The Latin tutorials are currently working on, preparing Julia (Nightingale Bamford School) for the Latin AP and reading Vergil’s Aeneid (currently Dido’s death scene). Preparing Emma (Milton Academy) for the Latin AP and reading Caesar’s Gallic Wars. We’re currently with a group of Roman legionaries surrounded by a barbarian tribe and about to be massacred. Reading Catullus with Lambeth (Charlotte Country Day School) Love poems to Lesbia and separately with Natalia (Spence School) Love poems to Iuventius.
Lambeth and Stephen read Love poems to Lesbia during Latin Class.
“I get the privilege to have an individual study while taking latin here at Chewonki. My teacher Stephen and I meet a few times a week. Having a tutor, especially one as amazing as Stephen, has allowed me the time to really focus and understand each translation we work on. If I don’t understand or have questions, Stephen takes the time to share his latin knowledge with me. There hasn’t been a day where I am bored in class or confused because of the individual attention I receive and the time we spend together.”
In Spanish, students are starting a poetry lesson where they will analyze Spanish poems about the authors personal expression. Many focus on what it is like to be an immigrant in a foreign place, which follows nicely with our immigration unit that we just completed. We will then write our own poems and finally students will pick a Spanish poem and present it to the class in an engaging way, leading a class discussion.
“I’ve always been interested in learning other languages, but being at Chewonki has given me the opportunity to go deeper into my learning of Spanish. My Spanish class with Chris meets four times a week and I find it both a ton of fun while at the same time learning a lot. Unlike previous courses, in this class we have learned about issues going on in the Spanish speaking world, such as immigration issues in the Dominican Republic. We speak entirely in Spanish, which is pretty difficult, but we form our own thoughts and use cognates to learn new things. I also want to eventually become fluent and I feel like this is the kind of class that encourages me to learn more Spanish, and it makes me more excited to learn about the language and the culture.” Jennie Richardson, Millbrook School
Sophie from Park City High School reads a Spanish poem aloud to her class.
From Esther Kary, French teacher, currently we are studying the history of Franco-Americans in Maine. We have been talking about Franco-Americans working in the mills and the logging industry in Maine back in the early 1900’s. Last Thursday, our French class went to Lewiston to have lunch with a couple hundred Franco-Américains. The Franco center in Lewiston is a wonderful organization committed to preserving the French heritage in Maine. They organize a monthly luncheon where Francos gather to share a meal and speak French together. It was a good time for our students to practice real language and ask questions to find out more about what life was like in Lewiston growing up as a Franco-American. Teaching French at Chewonki is such a treat! There are so many local connections to be made with the history of French in Maine and the close proximity to Québec.
Esther and her students in a history discussion about Franco-Americans.
Leon, from Grace Church School speaks about talking French at Chewonki, “Like any other class at Chewonki, French in the Allen Center has taken something that I enjoyed on a theoretical and curricular level and tied it to my life, on a broad and everyday scale. Apart from just teaching me words like “farm chores” and “woodstove”- helping us bring our more quotidian concerns into the classroom- French at Chewonki has helped to provide me with yet another line through which to connect to the world that I’m a part of. We speak it conversationally every Wednesday at the “table français”, which, while a little intimidating at first, soon turned into fun dinner conversation with a twist. For our midterm, we cooked and presented dinner for the semester, all in-language, and, surprisingly for us, but not so much for Esther, somehow everyone in the dining hall survived the night.
In the classroom, we’ve been learning the story of the Accadians, and their life here in Maine, prompting discussions that push us further and further into fluency as we work to say in French what we just want to say, period. But before these intellectual conversations, we get warmed up with some French tongue-twisters, moving each of our mouths into the ideal French mold. And while we continue to sing songs and read poetry (and, of course, take some quizzes and tests), we’re working our way to an intimidating, but exciting final exam: a real conversation over the phone with a francophone business for whom this will be just another phone call. Every day, the language is looking more and more real, and we’re looking more and more like people who speak it.”