The Newsletter of the Herricks World Language and ESL Department Volume 11, Issue 2- April 2012 - High School Edition
Karaoke Event Raises Money for Corazón a Corazón
Aliza Khwaja and Alex Ramos, Spanish Students
rime. Perform. Recover.” This was Ms. O’Shea’s Spanish 4H (period 3) class motto for Karaoke Latino 2012. On March 2, 2012, Herricks High School held its annual Karaoke Latino, in which Spanish classes from all levels had a chance to demonstrate their abilities to sing in Spanish. Students paid $5 to watch or participate in Karaoke Latino, and the money raised went to Corazón a Corazón or the “Heart to Heart” foundation, which helps to provide surgical treatment to hundreds of needy children who suffer from heart disorders. This year, the founders of Corazón a Corazón in New York, Elizabeth and Gustavo Alford, attended the
event. They were accompanied by Erika Llanos and Jesse Goldman, volunteers at Corazón a Corazón who thanked the participants and audience for the donations. Ms. O’Shea’s Spanish 4H (period 3) class performed the song “Qué Vida La Mía” by Reik. As our class performed, the audience rose and cheered for the show. Although the performance looked as if it were effortlessly executed, it took long hours of preparation to perfect. Every day of the week leading up to Karaoke Latino, our class would spend 15 minutes to practice singing and dancing. In order to express our spirit and boost our confidence, we created shirts that reflected our passion and love for being Spanish students.
Submit an Article!
You can submit an article to be considered for a future edition of Lingua Franca by emailing us at [email protected]
Lingua Franca Editorial Staff
Dr. Lori Langer de Ramirez, Executive Editor Sanjida Rashid, Editor-in-Chief Sakib Ahmed, Acquisitions Editor Ben Carleton, Layout Editor Ravi Patel, Copy Editor Ms. Tania DeSimone, Advisor
Although we were nervous before the show began, we were able to get rallied up and perform like stars under the spotlight. We sang to our hearts’ content and ended with the legendary “O’Shea-period-3” slow clap. It was an unforgettable experience. After all the classes took their turns on the stage, a silence fell over the auditorium as the judges called out the winning classes. Out of the eight upperclassmen trophies, our class won five. According to the judges, our class had the Best Choreography, Best T-Shirt, Best Interpretation, was the Most Creative, and Most Spirited. It was an event that everyone enjoyed because we acted as “una familia.”
The Silver Nose
Luis Guallpa, Italian Student
n my Italian class, we spend a great amount of time enriching our grammar and our knowledge of Italian culture. Recently, however, we have been reading several Italian fables. I had never pictured myself learning about Italian fables in class, but I found that they convey messages that are important, and reading the fables gave us the opportunity to improve our grammar skills and cultural knowledge in a meaningful context. One fable we read together was “Naso D’argento,” which translates to “The Silver Nose”. This story is about a washerwoman who gives her first-born daughter away to a strange but wealthy man with a silver nose who continued on page 3
The Benefits of Being Bilingual Sanjida Rashid, Spanish Student
In the spirit of the world language month, students have become increasingly aware of the benefits of learning a second language. From bilinguals to polyglots and everything else in between, speaking more than one language has become a universally acknowledged necessity in the business, medical, and financial worlds that many have taken it upon themselves to learn languages on their own. Although the reasons for learning a new language are endless, many do not recognize the greater benefits associated with experiencing a new culture and speaking a foreign tongue. Other than the fact that we live in a more globalized world and having a second or even third language under the belt is a skill that cannot be underestimated, researchers have found that being bilingual can boost brain power by increasing cognitive development. In a 2011 study led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, researchers found that the onset
of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease was delayed by about four years in elderly bilingual adults than in monolingual adults. However, the evidence of the bilingual advantage is more notable in research done with school children. In an interview with the New York Times, Dr. Ellen Bialystok, a professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, discusses the concept of the executive control system in the brain. “Its job is to keep you focused on what is relevant, while ignoring distractions,” explained Bialystok. Thus, “bilinguals use that system more, and it’s that regular use that makes that system more efficient” (Dreifus 2). In her 2004 study, Bialystok found that bilingual children actually process information differently than monolingual children. Each group of children was asked whether the sentence “apples grow on noses” was grammatically correct. According to Bialystok, “The monolingual
children couldn’t answer. They’d say ‘That’s silly’ and they’d stall. But the bilingual children would say, in their own words, ‘It’s silly, but it’s grammatically correct’” (Dreifus 2).Therefore, the bilingual children were able to exercise their executive control by differentiating between the information that was necessary and relevant and the information that was insignificant. As reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics, about 21% of students speak a language other than English within the household. This number is said to increase in the next few years, making the initiative to learn new languages imperative. For more information, please visit the American Speech-LanguageHearing Association on their website: http://www.asha.org/.
