What is it like to take foreign language classes at Chewonki? Ben and Maeve, Chewonki Semester 52 students write about their experiences in their Spanish and French classes here at Chewonki. See photos of past classes on our Flickr Site.
The last time I took a Spanish class entirely in the language was in ninth grade, and it was a disaster. It was a good challenge to say the least, but was less thrilling than I wanted. At Chewonki the first day, Chris, our teacher, spoke confidently and passionately that the class would be completely in Spanish. Though my language abilities have improved since the beginning of high school, the thought of another class of confusion and miss-conjugations was concerning. Having a new school, a new teacher, and a new style of class? Oy vey! However, it quickly became apparent the class would not be la lucha* I feared it would be. We began talking about concepts and things important in our lives here at Chewonki. We had a relevance that classes usually lack in a normal high school. I have never had a conversation in Spanish about transitional communities or sustainable energy. With topics that the whole class is passionate about, there was no struggle to be had.
-Ben Chung, Seven Hills School, OH
Coming from a small school, my previous French classes had been mixed with students of varying language levels. Though not a problem with me, it meant that my classes were always taught with a mix of French and English- but mostly English. Coming to Chewonki I was very excited about being in a fully French class that I knew would be challenging, but on the first day I quickly realized that it was going to be a lot more challenging than I thought. I now think language is the hardest class to “coast by” in because when you are immersed for the whole class each word or conjugation can give you away if you are not trying. For me, it is still very challenging, but if I guess correctly and actually end up with a fully functioning French sentence I know that I owe the majority of it to the French department here at Chewonki.
-Maeve Carlson, Wiscasset High School, ME