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A group of forty seven John Jay High School juniors enrolled in Hanky Kutscher and Lauren Wood-Radcliffe’s French classes took a four-day weekend trip to Québec, Canada from February 3rd through February 6th, during that province’s winter Carnaval. Along with their teacher chaperons, they braved the cold weather in order to learn about Québec City and its environs and to be immersed in its Francophone culture and language.
Highlights included dog-sledding, snow-shoeing, tubing and tobogganing, as well as an evening of singing and dancing at a sugar shack where students enjoyed a typical lumberjack meal and learned about maple-sugaring. The group took a ferry ride across the frozen St Lawrence River and visited the iconic hotel Le Château Frontenac and l’Hôtel de Glace (ice hotel) in addition to the Contemporary Art Museum and the Québec Parliament. In addition, students sampled many Canadian culinary treats such as les queues de castor (“beaver tails” which are fried dough covered with toppings such as maple sugar, maple syrup and, the ever popular, Nutella and bananas), les tires sur la neige (maple sugar poured on snow then rolled up on a popsicle stick), crêpes and poutine (French fries covered with gravy and cheese curds).
The trip to Québec provided an excellent opportunity for the students to learn about and experience the Francophone world of our nearby northern neighbor. They came away with not only fond memories and deeper friendships, but also with greater confidence in their French language skills and an appreciation of another culture.