October 2004 Newsletter

We are off to an exciting start this year! We have new staff, books, interactive CDROMs, teaching strategies, trips, etc. We are always striving to enhance your child's experience in the classroom, and now more than ever, we are offering experiences beyond the classroom so they can make connections between language, culture and the world around them.


Mme Sylvestre has French 3 students studying all about giving directions, parts of the car and expressing impatience and reassurance. Along with role-playing in the classroom to bring all of these expressions to life, the students are creating a mini-version of an owner's manual of a passenger vehicle of their choice. Students are working in groups to do this and the manuals will then be displayed on the bulletin board outside of the French Classroom.


Frau Fromhein, our German teacher, attended the Deutsche Woche at the College on the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, from July 4th - 10th. The Goethe Institute and the German Consulate in Boston sponsor the Deutsche Woche. The topic for study and discussion was "Presentation of Fairy Tales and Legends in German Language Classes". Professors of German conducted the seminar series, offered numerous classroom applications with an emphasis on interactive student learning and gave the participants opportunities to create, present and critique their own ideas for lesson plans. It was a challenging week of intensive studies in which not one minute was wasted! She has begun to implement her ideas in the classroom by developing new performance assessments.


Our newest teacher, Katie Barrow, comes to us loaded with enthusiasm and resources. Katie's grandmother was a high school Spanish teacher and her room is filled with realia from all over the world. Her experiences in Spain help balance our department's perspectives between Spain and Latin America.

We are excited to have begun using the second level ¡Ven Conmigo! series of books this year. This will help our students make a smoother transition between levels in Spanish. Included in our purchase were new interactive CDROMs to use in our language lab - just one more way we try to integrate technology and curriculum.

Spanish teacher organized a special treat for our students in October. She brought in her father-in-law to make a presentation and be interviewed by our students. Santiago Martinez founded and is the director of an orphanage in Honduras. Students prepared questions and had a lengthy conversation with him in Spanish about his life and work in Honduras.

Student Pat Di Biasi stepped into Spanish III. Almost immediately he remembered the TPR-S verbs Señora Cruise had introduced last year! With a single gesture, classmate Mateo gave him a hint. Pat was speaking Spanish again before the review sessions had even started! Señora Cruise uses Total Physical Response-Storytelling in her Spanish II and III classes. She knows the benefits of reading stories and listening and creating them. Students have been reading short novels as a review at the beginning of the year.

TPR-S is learning language through stories. The target language can be internalized naturally. The method enhances long-term memory retention since the words are acquired contextually as opposed to memorized.

Sr. Jannke's Spanish class organized and performed an authentic quinceañera, a "sweet 15" birthday party. Students researched the tradition and planned the event. Students taught themselves how to dance and play traditional music. One of the highlights was watching students perform a Spanish Waltz on the guitar while their peers danced. Students spoke Spanish during the whole event, too!

Beyond the Classroom

We are thrilled that Spanish teacher June Froh is organizing students to participate in the annual statewide poetry recitation contest. Last year our students took 1st place in Spanish 3, Spanish 4 and German 4.

Sr. Jannke will be taking his Spanish II classes to Spanish Harlem in December to experience art and dance. Students will speak Spanish in a restaurant where no one speaks English.

And last but not least our most exciting news; (French) and (German) have worked incredibly hard to restart our international programs.

Students taking French in either 1st or 2nd semester have the opportunity to travel to Québec over President's Day Weekend. Students will travel by motor coach to Québec City on Friday night. Saturday, they will learn about the history of the lovely province and discover the historical places in the city. They will also experience a traditional Québécois meal including music and dancing at a Cabane à Sucre. Students also will enjoy a scavenger hunt at a local store and partake in a British tea ceremony. They will additionally enjoy snow tubing at the wonderful Village des Sports recreation center. This is an opportunity for students to truly use the language that they are learning in the classroom.

We are offering GAPP to Germany again! Beginning in 1992, LHS students, enrolled in German, had the unique opportunity to participate in GAPP, the German-American Partnership Program, sponsored by the Goethe Institute in New York City. During their stay in Germany, the students lived with German families, attended classes at our partner school, the Sportschule Frankfurt an der Oder in the state of Brandenburg, and traveled to Berlin, Dresden, Weimar, etc. as well as to Bavaria and the Black Forest. In return, their LHS partners hosted students from the Sportschule. These academic exchanges were indeed high points in the study of German at LHS.

The tragic events of 9/11 halted GAPP. At last, however, permission has been granted again to resume this program and Frau Fromhein is eagerly planning the GAPP 2005 Trip. LHS students, having completed at least one year of German may now apply for the GAPP. The first informational LHS-GAPP'05 Parent Meeting is on Tuesday, 11.09.04, at 7:30pm, LHS in Rm.216.

We are striving to improve your child's experience with languages and cultures in so many ways and we thank you for your incredible support!