Cross Continental Learning

Sayde Blanchette, Reporter

Miles away from each other, two friends work together to help students learn a foreign language. One of these friends is Wakeland’s own, Madame Watt.

Madame Watt’s students use their French language skills to create videos to send to students in France who are learning English. In turn, the French students create responses in English.

The only classes participating in this exchange are Watt’s French Two and Three. Students in French Two are paired with sixth and eighth-grade classes in France, and students in French Three are working with ninth graders.

“The videos that we’re doing are really fun to make, and I’m excited to see the videos they send us,” sophomore Sarah Wilson said.

Watt set up this exchange with her friend, Madame Orr, who teaches English in Andernos-les-Bains, a small village in France. 

“We were talking about the fact that she’s an English teacher in a small village in France and I’m a French teacher in a huge metropolitan area. We thought how cool it would be for students to have a cultural shock, but also learn about different ways of living and activities,” Watt said. 

French students at Wakeland will film several videos throughout the year that relate to American culture and the curriculum in class. They will film one video every four to six weeks, and likely do a video call in December.

“We will film things about the way we live and the way we do things in America. Right now we did the introduction, and then it’s based on the curriculum. When we study celebration in the second marking period we will videotape Thanksgiving. Which is something they don’t know about,” Watt said.

“It is a really great opportunity to learn about other places and how they function in a school setting. I think the responses are going to be really fun to watch,” sophomore Suneil Bahl said.

The video exchange is not only fun for students, but there are also many benefits of doing this project.

“The benefits are to, first of all, bring confidence to levels two and three to see that you’re not the only ones that are struggling to learn a language. Also, to have authentic, real-life experiences. That is what the purpose of this is,” Watt said.