with some of the cutest dogs we have ever seen. While most of us kept falling from the dog sleds, we were able to end with a playdate with the pups in training. Then we were off to Montréal! On the next day, we took classes at a circus school. We watched in awe as performers contorted their bodies into intricate shapes, ones that most of us would not be capable of producing even if we tried. We completed our day with a great meal followed by a class at the National Film Board, which was perhaps my favorite activity of the trip. We watched as
producers made a Mortal Kombat inspired, short stop-action film featuring two of our very own classmates battling to the death. Finally, we headed back to Herricks after an amazing trip. My feelings, and what I am sure are the feelings of others on the trip, could best be articulated by sophomore Lisa Boneta who said, “I’ll always hold on to the memorable times I had. Traveling tears down the walls of your comfort zone and opens your mind to everything around you. This trip has done exactly that.”
Dreifus, Claudia. “The Bilingual Advantage.” New York Times, 30 May 2011. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. .
A Voyage to Canada
Michelle Vancura, French Student
his past President’s week break, Mr. Pasquier and thirty of his French students embarked on a journey to Québec. The trip began early, but after a long ride, we arrived at our hotel in Québec City. We then went on a walking tour of the old city and ended our day by skating in an outdoor ice rink. Although the temperatures were bitterly low, it was manageable under the excitement of what awaited us over the next four days. One of the most exciting activities we participated in happened on the third day. After breakfast, we went dog sledding
continued from page 1 needs help taking care of his new house. The washerwoman gives her daughter away with the hope that the daughter will be able to live a more prosperous life with the man. Once the daughter is at the strange man’s home, she is told not to open one particular door. However, she did so out of curiosity and the man, who was actually the devil, had discovered that the daughter opened the door and he sends her to hell. The man then returned to the house
and the was able to persuade the second daughter to go with the first. Similarly, the second daughter is sent to hell for opening the same door. The third daughter, however, begins to understand what was happening and makes a plan to rescue her two sisters by secretly stowing them into a laundry bag, which the man would send to the washerwoman every week. The trick works, and the devil unknowingly returns the two daughters to their home. The
family then places a cross on the front door, so that the devil could never return. The moral of the story is that there are no quick ways for one to become rich, and that women are able to outsmart the devil. Whether we are reading stories about the devil, or kings and queens, these stories teach us about Italian culture. I never thought we would read Italian fables in class, and I am glad we spent the time reading them.
such as reading, playing games, and sports, and I have been able to use this knowledge to talk with my grandfather, who speaks Cantonese and some Mandarin. While it is not easy to speak with him, I enjoy it because I get to practice my speaking skills in two different dialects. We have also been learning about Chinese culture as well. Recently, we celebrated the Spring Festival, which is also known as Chinese
New Year. We learned several of the traditions that people practice throughout this fifteen day event, which include eating moon cakes, lighting fireworks, and sending red envelopes, filled with money to friends for good luck. So far, I have enjoyed what I have learned in Chinese class, and I hope to be fluent in Mandarin someday so that my children will also be able to grow up knowing about their heritage.
write news articles. For the articles, students chose to write about different topics pertaining to teens at Herricks High School. After each student picked a topic, he or she wrote ten questions in order to survey thirty different students in Herricks High School. Once all the surveys were taken, the ESL students tallied the results. Based on the outcome, they determined the percentages for the answers to each question. To compile the
data, students made pie charts and bar graphs on Microsoft Excel. By doing this field research project, I learned to make graphs on the computer. More important, though, I became friends with the students who took my surveys. From this experience, I was able to learn many practical skills like organizing data and communicating with my peers. At the end of the day, I had a great time going out of my comfort zone to converse with new people.
Connecting with Family
Justin Lee, Chinese Student
andarin is a language that almost anyone can learn. Most of my family is from China, and most speak Cantonese. This is why is why I find learning Cantonese to be easier than Mandarin. I am not very fluent in Mandarin, but what I have learned so far in Chinese class has helped get a better grasp of the language and of Chinese culture. Recently we have been learning about hobbies,
ESL: Taking Surveys Meet Patel, ESL Student
s of now, I am enrolled in the intermediate level ESL Class. Including me, there are eight students in this level. Although we all attend the same school, each student in the class has come from a different country. However, our differences do not hinder us from being kind and helpful to one another. Each week in ESL, students learn about different subjects. This week, students learned how to