No Need to Get Lost in Translation at Dominican

Hola! Bonjour! Salve! Whichever you prefer, at Dominican we say all three.

Dominican provides students with the opportunity to learn Spanish, French, Latin and Greek. Within those languages, there are many activities a student can take part in such as being involved in language clubs, taking national tests and going to exciting conventions.

The Foreign Language department provides a variety of activities – both inside and outside of the classroom – for students to enrich their language learning journeys at school. Dominican’s   language clubs take the work done in class into a lifestyle perspective.

Those students who take Spanish or are simply interested in the Spanish culture can join Dominican’s Spanish Club. “The mission of the Spanish Club is to bring awareness of the Hispanic culture and language to our DHS community,” said Mrs. Claudia Vallejo, Spanish teacher and Spanish Club moderator.

Junior Alexis Tran, a Spanish Club officer, and her fellow officers organize activities throughout the year to reflect this mission. This includes celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and organizing one of the most exciting events that Spanish Club has to offer: their annual picnic or fiesta with Hispanic food.

Spanish Club has not only had great activities to offer but it also provides a community for those who are interested in this language. “My favorite thing about the club is how diverse it is,” said Tran. “I’ve met some of my closest friends in the Spanish Club.”

In February, seniors Emilie Wensel, Myriel Green and sophomore Alexandra Amato learn about life in Acadiana at an exhibit at the Louisiana French Convention, also known as ALCFES.

For the students that prefer crêpes over churros, Dominican also offers a French Club along with its French classes. Like the Spanish Club, the French Club aspires to bring some French culture to St. Mary’s Hall.

“The mission of the club is to celebrate and explore some of the best parts of French language and culture: the holidays, the food, the traditions, and the music. We have access to some great French desserts and cheese in New Orleans,” said Madame Joan Rupp, French teacher and French Club moderator, “and students need to try it all!”

The French Club celebrates Canada Day, Cheese Tasting, Crepe Day, Mardi Gras, Le Noel (Christmas) and L’Halloween. “Students should join French Club because it’s an amazing opportunity to learn more about the language and culture. Even students who don’t take French  can still join the club as long as they appreciate the culture and want to learn more about it,” said junior Sydney Raymond.

Watch out for Medusa! Sophomores Elizabeth Mobley and Janie Bickerton enjoy a fun JCL meeting by dressing up as figures from Greek mythology. In the club, all of the members can share their passion of classics. Don’t look Elizabeth in the eyes or you may turn to stone!

For those students who are interested in Latin and would like to seize the day, or carpe diem, Dominican has Junior Classical League, fondly abbreviated as JCL. “The purpose of JCL is to promote the love of ancient Greek and Roman culture and language,” said Dr. Wayne Rupp, Latin teacher and JCL moderator. Unlike the Spanish and French Clubs, to be a JCL member, a student must have taken a Latin, Greek or a class dedicated to Classical Civilization. JCL is a club for those who truly love the classics. Members attend a variety of events put on by the state chapter such as Fall Forum, State Convention and a regional Certamen, which is a Latin, Greek, and Mythology quiz bowl, according to Rupp.

Sophomore Olivia Casserino, President of JCL, said being in JCL feels like being part of a family. “I love being able to closely work with my fellow officers and doctor up to make the club a really fun place to be. JCL is a place where you can truly be yourself” said Casserino.

Dr. Rupp loves the club so much because of the students’ enthusiasm. “I didn’t take Latin in high school, so I missed out on this club. I love all the people who come together both in our chapter and at convention because we share love for the ancients,” he said.

It is no secret that foreign language is an exciting activity to get involved with at Dominican. There are so many different events that a student can take part in, and the community is very enthusiastic.

Until next year, Adiós! Au revoir! Vale! The foreign language clubs at Dominican hope to see you soon!

  • Olivia Olson