Written by: Tara Donohue ‘ 19, staff writer
The French language program at Bethel High School has been a wonderful way for students to expand their horizons as they learn a new language. This year, Mrs. Trachtenberg’s innovative teaching methods have allowed students to truly experience French culture rather than just reading about it in a textbook.
One of these experiences is the beloved “Culture Day,” which is a class period devoted to enriching understanding of the language through French culture. On these special days, students can read French books, play French board games, or even participate in cooking a French meal. These days provide a fantastic opportunity for students, who love using this time to learn more about the French culture from firsthand experiences.
Choosing a book from the extensive collection in the classroom is always a delightful way to spend a “Culture Day,” as the options are limitless. Students often enjoy finding books from a familiar childhood series and reading them again in a new language. For many, this evokes nostalgia and brings a new sense of excitement to familiar stories.
The board games are also a terrific aspect of the French language program. On “Culture Days,” students can choose from several different games to play with their friends while speaking in French. These games range from familiar favorites such as “Apples to Apples” to new games like “Memo-Mime.” Board games provide a way to practice quick thinking and conversational skills in a fun environment.
Another exciting opportunity for students to partake in on “Culture Day” is cooking. As a class, students have prepared French dishes such as “salade verte,” “vinaigrette à l’échalote,” and “salade de concombre.” While learning how to prepare these delicious selections, students were also taught new facts about French cuisine and their culture. It has been incredibly interesting to learn the differences between French and American foods, and even better to have the chance to taste it!
Bethel High School French classes are a truly unique learning experience. Through reading stories, playing games and cooking, students are able to learn the material in a much more engaging manner. In other words, c’est fantastique!