence of a set of developable character strengths that serve as building blocks for positive life outcomes. That’s why, in our view, character development and content mastery act as the two complementary halves of remarkable teaching. But they’re often perceived to be in competition. This course explores the interconnection between character research, education, and academic rigor. During our sessions, we’ll cover the field of positive psychology as it relates to character strengths, as well as the concepts of Growth Mindset, Constructive Responding, and Character Behavior Language. We will engage with the existing research, hear from eminent scholars in the field and top K-12 educators, and view footage of classroom teachers integrating these ideas into their classroom instruction. 

Facilitator: Abdelmoula Elkhdar has worked as an educator since 2003, including teaching students through the U.S. Department of State’s English Access program, serving as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Mississippi Valley State University from 2007 to 2008, and completing online teacher training courses through Kentucky Virtual Schools.

More information:

Course dates: Meetings will take place every Friday from 5-6 PM, starting February 14 and continuing until March 14. 

Apply here by January 13.


Sports and Society (Duke University)

Course description: Sports play a giant role in contemporary society worldwide. But few of us pause to think about the larger questions of money, politics, race, sex, culture, and commercialization that surround sports everywhere. This course draws on the tools of anthropology, sociology, history, and other disciplines to give you new perspectives on the games we watch and play. We will focus on both popular sports like soccer (or “football,” as anyone outside America calls it), basketball, and baseball, and also lesser-known ones like mountain-climbing and fishing. Special guests will include former major league baseball player and ESPN commentator Doug Glanville; leading sports journalist Selena Roberts; and sports studies experts David Goldblatt, Grant Farred, Dwayne Dixon, and Katya Wesolowski. You will never watch or think about sports in the same way again.

Facilitator: Nawal Ziad is currently a teacher at the American Language Center in Casablanca, where she is active in leading a number of clubs and students extracurricular programs. Additionally, she experienced U.S. sports culture firsthand while serving as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Birmingham-Southern College from 2009 to 2010.

More information:

Course dates: Meetings will take place on Tuesday, January 21 from 3:30-4:30, and then everyMonday from January 27 to March 10 from 5-6 PM.

Apply here by January 13.



Final Exam Information – Important!

I have just received confirmation that the final exam will take place on:
Wednesday January 8th from 16:30-18:30Room 35

As I stated before, if you miss the exam I will not allow you to take a make-up exam. Make-up exams are only for students who fail that first exam. Please be sure you can be there on the 8th at 16:30. 

This exam will be in paragraph format. You will be asked to spot and correct errors within paragraphs. There will be no questions about the essay – this exam will focus solely on the paragraph. The final question on the exam will ask you to write one narrative paragraph.

Paper dictionaries will be allowed. No electronic devices will be allowed. 
You may bring blank/lined paper (which will be checked by me) to help you brainstorming and drafting your paragraph. 

Please spread the word about the date and time of the final exam with your peers. 
Best of luck studying and I will see you on the 8th! 

Review Session

There will be a review session to help you revise for the exam on 
Tuesday (24/12/13) from 9-10:30am. 

I will be there to answer questions and I will give students a helpful revision packet with exercises to help you with studying. 

Please bring: 
– Past Grammar Homework Sheets: Subject-Verb Agreement, Punctuation, Tense Agreement. We will be correcting and reviewing these exercises in the review session. 
– Questions about the course content. 

See you then! 

Final Exam Information

The final exam will take place on: 
January 10th from 10:30-12:30. 
You will have two hours to complete the exam. 
This is our normal class time, so there should be no reason you cannot attend the exam. 
If you miss the exam, I will not allow you to take a make-up exam. Make-up exams are only for students who fail the first exam. You have three weeks of notice to make sure you can be there on the 10th, so please do. 

The exam will be in paragraph format. You will be asked to spot and correct errors within paragraphs. There will be no questions about the essay – this exam will focus solely on the paragraph. The final question on the exam will ask you to write one narrative paragraph

Paper dictionaries will be allowed. No electronic devices – no phones, computers, iPods, etc. 
You may being blank or lined paper (which will be checked by me) for drafting your paragraph. 

Topics to Review: 

Formal Diction
Run-On Sentences
Parts of a Paragraph
Writing Topic Sentences and Conclusion Sentences
Linking Words and Transitions
Stages of the Writing Process

If you have any questions, please email me. Good luck studying!