Throughout the month of November, several upper school World and Classical Language classes hosted guest speakers to deepen student learning. 

Students in Dr. Janet Lainé’s French Language and Culture and Mary Beth Hill’s Spanish Language and Culture classes studied the political systems of France and Spain. In addition to learning about the governing bodies and political parties, the students also examined political campaign videos and political literature. To enhance the lesson, two Tampa Prep alumni, Katie Dorsey Nealon ‘09 and Ben Wright ‘00 were invited to speak to the students about their work in American political campaigns. 

Nealon provided great insight into the localization of campaign ads, particularly the difference in campaigns in states based on the values that are important to the people in those communities. She also talked about how campaigns are funded. Wright shared his work on local and state campaigns. Wright was also able to provide students with a deeper understanding of the focus and emphasis of print versus televised political advertisements. As a culminating assessment, students will create a video and print ad to represent one of the political parties they studied, incorporating criteria specific to the country studied and the input from the guest speakers.

Dr. Lainé’s French 4 students completed a unit on skill sets and plans for the future. To wrap up the unit, students researched an internship that would interest them, prepared a resume, and wrote a cover letter. Their letters and resumes were then sent to Mr. Antoine Lainé, Dr. Lainé’s brother-in-law. Thanks to Zoom, students interviewed with Mr. Lainé, in French, of course, for the potential internships. Students had to introduce themselves, talk about their qualifications and discuss why they wanted the internship. 

According to Camila Mattioli ‘24, “It was a good learning experience and I’m glad we got to see what it’s like to be interviewing for a job in France.”

Gage Mills ‘22, prepared for an internship as a sports journalist. He said, “The interview was a bit difficult, but my interest and knowledge in sports helped me elaborate on some of the topics I was asked about. Despite the project being difficult, I’m glad we did it, as it allowed me to improve my conversational skills and learn terminology that I could possibly use daily in French.” 

At the end of the interview, Mr. Lainé complimented the students on a job well-done, and offered some tips for continuing to develop their French skills through TV/film, music, and daily practice.