An opportunity to have students share languages and cultures at an international fair was a huge suggess for one high school’s world language and adult education departments.
At Cape Girardeau Central High School, some of the countries featured were Korea, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Japan, and Mexico. Adult international students set up over a dozen displays of their different home countries. They are learning English as a second language.
Students in foreign language studies had the opportunity to greet those staffing the tables in those languages. For ninth graders Kyra Pearl and Lara Youngermann, the opportunity to speak Spanish with Adriana Valadez and Brenda Gutierrez at the Mexican table was an encouraging experience. They are taking Spanish honors class, and agreed that it is important to learn about other cultures
“My grandfather is from Mexico, and I wanted to be able to speak to him,” Kyra said. “You shouldn’t just limit yourself to knowing only American culture. It’s good to know everyone else’s, too.”
For Yoko Yamanashi, crafting an original origami display took a lot of work, involving one month and 200 pieces of paper. At first, Yamanashi said she did not know any English when she began taking the ESL course two years ago. Although nervous about speaking with other students in English, she was soon participating in friendly discussions about the origami and other crafts.