BHS World Language Students and Teachers Connecting with Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia
BHS French Exchange
Over two weeks in mid-October, 27 BHS French students welcomed 27 French students and 3 teachers from Angers, France in the Loire Valley. The student hosts bonded with their counterparts over pizza, bowling, and other fun activities typical for Brookline teenagers. During the school day, the French students visited Boston, rejoining BHS students later in the day to attend volleyball games and rehearsal for the Shakespeare play.
The American students will come together again with their French 'brothers and sisters' during February vacation when they visit France. In the morning, students will attend classes at the local lycée, while in the afternoon they will visit chateaux, museums, and even a private session like a local baker making baguette and pain au chocolat. , The Brookline group will spend a second week visiting historic and cultural sites in both Normandy and Paris.
The BHS French Exchange has happened every other year since it began in 2010. Jen Martin (Social Studies/SWS), Laura Gurry (French) and Andrew Kimball (French/Spanish) lead the program.
During the first week in November, BHS Spanish classes had the chance to work with and learn from Cuban musician, David Oquendo. Made possible by a BHS PTO grant, the Spanish Level 2 classes and other students spent a week learning about the rhythms, instruments, and influences of Cuban music. Mr. Oquendo provided presentations and hands-on lessons about how to play different instruments such as bongos, claves, and guiros. The weeklong program was part of a unit dedicated to Latino-American and Caribbean music and culture, which also included biographies of musicians from these regions. What did the students think of this experience? Here’s what a few of the students had to say about about their experience working with Mr. Oquendo:
- “I really liked hearing David come in and play music in general and this helped me get more excited about learning about Spanish music in class. I really liked how he showed people how to play the traditional instruments and how he had everyone play together. I hope he comes back soon!”
- “I really enjoyed the activities with David Oquendo. It was really fun and made this whole unit feel more personal. I enjoyed being able to play the instruments ourselves and feel like we, the students, can play the music. Overall it was a lot of fun!”
- “It was so much fun. Definitely one of the best weeks of Spanish.”
- “¡Me gustó mucho! Fue muy divertido para tocar música, algo diferente que usualmente hacemos. Yo aprendí mucho sobre la música y también Cuba y la música caribeña.”
BHS Japan Day
Each year, the Japanese program at BHS participates in Japan Day to give our students an opportunity to get to know students who also study Japanese in other New England Schools. This year, Japan Day was held on November 9th at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and provided an opportunity for BHS students to practice their speaking skills and learn more about Japanese culture outside of the typical classroom setting. The Consulate General of Japan was and teachers and administrators from participating schools joined the students for the day.
The day began with performances from each participating school and a guest speaker. This year’s theme for the performances was “World of Imagination”. BHS students performed one of the Japan’s most famous folktales, Moon Princess, with live-action and puppets. Our students adapted the tale, created shadow puppets, prepared costumes, and memorized their lines. The performance was a successful addition to Japan Day 2017. In the afternoon, students from BHS and participating high schools, as well as other guests, visited the Japanese Art Gallery at the MFA, and participated in afternoon workshops.
BHS Students Participating in Japan Day