World Language Week at a Distance

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Luke ’27 and Ally ’20 Riley with their crepes!

For the first time in St. Luke’s history, World Language Week was held online. From Monday, April 27 to  Friday, May 1, St. Luke’s celebrated global languages and cultures through fun, interactive activities. 

World Language Week is always a highlight of the year for students and teachers alike. 

Although World Language week is usually an in-person celebration, the world language team rose to the challenge and quickly planned a week of activities for the St. Luke’s community. 

Upper School World Language Department Chair Mr. Shee mentioned his favorite part of the annual tradition is   “seeing all the students interacting with fun cultural activities.” 

Middle School Department Chair  Señora Sarrazin suggested that her favorite part of the week is the “idea of spending an entire week celebrating [cultures] with creative and engaging activities.” 

The first step to taking on WL Week this year was planning at a distance.

Mr. Shee mentioned that “it [was] pretty easy overall” to plan; however, the online format obviously posed a new challenge.

“The biggest challenge [was] keeping the community involved online,” claimed Señora. Sarrazin. “We didn’t want people to feel the stress of having to do one more thing. So, people have the option to be a part of World Language Week as a spectator or a participant… It is also a time to have fun…without feeling the pressure of grades and expectations.”

While it was difficult to engage the whole community in the online activities, the World Language Department did a great job of providing fun for all participants.  Moreover, the team emphasized that they did not want WL Week to become an extra stressor in these strange times. Rather, they wanted it to be a source of joy and community spirit, no matter your degree of participation. 

As long as everyone knows that there are some fun language-related things going on, they can choose to get more involved or not.  This is all optional and fun!” Mr. Shee added. 

But the WL Department was pleased with the community’s willingness to adapt to the online activities. Sra. Sarrazin said that the “St. Luke’s community has a unique enthusiasm and willingness to try new things.” This was quickly demonstrated starting with cooking videos and international style dances sent in by members of the community. 

The week began with an international culinary day, which brought in submissions throughout the community. The winners were Ally (‘20) and Luke (‘27) Riley, who hit it out of the park with homemade crepes. Along with their submission, participants made Indian, Asian, and European dishes, such as apple tarts, chicken marsala, and egg fried rice.  

Tuesday was marked with a TikTok style day, where participants could send a video of themselves dancing to international music. Next was Culture Day on Wednesday: a day to check out and explore cultures and experiences from around the world. 

My personal favorite day was the international dress-up day on Thursday, as students and teachers dressed in traditional dresses and even soccer jerseys.  Finally, the week was wrapped up with a Quizziz game day. 

Although we couldn’t celebrate WLW together this year, we still witnessed the World Language Department’s creativity and adaptability. We can’t wait to see what they will come up with next year!