Close to 9000 language teachers from around the world gathered at the Boston Convention Center for the annual ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Convention. This year marked the 50th anniversary for ACTFL and the conference boasted the largest attendance in its history.
8th grade students in Adam Lanphier's Mandarin 3MS class recently connected with students from Taiwan and the Boston Latin School as part of a NSLI-Y (National Security Language Initiative for Youth) program. The students in Taiwan presented short talks in Chinese on the theme of “relationship building in language immersion.” The groups then engaged in a discussion with the different classrooms and answered questions from U.S. students about the theme, learning Chinese or life in Taiwan.
Over two weekends in October, Dalton World Language faculty participated in a workshop to familiarize themselves with the OPI – Oral Proficiency Interview – a proficiency-based assessment for language learners. Dr. Cynthia Martin, a professor of Russian language from the University of Maryland, led the workshop and shared a wealth of ideas over the four days.
During two weeks in October, students in Mme. Viard and Dr. Langer de Ramirez’s Spanish 2MS classes have been learning about El Biblioburro – a school teacher from Colombia, who brings books to children in rural areas who don’t have access to libraries. He delivers the books via two hard-working donkeys to the children in Magdalena Province's interior.
In Carlos San Juan’s Hispanic Cinema class, students are studying Cuba through film and culture. As a precursor to their viewing of several Cuban movies, students watched a very special video of a virtual tour of Havana. The video was different from most in that it was filmed with 360-degree views and narrated completely in Spanish.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Dalton Spanish Department is sponsoring an interactive exhibit of Diego Rivera's iconic mural, Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central|Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central. The 17 foot-long mural is displayed in the 3rd-floor cafeteria at 89th Street and can be viewed for the next few weeks.
Language teachers from First Program, Middle School, and High School participated in a workshop to learn about best practices in oral proficiency assessment or SOPA in a two-day seminar. Facilitated by Lynn Thompson, Project Director of World Languages and International Programs at CAL (The Center for Applied Linguistics) in Washington, DC., the teachers were trained in techniques for administering the SOPA (Student Oral Proficiency Assessment). SOPA is an interview protocol that helps teachers to measure program effectiveness as well as individual student growth along their oral proficiency pathway.
For the past several weeks, Señora Carmen Herrera’s Spanish Language and Culture High School Classes have been learning about Frida Kahlo, the boundary-breaking, brave Mexican painter who embodied strength, overcoming unthinkable emotional and physical adversity, and lived in opposition to gender stereotypes.
Dalton celebrated its second annual FLES Fest event, on Saturday, May 14, with 100 K-8 world and classical language teachers from over 50 different schools from seven different states. (Some from as far away as Rhode Island and Missouri!) Educators gathered to hear a keynote address by Dr. Helena Curtain, world-renowned presenter, teacher trainer, and author of the book: Languages and Learners: Making the Match.
Congratulations to Dalton's Middle and High School French teachers for creating a Journée de la Francophonie, a multi-disciplinary all-day event, held on March 8, 2016. The day began with enthusiastic French students giving out handmade French buttons in front of the school in the morning. The celebration continued with High School French Club sponsored activities and food during Interval, where students built marshmallow Eiffel Towers and competed in word games and a French online trivia game.
The Dalton community welcomed the Year of Monkey with a fun-filled Chinese Lunar New Year celebration on Wednesday, February 10, 2016. Confucius Classroom and the Mandarin program hosted the event. Over 100 students, family members, and faculty gathered at the Big Dalton Cafeteria enjoyed an evening of delicious Chinese food, performances, and activities.
On Friday, February 12, 2016, two Dalton students, Antonia Hellman (2017) and Sussan Garcia (2016) served on a student panel at the 62nd Annual Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages at the New York Hilton Midtown. Antonia and Sussan served on a panel to add student voices on topics surrounding the importance of intercultural competence.
February 10, 2016 - Dalton's Confucius Classroom invited bilingual comedian Jesse Appell to deliver a series of talks about Chinese comedy and cultural communications to high school Mandarin students and faculty.