SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ --  Several of Mrs. Ciringione’s French students at Union Catholic participated in Montclair State University’s Annual French Day last Friday. 

There were fifteen other schools and 350 participants. The program consisted of two interactive workshops in French intended for students with at least two years of experience in the language. 

The first workshop that the 21 UC students attended was called, “Mardi Gras! Carnaval dans le monde francophone.” Students received passports and visited three francophone destinations to learn about music, food, and traditions during the Carnaval in that part of the world. They interacted with “locals” from Haiti, Switzerland, and New Orleans. 

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Each student then got to have their passport stamped as having visited the destination all while interacting with Montclair State University Undergraduate and Graduate French Students, who ran each station. 

The next workshop on Corsica/La Corse was conducted by a university professor, who is a native of Corsica. The workshop explored the beautiful island of Napoleon’s birthplace. Students learned about the history, traditions, music, and authentic food specialties of this beautiful island. 

At the end of the workshop, there was a Kahoot Trivia contest in the target language where UC students Caroline Mehno placed first and Arminder Singh took third. Both students took home Corsican souvenirs! After the workshop, students were given free time for lunch followed by a tour guided by Mrs. Ciringione around the campus. 

 “What I love most about returning to my alma mater is that I can have my students meet my university professor, Dr. Elizabeth Emery, and interact with other university faculty and students,’’ said Mrs. Ciringione’s. “They were able to visit a college campus, which for some was their first.  Most importantly, they were able to have an outside of the classroom experience in the target language learning about cultures. My students were able to understand the presenters and ask questions in French in both of the workshops. They were complemented very positively by the presenters. It was a wonderful experience!” 

UC junior Kylah Spranger added, “I thought the trip was a lot of fun; that it was very interesting and educational. I liked how afterwards we were able to walk around the campus and see the full university. I also found the workshops to be very interesting, especially the one about Mardi Gras in different francophone countries.”

Junior Abeenaele Demesyeux stated, “I thought the trip was a fun bonding experience for our class, as a whole. In the beginning, we got to learn about different Mardi Gras celebrations and how each country showcased it in a unique way. Next, we tried food from different cultures; my favorite was the Haitian patties and Swiss bread. Then, we heard a quick lecture in French about its geography and the history behind it. Lastly ,we ate lunch and toured around the MSU campus. This trip was enjoyable and I hope we can experience this again next year!

Junior Gillian Caldas said, “I enjoyed this trip very much! It was a very great experience in which I got to learn more about French culture, learn new vocabulary, and taste some amazing French treats!. My favorite part was the Mardi Gras exhibit which was so realistic and informative that I felt I was present in several francophone countries celebrating along with millions of people. I also enjoyed the second session in which we got to visit Corsica/La Course to learn its history and wildlife, play Kahoot, and again try some yummy treats! Overall, it was a great experience that I got to share with my fellow classmates which has expanded my French knowledge! I would definitely do it again!”

Union Catholic (1600 Martine Ave., Scotch Plains) prepares a diverse student body to fulfill their college and career goals by cultivating the students' achievement of academic standards of excellence within a value-centered environment, strong in its commitment to our core values (respect, responsibility, honesty, compassion, and community), and to the establishment of a community of faith and love in the Catholic tradition. For more information, call (908) 889-1600 or visit www.unioncatholic.org.