CNJ staff photo: Benna Sayyed Clovis High School French I student Alexandria Johnson prepares French bread plates for French club students.
Destini Arguijo thinks speaking only one language is a setback for people today.
Arguijo, a Clovis High junior, speaks English and Spanish and is studying French to reach her dream of becoming multilingual.
Arguijo is one of 90 French students at Clovis High who have been studying France and French-speaking countries in Africa and Canada, striving to broaden their knowledge of the French language and culture by participating in National French Week.
“It’s important for students in the French club to share their knowledge about the club because not a lot of people know that we have French club. I think it’s good that we’re involving the whole school,” Arguijo said.
“I think it’s interesting to know different languages. I think it would be cool to be a polyglot one day. You get a feeling of diversity.”
National French Week is held in all high schools around the U.S. every year, according to Jennifer Kelly, French I teacher at Clovis High. This week’s activities at Clovis High included the French club fondue, scavenger hunt, hunt for hidden Eiffel towers, French trivia for prizes and croissants for teachers.
Kelly said National French Week provides opportunities for French instructors to involve students in activities they cannot do in class to give them a better feel of the culture and progress in their French studies.
“I think our French students enjoy it because they kind of get to show off. They wear their T-shirts. We’ve had a word every day that French students share with the other students and teachers. We’ve had a French quote or joke of the day. They get to be recognized for something they’re involved in which is always important,” Kelly said.
“I think it is important for all students to be aware of many cultures that are beyond the walls of this high school. We (the French club) enjoy showing that to all the students.”
Kelly said National French Week also allows the French club to show the rest of the school what the club does in French classes and stress that French is an important language.
“It is an opportunity to make people aware of what we’re doing here, to encourage students to learn about another culture and to enjoy it outside of the classroom, everything from music to food, to expressions and slang,” said Diana Huey, French II teacher at Clovis High.
Huey said the school’s French program offers students a trip to France every other summer. In summer 2010, 10 students and nine parents spent nine days traveling Paris, south France and Pisa, Florence and Rome, Italy.
“We hope that they’ll use their French when they travel abroad with us. They get to see some the things we’ve studied like the Louvre,” Huey said.
Clovis High sophomore Hanna Langan enjoys learning about French through a cultural perspective.
“I love National French Week. I’ve learned a lot of things that I’ve never known,” Langan said.
“I’ve always wanted to go to France, so of course I’d like to learn the language a little bit before I actually go.”