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Third Graders Showcase Their Skills — and Style — at the World Language Fashion Show

Third Graders Showcase Their Skills — and Style — at the World Language Fashion Show

On Thursday — two days delayed, thanks to the snowstorm — 30 third graders gathered excitedly before their parents and teachers in Hauser Hall. Most had several years of either French or Spanish language instruction under their belts, and they were poised to showcase their skills in front of an adult audience for the very first time. 

But it was no ordinary language presentation. Bedecked in unique fashions of their own creation, students rose, one by one, to introduce themselves, share a fun fact, and present their outfits, all en français or en español

For nearly 20 years, the Primary School’s World Language Fashion Show has been an opportunity for students to not only demonstrate their vocabulary and language acumen but their public speaking and presentation skills as well. (In preparation, each student created a Google slideshow in class, reflecting relevant vocabulary, but did not refer to it during the show.) 

“One of our goals is to start building students’ confidence so they feel comfortable speaking another language in front of others and communicating in real-life scenarios,” explains Señora Dora Gragg, who organized the event along with fellow Spanish teacher Ana Casas and French teacher Charline Bernard. “The Fashion Show allows our students to have an audience and show their skills in their target language while having fun.” 

The event is also a chance for teachers in the Primary School Language Department to collaborate, which Madame Bernard explains happens regularly, for a reason. 

“When the Spanish classes are working on a project, the French students are invited to watch, and vice versa,” she explains. “Cultural exchange is so important. It helps to build their skills overall and motivates their learning.” 

Among the many stylish ensembles were black pants, a leather jacket, and sunglasses; a colorful dress with a yellow purse and boots; and hip athletic apparel paired with sneakers. 

“I liked dressing up for class, being under the spotlight, and walking on the runway,” Amelia recounts. “I learned a lot of French — words I did not know before.”

Eden felt similarly. “I learned I can speak more in Spanish. I liked to write about my outfit and enjoyed doing a pose at the end of my presentation.”

And indeed, after proudly describing their outfits, and against a backdrop of French and Latin-infused music, students floated off down the runway to strike a pose.