Doris-Ann Vosseler hosts an Ecuadorian breakfast for her eighth grade Spanish class ever year during International Week. This event gives her students an opportunity to practice the skills they have learned while experiencing the culture of South America through its delicious breakfast foods.
Eighth grade foreign language teacher Doris-Ann Vosseler welcomes her students to this year’s Ecuadorian breakfast, which she hosts for all her Spanish classes. For her French class, she hosts a Parisian breakfast. Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Sweet rolls (el pan dulce), all types of fruits (las frutas), and fruit juices (los jugos de fruta) are all lined up on a table in the eighth grade foreign language classroom, waiting to be eaten. Eighth grade foreign language teacher Doris-Ann Vosseler chose Ecuador because it is the focus of chapters eight and nine of her class’s textbook, ¡Ven Comigo! “In chapter eight,” she said, “the students study a lot about different foods, meals, and restaurant etiquette in Ecuador.” Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
A group of students from the eighth grade Spanish class try to decide which of the many delicious foods they will eat this morning. Unlike in past years, eighth grade foreign language teacher Doris-Ann Vosseler asked students to bring in food for the Ecuadorian breakfast. During the first few years of the event, she would stay up late to bake all the sweet rolls and cut up all the fruit, and bring in all the food, juice, and paper products to school early in the morning. “After five years,” she said, “I realized this was too exhausting for me!” Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Five girls from the eighth grade Spanish class enjoy their delicious South American meal. According to eighth grade foreign language teacher Doris-Ann Vosseler, having students bring in food items this year proved itself to be a change for the better. “When the students brought in the food and paper products, the students seemed even more excited and involved in the breakfast,” she said “They really took ownership of it! Instead of me preparing a breakfast for them, they prepared a breakfast for themselves and their peers. It was much better for everyone!” Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Two tables of boys from the eighth grade Spanish class practice certain expressions and customs during the breakfast. This conversation counts for a quiz grade. The vocabulary comes from chapter 8 of ¡Ven Comigo!, which centers on food. Students also learn how to order food at a restaurant in Spanish-speaking countries. According to eighth grade foreign language teacher Doris-Ann Vosseler, one interesting custom is that patrons call over a waiter or waitress by making the sound “¡Pffft!” or “Tch, Tch” while snapping their fingers. “This might sound rude for us,” she said, “but it is a very appropriate custom in Spanish-speaking countries.” Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The whole eighth grade Spanish class enjoys the Ecuadorian breakfast they prepared together, having their graded conversations as they eat. When asked why she hosts the breakfast, eighth-grade foreign language teacher Doris-Ann Vosseler said, “The more senses students use as they practice a foreign language, the more they will remember the experience and the language itself. This is always a very happy experience for students, and the positive emotions help them to retain in their long term memory the language and cultural elements they learn about.” Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
After they are done with their conversations, the eighth grade Spanish class enjoys a PowerPoint of Ecuadorian landscapes and sites accompanied by Ecuadorian music while they finish their breakfast. Eighth grade foreign language teacher Doris-Ann Vosseler’s favorite thing about the breakfast is that the students get a small taste of another culture, enjoying a meal that is slightly different than the typical breakfast in the United States. “In this more relaxed atmosphere, the students speak in Spanish and experience a little bit of the Ecuadorian culture,” she said. “I like this activity because the students are very involved and retain a positive impression of Spanish class and learning another language.” Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online