Each year, educators across the country observe National Foreign Language Week during the first week of March. Over the years, the World Languages Department of Bellport Middle School has made National Foreign Language Week a highlight of our school life. This year, the week-long celebration at the Middle School was particularly outstanding.
Each day had a different theme: Monday was “Hispanic Cultures Day”, Tuesday – “Italian Day”, Wednesday – “French Day”, Thursday – “Portuguese Day”, and Friday was “Multicultural Day”. During homeroom, students introduced the morning announcements in Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese. During their World Language class periods, students assembled each day in the auditorium for presentations and fun activities.
Monday saw the debut of a BMS original documentary about global citizenship. In the film, various BMS staff members shared their personal experiences about traveling abroad, and how those experiences helped shape their world perspective. Mr. Di Puma, the creator of the film, said that he hopes the video will help increase student reflection on being global citizens, and that it will promote kindness and empathy throughout the Middle School. After the film, students were invited to compete in a poster contest on the theme of global citizenship and what it personally means to be better global citizens.
We are proud to report that our film has “gone viral” and has been shown to students in other schools outside of our district.
The link to the video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLkNFJ7YVQA .
On Tuesday, students enjoyed a workshop led by Mr. Noreña and Mrs. Piraino on international music and dance. Students were taught the history of various dances from Hispanic countries. Then, they got on their feet to learn how to do bachata and merengue, and finished the session by having a chance to play different musical instruments featured in this genre of music.
On Wednesday, students put their world trivia knowledge to the test with a friendly “Jeopardy” competition hosted by Mr. Jeffrey and Ms. Rigney. Categories included “world capitals”, “world languages”, “famous international celebrities”, “famous international places”, “British vs. American English”, and “foreign expressions in English”.
Thursday was the Third Annual Foreign Short Film Festival during which students watched different films – one from France, another from Mexico, and a third with an Italian theme – and then were led in a discussion by Mr. Di Puma and Mr. Jeffrey about how to interpret film meanings when you do not speak the language.
As in previous years, the week-long celebration culminated with “International Food Day”. Under the coordination of Mrs. Menikos, World Language students brought in dishes to share in an all-day potluck brunch / lunch. Students ate together, listened to international music, shared stories and enjoyed the fellowship of their peers from other classes.
National Foreign Language Week 2017 was a tremendous success, and the Middle School World Language teachers thank all of the parents, students and staff members who helped make it so.