RSD 18 World Language Deptartment

Winter 2016 Update

HAPPY NEW YEAR * Felicem Annum Novum *FELIZ AÑO NUEVO *Xin Nian Kuai Le! * BONNE ANNÉE *

2016... It is truly amazing how time flies!

We begin the New Year with exiting news from District 18 World Language Department... Take a look at the exiting things world language students have accomplished as well as what they look forward to in the year ahead! Let's begin with travel experiences and oportunities still to come!

why take a language? ... to travel, of course! take your pick ... Paris... China...Cuba anyone?!

Take a look at the travel opportunities that Lyme-Old Lyme Students have in store for this year... and next!

The French Exchange! LOLMS students welcome the French and await April's trip to PARIS!

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By Pam Russell

Grade 8 French students have had an exciting fall. On October 4 we welcomed 28 students from Collège Jules Romains of Paris our exchange school. The students were welcomed into homes throughout Lyme Old Lyme for a two week stay. During the two weeks they explored our area of Connecticut as well as Boston and New York City. They spent several days in class with our students and experienced our after school sports and club programs. Weekends were filled with family outings to apple pick, pumpkin carve and haunted houses. We culminated their stay with a school dance. Since the French students have worked hard toward their own trip selling 500 holiday wreaths which they decorated before delivering. Now we await April first when we travel to Paris for a 13 day stay.

April 2016 LOLHS is headed to China!

by John Wang

We have fourteen students so far signed up for the China Trip – We will be traveling to Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Hong Kong.

Read all about it on our new Osprey Online. Follow link below,

Stay tuned for our end-of-year newsletter to find out about their adventures and see some pictures!

LOLHS ventures to CUBA in 2017!

Lyme-Old Lyme students will be one of the first schools in Connecticut to visit Cuba in April of 2017. We will be travelling with Walking Tree, an educational travel agency who organized our trip to Costa Rica in 2014. The tentative itinerary includes exploring Old Havana and Viñales, meeting students, artist and musicians, visiting local community projects, organic farmers, along with gaining an understanding of the economic situation and a different perspective of US-Cuba relations. A trip of a lifetime!

Stay tuned for announcements and more information to come - however, if you would like further information or if you have any questions, please contact Jeanne Manfredi ( or John McGannon (

Also, please follow the link below to the Lyme-Old Lyme Wlaking Tree site. As the itinerary firms up and we get closer, more information will be made available via this site.

Now take a look at what is happening in the classrooms:

High School Spanish Program:

Lily Hartman (class of 2013) returns from CUBA!

As ECE Spanish Cultural Topics classes have just finished their unit of study on Cuba, it was a perfect opportunity for Lily to come and share her experiences with them. She recently returned from her 4 months study abroad program and welcomed the opportunity to share her experiences and perspective with the students.

Lily is currently a junior at Brown University studying International Development. In Cuba she attended classes at Casa de las Américas and la Universidad de La Habana. Casa de las Américas is a government supported research institution founded at the start of the Revolution that aims to promote socio-cultural relations between Cuba and Latin America and the Caribbean through art, literature, music, scholarship, etc. There, she took three classes: Pasado y presente de la medicina cubana, Género, raza y desigualdades en Cuba: Visiones de académicos cubanos, and La Esclavitud; manifestaciones de su legado en la sociedad cubana contemporánea. At the university, she took a sociology and history course.

Lily ran 3 fabulous interactive presentations conducted TOTALLY in Spanish, in which she shared experiences and students asked questions about everyday life and challenges, as well as covered topics that included technology, social norms, the economical situation, the healthcare system, name just a few. It was an eyeopening experience for all!

Spanish 3

As part of the 2nd unit of study, "Es hora para ayudar" (It is time to help!), Spanish 3 students explore the importance of giving back to the community. Students learn how to:

  • Describe various community service activities
  • Politely request people to complete tasks
  • Order various groups and people to complete activities
  • Persuade or influence others to help out in the community
  • Explain why it is important (or not) to volunteer in your community

To that end, each year Mr McGannon's Spanish III classes "adopt" local families in need through LYSB and raise funds and buy gifts to help make their holidays a little brighter.

Here, students from Period 2 pose with some of the donated gifts. Thanks to all the students and their families for their generosity. Feliz Navidad!

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High School Chinese Program

Chinese I

by John Wang

Students have just finished learning general greetings and now are completing a new unit in Chinese calligraphy. They are learning five styles of calligraphy and have had their first hands-on experience of practicing this ancient Chinese art dating back to thousands of years, the relevance of which is still significant in China today. I have to admit that this year’s students are the most focused group when it comes to calligraphy and they have produced their best master pieces that they themselves are proud of. So don’t be surprised at your Christmas gatherings when your child shows you their calligraphy writings and brags about them. As a part of our push for the 21 Century Learning Skills, students are also experimenting with new online presentational programs, thus incorporating language learning and technology. We have used Nearpod, Vocaroo, and Cloud computing. The most favorite for all is Kahoot.
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Chinese II.

Students are studying a new chapter on comparison and contrast. We are building our vocabulary, on a very large scale, on comparing two cities andtwo suburbs between US and China. So all relevant grammar structures and vocabulary, old and new, are used in a presentational task. As a part of our push for the 21 Century Learning Skills, students are experimenting with new online presentational tools, thus incorporating language learning and technology. We have used Nearpod, Screencastify, Vocaroo, and Cloud computing of OneDrive. We are also learning characters and developing skills in reading and writing basic Chinese.

Chinese III and Chinese IV.

