Living Language

 

French and Spanish students from Woodstock Union High School (WUHS) became tour guides for a day, demonstrating their language skills by presenting interpretive vignettes to an invited audience at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (MABI) .

For the 19 eleventh and twelfth grade students it was the culmination of six weeks of preparation facilitated by school and park staff. Students visited the park several times, researched their chosen subjects and learned presentation skills. Students created 'tour stops' at the park and lead visitors through the tour in their studied language.

Kat Robbins, MABI National Park Youth Coordinator said, "This unit is an authentic learning experience for the students. It allows them to apply what they have been learning in their class to a real-world setting with a real audience. This holds their learning to a high standard and lets the community know what these students are capable of. The teachers push the edge of the student's comfort by inviting the public to see what their students are doing; the students take the project very seriously, and the park receives translated interpretation materials for adaptation and use with visitors. It's a win-win-win!"

Ranger Marie Hanson explained that the program has been running in the WUHS French department for six years, with the Spanish department first participating last year. "The success of the program is due to incredible team work," she said.

This project is conducted in a partnership between MAC Language teachers, students at WUHS and National Park staff. It is a great demonstration of authentic and applied learning and utilizing community-based resources to enhance learning.

One student even made a video about stewardship -- in French! Find it here.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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Woodstock , VT 05091

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