High School Students Participating in Language Immersion

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fairmont State University is hosting high school students from five area high schools today, Oct. 21, for its second annual language Immersion Day.

Students from Lincoln High School, Tygarts Valley High School, Lewis County High School, South Harrison Middle/High School and Trinity Christian School are participating in the event, which gives them an opportunity to use their language skills as they would in a trip abroad. The event will be from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Colebank Hall gym. The Immersion Day is sponsored by the FSU Department of Language and Literature and is supported by Gear Up.

"We hope that celebrations like Immersion Day will motivate students to undertake and continue the challenging yet rewarding task of learning about many languages and cultures," said Dr. Erin Hippolyte, Assistant Professor of French.

Students studying French and Spanish will also be offered an introduction to Italian and Arabic. They will be able to socialize with peers and instructors by sharing lunch on campus.

"Learning one world language can often lead to another, through interest and cultural intersections. We would like students to test this theory for themselves and multiply the joy of language learning," Hippolyte said.

The theme for the participants studying French is "A Day in Paris," with activities highlighting the diversity of Paris as a global city with landmarks, history and cultural exports that are familiar around the world. FSU students who have traveled and studied will contribute to the festivities. Students will speak French in simulated settings such as a Parisian café, a museum and on the street looking for various neighborhoods. Because of the role of French in Arabic-speaking North Africa, students will be introduced to an additional linguistic and cultural dimension with an introductory Arabic language session at the end of the day.

Participants studying Spanish will enjoy activities related to "A Day in the Spanish-Speaking Caribbean," experiencing the rich culture and language of that part of the world. Activities will provide a snapshot of the region through cultural elements such as music, historic sites, sports and daily activities. Participants will use Spanish to interact with FSU faculty and students in settings such as a bakery, museums highlighting local history and a Spanish trivia baseball game. Dr. Julie Sellers, Assistant Professor of Spanish, will direct the Spanish activities.