Eighth grade French students explore language through trip to Nice

Eighth graders walk down a beach in Nice with some of his classmates. This was just one of the many activities the students participated in to help immerse themselves in the French culture (photo by Liz Merryweather).

“Language grows by leaps and bounds when you are in it, and if you are outside of it, it doesn’t grow as much,” said eighth grade English teacher and French speaker Mr. Mike Boodey. Thirty French students were able to delve into the fantastic language and culture of France while they were in Nice from March 27 to March 31. This was the first middle school language trip ever taken to Nice, so the agenda was entirely new. 

A lot of the trip was spent eating delicious French cuisine, and one might be surprised by how much can be learned from this. Students had to interact with French waiters in restaurants or sellers at the markets, and this improved their ability to speak conversationally in real life situations. 

Also, a fun part for many students was the last night of the trip, when they went to people’s house and cooked dinner. They learned how to cook French food while reading French recipes. “A highlight for me was eating as much ice cream as we could, and listening to students ordering ice cream and other things in French,” said Mr. Boodey.

Not only did the students eat delicious French foods and interact with locals, they also visited a few historical and interesting sights. On the first day, they had the opportunity to bike ride along the famous Promenade des Anglais and listen to a French tour guide. They also went to a museum and saw lots of artwork by Matisse, and played a common French game called Boules. This turned out to be a highly competitive game and got the students riled up. 

Furthermore, they went to the Allianz stadium and tried to interpret the information given to them by a different French speaking tour guide. Another fun activity was going to see “La Béte et la Belle” at a French cinema. Nice also proved to have some beautiful views to add to a beautiful language, and the students were able to see gorgeous places like Monte Carlo.  

Although the journal the students had to keep seemed like a lot of work, it helped them focus on improving their French. Another objective of the trip was to encourage independence with students. They were given time to go off in small groups and figure out how to get around by themselves. Additionally, an interesting aspect of the trip was that levels A, B, and C were mixed, and Charlotte Fink said, “I think that people in lower French classes learned how to interact with French people more easily.” 

The hope of the Nice trip was to help break the language barrier for students so they can speak French more confidently. Eighth grader Chase Moran said, “I thought it was really amazing to just engross myself in the French culture and language. It was a great learning experience for me… [my French] definitely improved.”

About Lina Destin ('21)

Staff Writer (2016-17)

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