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Middle school students take in other cultures during Foreign Language Week

on March 15, 2016

During the week of March 7-11, students had the opportunity to learn about various international cultures and customs as a part of the middle school’s annual Foreign Language Week.

A student learns how to write in Chinese

Mr. Xiuquan Shi instructs a student in Chinese writing

Volunteers gave their time to speak with students in grades 5 through 8 about their own personal experiences abroad. Students learned about China, Canada and Estonia, to name a few, and discussed everything from language to immigration to the different cultural approaches to education.

Speakers also detailed some of the complexities in coming to the United States and the process of becoming an American citizen. Since most students have the option to take either Spanish or French in 7th and 8th grades, these languages were of particular focus in discussion. However, some presenters broadened the scope of conversation by discussing other languages, including sign language! Students were given a wide spectrum of experiences and perspectives of life outside the United States.

The culmination of Foreign Language Week was “Taste of the World” day – always a hit. Students were invited to the Dorothy Wilson Community Room, which was transformed into a restaurant setting filled with terrific aromas and the sound of jazz music. Students enjoyed dishes from all parts of the globe, courtesy of the many community and parent volunteers who brought in the different foods. A terrific end to a memorable week.

students are served food on Tasting Day  A student and his mom, who is of foreign descent

Students try foods from other countries  Students help themselves to food samples

A special ‘thank you’ to all who helped make this event a success, especially Ms. Eilleen Gagliano, who planned and coordinated the week’s events.

Thanks also to the following speakers, who dedicated hours of their time with the students: Ms. Lena Fahringer, Ms. Susanne Meyer-Fitzsimmons, Ms. Ania Neil, Mr. Xiuquan Shi, Mr. Christopher Smith, Ms. Tia Thomson and Mr. James Yap.

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