Greens Farms Academy is a PreK-12, coed school in Westport, CT

World Language Department Hosts Regional Educators for CAIS Dinner

World Language Department Hosts Regional Educators for CAIS Dinner

By Eva Verduzco

Last Thursday, February 15, marked another successful edition of the CAIS World Language Dinner hosted at Greens Farms Academy. In an enchanting evening, approximately sixty educators hailing from diverse corners of the region convened to partake in a rich tapestry of connection, collaboration, and the jubilant celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity. Now in its thirteenth year, this event has become a cornerstone in the calendar of language educators, providing a platform to exchange knowledge, ideas, teaching strategies, and innovative methods of instruction. Despite the challenges posed during the pandemic, the spirit of camaraderie and dedication to language education persevered, with the event transitioning seamlessly to a virtual format for two years. This adaptability spoke volumes about the resilience of the organizing committee and underscored the unwavering commitment of educators to uphold the values of global citizenship and cultural understanding. 

Over the years, educators have shared in short presentations their knowledge about teaching languages in independent schools during a fast-paced evening while enjoying a delicious dinner and having time to reconnect, interact, and make new connections. Each year, a vibrant cohort representing various languages and grade levels converges to explore diverse themes, from integrating cultural elements into the curriculum to leveraging cutting-edge technology tools. Noteworthy presentations from GFA faculty members have included Claire Bouyssie's insightful exploration of Canva for crafting dynamic teacher resources, Wenqing Zhang's illuminating discourse on STEAM integration in language instruction, and Elena Aniel's practical guidance on establishing Free Voluntary Reading libraries within language classrooms.

A standout moment from this year's gathering was Michele Somer's captivating workshop, which delved into the rich tapestry of francophone Africa. Through an innovative multi-sensory "atelier" approach, Somer unveiled the mesmerizing world of African batik art, demonstrating how immersive experiences can profoundly enrich language proficiency and foster a more profound cultural appreciation.

Looking ahead, the legacy of the CAIS World Language Dinner continues to shine brightly, serving as a beacon of inspiration for educators. By fostering cultural and professional exchange, embracing diversity, and harnessing the power of language as a tool for connection, we can build a brighter future for our students grounded in understanding and mutual respect. Let us unite to celebrate our linguistic heritage and collectively strive towards a world where communication transcends boundaries, forging bonds of unity and solidarity across cultures and continents.