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January 16. 2014 10:51PM

Derry students ready to put their French skills to the test in Quebec

DERRY — Some French students at Pinkerton Academy will get a real test of their language skills when they travel to Quebec City later this month.

Forty-six French students, from beginner to advanced, are scheduled to leave for the trip on Friday, Jan. 24, and return on Sunday, Jan. 26, said Stacey Hourihane, a Pinkerton French teacher.

Instead of having to cross the Atlantic to France, students will only have to travel approximately seven hours by bus to reach their destination. Despite the relatively short distance, Quebec is a cultural world apart, Hourihane said.

“Quebec is really all French,” Hourihane said Wednesday. “They are all French students going, and we are just very fortunate to have the cultural experience so close to us.”

Some students might have French-Canadian parents and some knowledge of French, but for most students, their knowledge and use of the language is limited to the classroom.

“We are bringing them to this culture, and it just makes our classroom lessons come to life,” Hourihane said. “It makes for a very powerful learning experience for these kids, and it’s something they remember.”

Once they arrive, students will get a chance to use their French skills to order meals in restaurants or to do some shopping, she said. They will also learn about the people and history of Quebec.

“It’s learning, but it’s also life experiences,” Hourihane said.

Students will get to see Old Quebec, which is actually a walled-in city with ramparts, she said.

Students are scheduled to return home on Sunday.


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