On 26th April a group of 20 students of the Second Classes of the Secondary School of the Leone XIII, Milan, Italy, met in the computer lab for a virtual meeting in French with a class of Canadian students of the Loyola School of Montreal, Canada.
It was the final moment of a project that involved all the secondary classes during this scholastic year. Our French teachers, prof. Luisa Colombo and prof. Vanessa Lanari, encouraged us to reflect on some issues concerning our society; the Canadian school proposed a list of topics and we have reflected on the right to education, starting from the analysis of the renowned international figure of Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
Through some group work, we have analysed documents on this character and made a goose game with questions about Malala’s life. And finally, a few days ago, we appreciated the fruits of our work during our virtual twinning session with the Canadian school.
The virtual meeting began with a presentation of the two schools: we discovered the life and the organization of the Loyola School in Montreal and we talked about how our Institute was organized and also described a typical day in our school life at the Leone XIII.
During the link, we discovered that the Canadian school is a male only institution and that students are required to wear a uniform: white shirt, jacket, tie and trousers. They told us that for their educational activities they use tablets.
After this first moment of acquaintance, we started playing the goose game: we asked questions about Malala Yousafzai, to which the Canadian students responded promptly, showing interest and curiosity.
In turn, they asked us questions about their topics, ranging from junk food, to environmental pollution, to video games and football, involving us in finding the right answers and formulating them in the best way in French.
It was not that easy to immediately understand all their questions: some had very good French pronunciation, but others had a strong English accent and we had to ask them to repeat the questions. On the contrary, we were happy and satisfied that we were able to communicate by using French and to understand each other easily from the very beginning of our contact.
Before concluding the virtual meeting we also had the opportunity to ask each other questions about our daily life: we found that among the Canadian students there was also a boy of Italian origin, who told us that he likes to prepare tomato sauce together with his grandmother!
It was a enjoyable comparison opportunity, during which we used French to meet boys of different nationalities and work together despite the distance that separates us.
Chiara Regruto, Martina Locci e Aideen Flanagan
Secondary School, Leone XIII, Milan