Si! Oui! Sic!

Watching gestures, listening for tone

AP Spanish students sit in groups of four, speaking animatedly in Spanish. The prompt is written in Spanish on the white board: If you could speak to someone who is no longer alive, who would it be and why. Sentences come out in rushes, as juniors and seniors talk about Elvis, a grandparent and Henry Kissinger, which sparked debate because he's still alive!

The students’ smiles showed how good it is to be back. Not only did these juniors and seniors do Spanish 3 and 4 mostly wearing masks, almost a year was spent speaking Spanish on Zoom.

Senora Brooke Pennica stops in at each group, asking questions in fast and fluid Spanish. The students pay attention to her tone of voice, gestures and body language to catch the complete meaning before responding.

Expressing ideas and feelings

Across the hall, AP French students are talking about the music video 'N'y pense plus' by Tayc that they’ve just watched as a class; it's a song about love and loss. Madame Henriette Kutscher asks students about their goals for the future.

“They really share a lot about their feelings and their views of the world,” said Madame Kutscher, “topics that require sophisticated vocabulary and sentence structure.”

“It’s important for them to see my mouth and my expressions … and for me to see theirs,” said Kutscher.” “This year, we can also hear each other’s voices more clearly. Plus, it’s so much more fun!