Last summer, twenty LCHS French students, led by Mlle Sadler and Mr. and Mrs. Yoder, traveled to France for a ten-day trip, not sponsored by the school. While there, they not only practiced the language but also visited and learned about important historical and cultural sites.
“Any goal of a language teacher is to have students actually use the language that they’re learning in a real life setting,” said Mlle Sadler on her reasons for organizing the trip. “It makes the curriculum more relevant.”
She also cited the greater cultural impact that travel abroad has on students’ lives.
“Sometimes LC is such a confined little space they get so used to, but when they go to a different country…they just become self-aware, and I think that is one of the best preparations we can give them for going off to college,” Mlle Sadler said.
The students first visited Normandy, around the 75th anniversary of D-Day, visiting a WWII museum and the embarkment beaches where some 561,000 Allied soldiers landed in 1944 to liberate France. After Normandy, the group traveled to the picturesque Loire Valley and explored its chateaux, beautiful medieval castles restored by France’s 15th-century monarchs to be royal residences, and then went on to Versailles and Paris.
While in France, students also had the chance to experience important cultural sites. From Paris, the group traveled to Aix-en-Provence, the hometown and inspiration of painter Paul Cezanne, where they learned how to paint in his style. They also stopped by Arles, the town where Vincent Van Gogh painted some of his most famous works. The group concluded their trip in Nice.
Heather Richardson (12), one of the students who went on the trip, said, “I learned how much I love French culture, and now I want to study abroad […] Actually going there and seeing Paris and everything made me realize how much I want to learn French.”
Jayli Day (11), who also went to France with the class, concurred.
“It was a really nice trip that I don’t think I’m ever going to forget,” she added.
On the subject of similar trips in the future, Mlle Sadler teased a possible summer trip to France and Italy.