Clear Springs High School Says “Bonjour” to Students from France
Every day students gather around the lunch table to discuss the latest
news. The conversations on this afternoon at Clear Springs High School,
however, sounded a bit different.
Pre-AP French 3 class was hosting fourteen high school students from
Lycée Sonny Rupaire, located in the Guadeloupe region of France. The air
was filled with both English and French as the students swapped
stories, eager to practice their second languages. The interactions came
easily. These students had already gotten to know each through a series
of video conferences.
“The French teacher, Nadiége
Lemnos, and I met on an educational website specifically made for French
and American teachers to meet and organize video conference exchanges,
chats and more,” explained Claire Bartlett, French teacher at Clear
Springs High School. The two educators quickly arranged for their
students to interact with one another.
discussed the curriculum they were currently learning and the
differences between French and American schools. The conversations
sometimes turned personal. “The topics also included families, comparing
films and books and talking about students’ futures including
university studies and careers they want to pursue,” Bartlett said.
two years of video conferences and online chats, the French students
planned a trip to the United States to visit their American friends.
Once here, the students spent the day touring Clear Springs High School,
tagging along with their English speaking counterparts to their daily
classes and sharing an authentic Texas barbeque lunch. “The French were
amazed by our high school,” Bartlett said. “Especially its size, its
equipment and facilities and its cleanliness and orderly organization.”
American students also organized a weekend of Houston-area sightseeing,
including a trip to Kemah, a tour of NASA/Johnson Space Center and a
visit to Hermann Park and Chase Tower. The visit proved beneficial to
all involved. Along with practicing their languages, students learned
how to relate to foreign speakers and how to embrace cultures outside
their own. Meeting the French students face-to-face solidified the bonds
that were created via technology and true friendships were formed.
Claire Bartlett’s class will continue to communicate with the students
rom Lycée Sonny Rupaire and hope to host a new group of French students
at Clear Springs High School in the future.