December 6, 2021

World Language Department


Explore the world... while learning a language!

In the last few years, HHS students have traveled with WLC Department Programs to Germany, France, Martinique, Québec, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.

World Language & Culture Program – Global to Local Speaker Series

This fall, we have kicked off a Global to Local Guest Speaker Series during Block 5. On Oct. 13, Maggi Ibrahim spoke about Arabic, her family's experiences immigrating to the United States from Egypt, and about the benefits of learning languages for building brain power and empathy. Students decorated cookies with the first letter of their names in Arabic. 

On November 17, we will host an alumni panel discussion: World Language Opportunities After HHS: An Alumni Panel. We will hear from Esme Cole about studying in Ecuador and volunteering at the U.S. / Mexico border, from Havailah Arnold about learning Urdu and interning with the Vermont Council on World Affairs, and from Maeve Sneddon about studying in Chile and learning Portuguese! We hope to see you Block 5 in the tent outside the H lobby! 

Global Speaker Series photos

World Language Cultivators Club

Delaney Gross has started a World Language Club for her Honors Program capstone project. Students will work together and by language groups on projects that connect what we are learning in our language classrooms to our local and global communities. We meet on Thursdays at lunch… listen to the announcements each week for more information!

Spanish Immersion & Service Learning Project

Over the past ten years, HHS Spanish students have traveled on interdisciplinary service learning trips to the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Peru, and Ecuador. We work as a group to raise funds and prepare for the trip by learning about the culture of the place we will visit. We have established the HHS Travel Equity Fund to ensure that any student can participate in these opportunities, regardless of economic situation. Stay tuned for future opportunities as the global health situation permits us to begin to explore the world again!   

HHS Spanish Immersion Photos

Spanish classes study a variety of cultural topics, including food and cooking.  It is not unusual to sample cuisine such as tres leches cake, tajadas, torrejas, or a pot-luck of traditional dishes prepared by classmates during a cooking unit.  Sra. often prepares more challenging traditional recipes such as the Rosca de Reyes for Three Kings Day or Pan de Muertos for Day of the Dead celebrations to share with students.  

Spanish food collage


La France (2018 & 2015) et la Martinique (2017)

During April break 2019, French teacher Scott Tarbox took his students to France.  This one of several trips he has taken with his students.

France 2019

IMG_0731.JPGDuring Spring break 2019, a group of students with chaperones Mr. Tarbox and Dr. Brzozowski, traveled to France through the Globalworks Student Travel organization.  We arrived in Paris and immediately after leaving the airport, started touring the city.   We spent two nights at a international youth hostel in the middle of Paris, visiting the Louvre, Montparnasse, the Eiffel Tower, and ate dinner at a couple of famous French restaurants.  One of our students recorded that we walked about 12 miles each day while still giving us time to visit many cool Parisian landmarks!    

After Paris, we went directly to Carcassonne in the south of France where students stayed with host families to practice their French and learn about the culture.  During the days we were there, our group toured the fortified city of Carcassonne, participated in activities at a youth center, wandered through the small villages in the region, and helped out on a restoration project.  We also hiked to several of the Cathar castles built in the 12th century and learned about their way of life.  Many tourist destinations also have a bookstore, so you can always learn more about the historic sites you’ve visited.

Some of the passing comments I heard included:  “I didn’t realize I knew so much French until I had to talk with my host family!”  and “How can I stay here longer?  France is awesome!”   The trip was an excellent way to reward students for all their hard work while still having fun.  


Martinique 2017

French culture in the Carribean: Martinique is a small island close to South America, in which locals speak both French and Martinican Creole.  We left from Montreal and arrived several hours later in the capital of Fort-de-France.  We learned the history of Martinique from our tour director and from those working in local museums.  (There was even a museum dedicated to the many different varieties of banana trees on a large farm.)

We listened to some local music on the radio while working on a small organic form, toured the city market, visited a leatherback turtle nesting site, and spent time at a local high school.  We discussed in French the differences between Vermont and Martinique, hobbies, and things to do in the area.  We also spent several days visiting other small villages and cities throughout the island and each night eating fresh seafood and regional specialties.  

Students stayed on a cliffside resort in a surfing town with a perfect view of the ocean in the evening.  Mornings included drives to cultural landmarks after a typical French breakfast of chocolate croissants, yogurt, fruit, and coffee.   Students learned the history of Martinique’s colonial past and how sugar was traditionally made from the large stalks that are actually giant blades of grass.  With so much to do, the week really flew by.

2014 Trip to Germany

HHS and JSS students walk along the Philosophenweg in Heidelberg.

Our partner school in Germany is the Frankenwald Gymnasium, located in the town of Kronach, in northern Bavaria.

We look forward to continuing our exchange once the pandemic is over!

In year's past, we have partnered with schools in Trier (Max Planck Gymnasium) and Heidelberg (Julius Springer Schule).  Groups of students travel from Germany to Hartford, and vice-versa.  Students stay with host families to experience the daily life of the host community.  Trips last approximately two weeks and include community service projects in both countries.  Projects have included: working at the Listen Center in WRJ; doing trail work and river restoration; partnering with elementary school students, and refugees; and the community food shelf in Kronach.

To learn more about the German Exchange Program, please visit our page.


Travel and Hosting Programs
World Language Department News

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HHS and JSS students walk along the Philosophenweg in Heidelberg.
HHS and JSS students walk along the Philosophenweg in Heidelberg.

HHS students work at a food shelf in Kronach Germany
HHS students work at a food shelf in Kronach, Germany

JSS and HHS students collaborate on a project
JSS and HHS students collaborate on a project.

FWG and HHS students eat dinner together
FWG and HHS students eat dinner together