Before getting on an airplane to a foreign land, it’s good to have some communications skills. A new ‘Language for Travel’ course hopes to bring a sampling of language and culture to Grade 11 and 12 students in Agassiz. (Associated Press)

Before getting on an airplane to a foreign land, it’s good to have some communications skills. A new ‘Language for Travel’ course hopes to bring a sampling of language and culture to Grade 11 and 12 students in Agassiz. (Associated Press)

SD78 introduces Language for Travel course for Agassiz high schoolers

Languages will be taught at the ‘tourist level,’ showing students basic conversing and sign reading

High schoolers in Agassiz who yearn to see the world will learn some useful skills through a new course.

Languages for Travel has just been approved for Grade 11 and 12 students at Agassiz elementary-secondary school (AESS).

Principal Greg Lawley said the school wants to offer electives that students are interested in, and many have expressed an interest in learning languages other than French.

“This course will give students exposure to, and some basic skills in, a variety of world languages,” Lawley explained.

The languages will be taught at the “tourist level.”

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“This will be mostly speaking, numbers, and reading things like signs,” Lawley noted. “We will seek out native speakers of the languages along with authentic audio and video resources to help students understand accents and mannerisms.”

The course will be taught by Megan Kempenaar. Already in the building, Kempenaar has previously accompanied students on cultural and historical tours throughout Europe and Japan. She recently took a group of students on an ecological survey expedition in Honduras, and Lawley called her “a natural choice to teach the course.”

Language for Travel will have a cultural component, examining the views and traditions of other countries.

“As they learn about how others see the world, they will be able to compare it to their own cultural practices and traditions, giving them a more critical view of society,” Lawley said. “Being exposed to different ideas is important to be successful in their futures, whether it be in a post-secondary education setting or in the job market.”

Though COVID has put school trips on hold the last two years, the hope is that students will soon be able to hop on an airplane and test their newfound skills in the real world. Until then, Lawley said an international fair will be put on at the school by Languages for Travel students, so they can share what they’ve learned.


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@hopestandard.com

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