World Languages Festival brings Spanish and French immersion to SHS

By Rita Nicholson

For one of the first times, students experienced French and Spanish cultures within the hallways of SHS. Last Wednesday, SHS hosted the very first World Languages Festival.

The festival kicked off with a scavenger hunt. The groups consisted of both French and Spanish students and even included students from Austin and Salem.

Shaye Ritchison (10) loved the scavenger hunt.

“[It] was cool because we got to work together in groups with people we didn’t know, and I had a lot of fun,” she said.

After the scavenger hunt, students had the opportunity to try French and Spanish foods, all prepared by students.

Senior Macy Colson said, “My favorite thing was the food. There were a lot of good foods, especially desserts.”

Later, a variety of activities in the target languages were offered. These included activities like designing a dress, playing games like Mafia and learning a dance.

Seniors in both Spanish IV and French IV led these sessions.

Jeffrey Pruett (12) said, “It was very student-led.”

“We ran ourselves for it. Each of us had a section that we had to take care of. All of us were basically leaders in our section. We took care of how students were doing their thing, told them what to do and talked to them basically,” added Lillie Collins (12).

Señor Brandon Jerrell came up with the idea for a festival.

“Where I went to school  (Anderson University) every semester there they have what they call an ‘immersion night.’ It’s like two hours long, and it’s all in Spanish. It’s a lot of fun, and it gives everybody the opportunity to practice Spanish and have fun at the same time. I thought why wouldn’t we do that here?” Jerrell said.

Jerrell had attempted to turn his idea into reality before finally achieving that dream this year. He says that the support he needed came from Salem’s French teacher and the seniors in Spanish.

“I was pretty nervous [and] really anxious getting it ready,” he said. That changed, however, at the end of the night. Jerrell reflected that the night went “really well.”

Other students shared his view.

“It was really fun,” said Ashley Miller (10).

“It was great, actually,” agreed Alexus Hargrave (9).

French teacher Ondra Couch said, “We received compliments from both the visiting French teachers that things were very well organized. I think it was well done.”

The festival was beneficial to both Spanish and French students.

Emma Christoff (12) said that she felt she learned more about Spanish after attending the festival, while Ritchison said, “It was nice to mix in with the Spanish kids and hear things that I normally wouldn’t as well as teach them things that they didn’t know.”

Jerrell is already looking forward to next year’s festival.

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