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Breaking the Language Barrier

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Students in Anna Cervini’s ENL (English as a New Language) class at Harborfields High School visited students in Maria D’Amore’s advanced French class for a cultural exchange experience.

To begin, Cervini taught a lesson to the class in Chinese. Following the lesson, students in the French class reflected on how they felt listening to a lesson in a language they did not understand. In front of their peers, ENL leaners introduced themselves in their native tongue or in English. Students in the ENL class come to Harborfields from various countries including El Salvador, Peru and Haiti.

As part of the advanced French curriculum, students are required to study the comparison of immigration and culture. Engaged in small group question and answer sessions, students in the French class asked specific questions regarding the ENL students’ experiences learning English and the challenges they face at school. Students from both classes bonded and expressed gratitude for this opportunity as well as the hope that a dialogue will continue among the diverse groups in the high school community.