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North Celebrates World Language Week

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The World Language/English as a New Language Department at North High School celebrated a week of world languages and cultures with a multitude of events beginning on March 25. The week kicked off that Monday, when students walked through hallways decorated with their own banner designs that reflected their cultural heritage. They celebrated Culture Day in the library on Wednesday, English as a New Language Career Day on Friday and the Culture Fair Friday night.

Culture Day was organized by Spanish teacher Laura West. Upper level Spanish, Italian, ASL, and ENL class members participated in activities that showcased language and culture. Student leaders taught basic steps in salsa, mambo, bachata, and cumbia, instructed lessons in American Sign Language, origami, and hosted cultural trivia and games competitions. Students of Indian and Pakistani heritage provided traditional Mendi hand paintings for any attendee interested.

Earlier that day, ENL teachers Anna Matheos and Madonna Lynn hosted North’s first annual ENL Career Day. Alumni from the ENL program presented their educational and career paths to current juniors and seniors. Guests included Sergeant Victor Castillo of the United States Army, Physician’s Assistant Andres Melo, Spanish teacher Luis Montoya, Real Estate Agent Tatiana Herrera, SUNY Old Westbury student Mirna Hatoumm, founder of Albanian Roots Marko Kepi, and entrepreneur Karina Melo. Students were able to speak individually with the presenters to receive guidance and advice from people who had been through similar situations.

Finally, Friday night’s annual Culture Fair, hosted by Spanish teacher and World Language Honor Society advisor Eileen Milazzo-Soto, was attended by more than 300 students and parents. Attendees enjoyed cultural presentations and food from more than 20 countries, as well as a fashion show showcasing different Indian, Pakistani, European, and Caribbean traditional clothing. As a highlight of the event, members of the Culture Club performed songs and dances, while individual students showcased their own rap, song, and dance numbers. Posters created by junior high World Language classes adorned the cafetorium and portrayed the theme “When you learn a new language you see the world differently.”

“All of the events celebrated the beauty of culture, diversity and language at North High School,” said ENL/World Language Chairperson Dr. Jennifer DiMaio.

Friday, May 29, 2020