Students learning French in eighth grade become immersed in Nice culture

Students relax by a beach and engage in conversation with their peers. Rather than sand, this beach was covered in rocks. The weather was sunny and warm, and students were dressed in t-shirts, shorts and tank tops (photo by Jessica Ganet).

The Grade 8 French students were given the opportunity to take a trip with their classmates and teachers to Nice, France. The trip was four days long, starting on April 17 and ending on April 20. The aim of the trip was to submerge the students in French culture, help them to practice the language, and expose them to a new way of learning, other than sitting in a classroom.

Students visited many different places within the area and participated in numerous activities. They went on a tour of the national football stadium, shopped in the marketplace, visited an aquarium in Monaco, and biked around the old town (Vieille Ville). In addition, they tried new foods, like socca (a chickpea-based, breadlike food), and couscous (a type of grain dish native to the south of France), as well as eating out on their own in small groups.

However, it wasn’t just fun and games. Students had a workbook to complete during the trip to help them improve their skills and keep up with their class. Some activities they worked on included interviewing people in the market, taking notes on the stadium, and writing about their favorite animals at the aquarium in French.

One of the main goals of the trip was to present an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the language, an opportunity that was certainly provided. The guides and teachers mostly spoke French, and the students were challenged to speak as much of the language as they could, even participating in a competition. It was a different way to study French other than in the classroom, and it gave the students a fun way to show everything they had been learning, as well as learn more.

“I loved the trip because it was a great way to hang out with my friends and have fun, but it was still a learning experience,” Lily Bernhard, a French student said. “I think I learned a lot about the French language, culture, and people.”

Two years ago, the trip was moved from Paris to Nice, further south. Overall, the reaction from the students has been positive, many enjoying the warm weather, unique experiences and dazzling beaches Nice has to offer. The French language trip was enjoyed immensely by the students who participated. It was considered by all to be a unique and valuable chance to improve a lifelong skill in a fun environment.

About Claire Heskett ('22)

Staff Writer (2017-2018)

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