African Government Officials Shadow French Students

Gini Horton and Elias Henderson

Walking at a quick pace, students led African government officials through the school.
The government officials were anybody from lawyers to law enforcement.There were 25 in all, including four interpreters. Students led four groups on tours of the school, to sit in and watch a government class, and to sit and have a casual conversation with their African charges.
“The visitors are invited to the united states due to the hospices of the department of states international visitor leadership program, they are here to learn about principles of US judicial and legal systems,” French teacher Samantha Murphy said. “They all work within their governments judicial system. That’s why they’re here, they wanted to observe a government class, and it just works out that they’re from french speaking countries so our french AP students have the chance to be their ambassadors.”
During one casual conversation, students learned the differences between education in Africa and America, with an emphasis on how they do world languages. Another conversation about bullying and how it surfaces in America compared to Africa.
Walking through the halls, a man named Bienvenu, a juvenile judge in Benin, pointed out all the art on the wall, saying it reminded him of a kindergarten and remarking on the importance of art for self recognition. Bienvenu liked being able to be immersed in Tony Budetti’s AP Government class.
Two of the officials travelled from the north African country of Morocco, where they speak Arabic and French, wandered into the Arabic classroom. The officials were greeted by a warm welcome from Arabic teacher Annie Hasan. Th officials proceeded to heed questions from the curious students on everything from their jobs to how they’ve enjoyed America, all in Arabic. This was a unique learning opportunity for students to speak with high proficiency native speakers face to face. The Moroccans were happy to oblige and showed the traditional Arab hospitality in accommodating Arabic learners. The visiting African officials was a cool experience for the Arabic class and will not be forgotten by either side any time soon.