47 students get inducted into WWHS World Languages ​​Honor Society | Kent County Daily Times

WEST WARWICK – When Giselle Rivera decided to study Spanish in school, it was with the hope of coming closer to her own Hispanic roots while connecting with the world beyond her hometown.

“I think that, as the world is evolving, it’s important to know other languages ​​so that you can connect with other people in your community,” Rivera said last week, sitting among her classmates in the West Warwick High School cafeteria.

A junior at the high school, Rivera was one of 47 students to be inducted into the World Language Honor Society during a brief ceremony Wednesday. The students, who were accepted into the program with either honors, high honors or highest honors, were each given a pin and certificate as proof of the hard-won achievement.

As more and more people arrive in the United States from other countries, knowing another language can make it easier to understand one another, added Rivera, who was inducted into the Spanish Honor Society with highest honors.

“You have more people migrating here, you have communities of different backgrounds, different ethnicities,” she said, “so I think that it’s important to at least try to immerse yourself in another language, or even two languages.”

Students inducted into the high school’s World Languages ​​Honor Society need to have completed at least five semesters of either Spanish, French or Italian. Inductees also need a teacher recommendation, and to have maintained at least a B + cumulative average.

In addition to all of that, students must demonstrate language proficiency during an oral interview.

Wednesday’s ceremony opened with remarks by Sarah Petrangelo, a senior who was inducted last year into the Spanish Honor Society, followed by a performance by Rivera of a traditional Nicaraguan folk song.

The honorees, most of them juniors, were then called up one-by-one to be inducted by their teachers before a crowd that included Supt. Karen Tarasevich and several school administrators. Thirty-four students were inducted into the Spanish Honor Society; 10 students were inducted into the Italian Honor Society, and three into the French Honor Society.

After the ceremony, students helped themselves to a spread of food that included pizza, Mexican-style eats and cake.

For junior Riley Maynard, who was inducted into the French Honor Society, learning the language has been an opportunity to connect to his French-Canadian background. His family di lui often weaves French phrases into conversation – frequently saying things like “c’est la vie,” meaning “that’s life” – and Maynard wanted to deepen his understanding of the language.

French is less popular among West Warwick students than the other languages ​​offered at the school, Maynard said. He’s appreciated his small classes by him, though, and has enjoyed getting to know his teacher by him.

Junior Steven Schayer, who was inducted with highest honors into the Italian Honor Society, said he too has enjoyed learning the language of his heritage.

“I kind of wanted to learn a bit more about my cultural background,” said Schayer, whose mom comes from an Italian family.

Schayer has yet to make the trip to Italy, but said he hopes to travel there soon.

“It would be nice to try out my skills,” he said.

Timothy Fazio, a junior inducted with high honors, echoed that, noting that his dad has relatives in Italy.

Wednesday’s ceremony was a chance to celebrate the hard work of the students who were inducted, said John Giovanelli, who teaches Spanish and Italian and chairs the high school’s world languages ​​department.

Giovanelli said he hopes the new World Languages ​​Honor Society members will continue to hone their language skills, even after they graduate. As the world becomes smaller – as international jobs become more easy to come by and interactions with other cultures become more common – knowing a second language is becoming all the more important, he said.

“I think we know now how the world is,” Giovanelli said. “We’re not just in our little town of West Warwick.”



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