Thursday, March 24, 2016

Latin Students Participate in Certaman Tournaments

Certamen, coming from the Latin word for “contest,” is a team competition, in the style of quiz-bowl, in which contestants answer questions about classical history, culture, mythology, and the Latin language.  This year, under the umbrella of the Latin Club, our Certamen Club nearly doubled in size, due to a huge influx of dedicated, bright and enthusiastic freshmen.  As part of the MassJCL, we have competed, or are scheduled to compete in, every tournament available to us this year. We have traveled as far as Yale and as close as just down the road at Harvard to compete.  The culmination of our hard work and tournament attendance will be MassJCL State Convention, held in late April in Barnstable.  

Many of the new members this year have even gone so far as to request, prepare for, and attend morning subject specific study groups, in addition to the regular club practice every other week.  I am always astounded by the dedication, intelligence and enthusiasm of these amazing kids. Words cannot express how incredibly proud and honored I am to help guide these budding classicists on their path to Certamen glory. Here is an image of one of our novice teams competing at Boston University in early March and an image of our intermediate team competing at Yale University in November of 2015.

- Cassandra Mea, AHS Latin Teacher

Intermediates at Yale, November 2015
Novices at SCL Tournament at Boston University, March 2016​

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Kiran Gite Wins Club Richelieu Concours Oratoire!

Having already won the Concours Oratoire for the local chapter of Club Richelieu, Kiran Gite travelled to New Hampshire last weekend to compete in the regional contest. Well, she won! We are so proud of her for representing Arlington High School and the outstanding French program! Bravo, Kiran!

Monday, March 21, 2016

APS Submits Application for French Exemplary Program

With the support of Superintendent, Kathy Bodie, we have just submitted an application for the French Exemplary Program Award sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). The criteria for this award are rigorous, and a hefty portfolio (below) was put together to document how Arlington meets the various standards. We hope to hear back from AATF in the next few months!

Spanish Students Skype with Students from Teosinte, El Salvador

Students in Christina Toro's AP Spanish class Skyped with students from Teosinte, El Salvador last week. Teosinte is a sister-city with Arlington, and the Skype session was organized by the head of the Arlington-Teosinte Organization, Elizabeth Dray. Students prepared questions for their new friends in El Salvador, and were eager to learn about the kinds of music they listen to, what classes they are studying at school, what kinds of food they eat, and more. We are grateful to Elizabeth for supporting this important connection for our students!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

France Exchange Announced for 2016-2017

We are excited to announce that we will once again be running the France Exchange during the 2016-2017 school year. French students will travel to Arlington late October, and then AHS students will travel to France over April vacation. We will once again be partnered with the Lycée Saint Aspais in Melun, about an hour south of Paris. The exchange is open to all AHS students enrolled in French. Students are encouraged to enroll quickly due to limited space. Please see Ms. Lahey for more information.

OMS French Students Protest Loss of French Accent Mark

Anne Zachary led her 7th grade French students in a protest against the removal of the "circonflexe" accent mark from French spelling as part of a larger spelling reform. To read more about the uproar this removal has caused, please take a look at this article from the BBC:

Students marched through the halls chanting, "Nous sommes circonflexe," "Je suis circonflexe," "Vive le circonflexe," and "Cir-con-FLEXE!" While some students are happy to lose the accent mark because spelling will be easier, most students -- and most French people -- are reluctant to see it go! Few other languages use this accent mark and it's just one of those things that makes French extra special.

AHS Students Participate in MaFLA Poster Contest

Two Arlington High School foreign language students showed off their artistic skills by submitting their work for the MaFLA Poster Contest. The posters needed to reflect the theme of: "Languages Are the Keys to Global Understanding." Best of luck to these students as they compete against other students from across the state.

Hanna Ali's poster
Reese Green's poster

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

AHS French Student Wins Club Richelieu Concours Oratoire

AHS French Student, Kiran Gite, won the local Concours Oratoire hosted by the Club Richelieu last week. Competing against students from other Massachusetts high schools, Kiran discussed the importance of a man named "Eugène-René Poubelle" -- a Frenchman who invented the garbage can, -- and the environmental importance of his work. His last name became the word for garbage can in French, (originally called les boîtes Poubelles after the covered boxes he required to be given out to the French to sort their garbage for sanitation purposes).

Kiran was awarded $400 for her win, and now moves on the regional competition, which will be held in New Hampshire on Saturday, March 19.

Félicitations, Kiran, et bonne chance pour la suite!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

OMS Students Celebrate Chinese New Year!

Despite a delay due to a snow day, Ottoson Mandarin students celebrated the Chinese New Year in style this year! Mandarin teacher, Na Lu-Hogan, organized an evening event that included games, calligraphy, a trivia contest, as well as a martial arts performance and student songs and skits. The event was well attended and a fun and festive way to ring in the new year!

Ms. Lu-Hogan with her students

A student-made Chinese dragon!