This year I am able to differentiate these two groups of students under the same themes. Students will be learning the same topics, but the mastery and proficiency levels are different, both in quantity and levels. Currently, they are learning all aspects of shopping in Chinese, as in April more than a dozen students will be traveling to China, where shopping will become realistic and necessary. It’s fun to watch both groups interact in role playing and simulated negotiations of products and prices. Also, the upper level students are considering dancing to a block buster song in China for the upcoming Lip Sync

French students from LOL high school at the state level

by Colette Lemarie

The Department of World Languages and Literatures at Southern Connecticut State University is opening Olympics for World Languages, or “OWLS” competition to all high schools in Connecticut with programs in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Spanish for Heritage Speakers. OWLS will bring together upper-level language learners and their teachers in a fun and engaging environment.

For the first time, French students from LOL high school will be participating in The Olympics for World Languages on May 16th, 2016.

French students from LOL high school at the national level

For the second year, French students from LOL high school will be part of the National French Contest, Le Grand Concours on March 2016. Follow the link below to find out more information.

Middle School Program

Grade 8 Spanish:

by Pam Russell

As a culmination to our study of Costa Rica, students sent each other postcards describing their “adventures” in Costa Rica, having researched what one might do if on vacation. The results were fantastic!

Here are samples of grade 8 Costa Rica postcards:

Querida Rachael,

¡Ayer, yo fui al Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica! El teatro está en San José, la capital de Costa Rica. El Teatro Nacional fue construida en 1897, por un constructor Italiano, Pietro Bulgarelli. El teatro es famoso para los murales del techo. Vi una ópera, pero puedes ver una orquesta de musica y otras cosas. El segundo piso es de maderas tropicales en los colores de rojo, rosa, negro, y oro. Tomé muchas fotos porque los dibujos fueron bonito. El teatro es muy especial para los ticos porque es una buena forma cultural. Yo te compré un recuerdo en la tienda cerca del teatro a ti. Yo lo regateé porque, el recuerdo fue caro y yo no tuve suficiente dinero.

Después, fui a comprar costarricense cosas al centro comercial con mi amiga nueva. Finalmente, fui a mi hotel porque era tarde y fui cansada. En conclusion, la excursión fue interesante y espero volver. ¡Adiós!

Tu amiga, Brenna

Querido Ted,

Hoy es el cuarto día de la segunda semana en Costa Rica. Ayer fue un día muy divertido porque fuimos a Monteverde. Fuimos allí porque hay muchas actividades hacer y cosas ver. Después de comimos desayuno al hotel, fuimos a Monte Verde. Cuando llegamos, mi papá y yo encontramos el Cerro Amigos porque nos gusta dar unas caminatas. La damos y mi hermano y mamá visitaron un museo. Durante la caminata, mi papá y yo vimos el volcán Arenal, el Pacífico, y el bosque de nubes porque fuimos encima de todos. Cuando nosotros dimos una caminata, mi hermano y mamá visitaron el museo, donde vieron ranas, pájaros, murciélagos, insectos y más. Ellos aprendieron mucho. Toda la familia fue a un restaurante y comemos almuerzo. En la tarde, fuimos al estanque de ranas de Monteverde. Vimos muchas ranas y tomé fotos. Finalmente, visitamos el jardín de mariposas. ¡Vimos más mariposas allí que en mi vida! Ellos fueron bellos también. De vez en cuando, una mariposa fue encima de mi cabeza o mi brazo y la vi. El jardín de mariposas fue mi actividad favorita ayer porque fue divertido, interesante, y bella.

¡Fue un buen día!

-Sophia G

Grade 6

by Rachel Carrion

Sixth graders have been making connections between the language, culture and geography of Central and South America by studying these countries in their World Language AND Social Studies classes. For most of the month of January, sixth graders will be undertaking a project that will be completed in both of these classes. Part one of the project will be completed in their world language class and will involve choosing a famous person (actor, singer, politician, scientist, inventor, etc.) from a South American country. Students will research this person and then describe him/her "en español". Part two of the project will be completed in social studies and will involve a discussion of the culture and geography of the country where their celebrity was born. The two pieces will be combined into a multimedia presentation and presented to both classes. This exciting project will not only allow students to make excellent cross-curriculum connections, it will also involve the implementation of important computer skills. We can't wait to see the final products!

Elementary Spanish Program

by Michele Tackett

The holiday season beginning in October, has allowed elementary students to practice their knowledge of the body, and about food in conversations at school (and for some self-motivated students, at home as well!) Students discussed American traditions of Halloween and compared and contrasted them to El Día de Los Muertos, an important Mexican holiday in November. 5th grade students have used the iPads to create dialogue, including questions about food, using the Puppet Pals app working with partners. Using technology, creativity and collaboration to practice world language, allows students to build 21st century skills while developing proficiency in the target language. 4th graders have practiced asking friends what foods and beverages they like, as well as sorting vocabulary into categories (comer-to eat and beber-to drink.) All students made December calendars and learned about the Mexican tradition called “La Posada,” by viewing authentic videos of families in Mexico celebrating with traditional customs dating back hundreds of years. All Spanish classes at Lyme School and Mile Creek School enjoyed a fiesta where they practiced important vocabulary, manners including the use of “quisiera por favor” to ask for something, and learned about holiday customs in Spain. Additionally, Spanish class in December would not be complete without a round of Feliz Navidad with José Feliciano! Thank you to all of the families who contributed an item for our celebrations. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Happy New Year!

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Stay tuned for our spring/ summer newsletter!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.