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Quebec trip puts Dorseyville students' skills to test

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
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Dorseyville Middle School students visited Montmorency Falls on a class trip.
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Students visited Chateau Frontenac during a trip to Quebec.

Dorseyville Middle School students were able to apply their foreign language skills this summer without traveling around the world.

Students were immersed in French history, food and traditions with a trip to Quebec, the point of which was to show how convenient it can be to explore other cultures, teacher Tera Clutter said.

About three dozen students took the trip, which lasted five days.

“We have always considered taking a group of students to Quebec because it's a French-speaking province that is relatively close to where we live,” said Clutter, a district teacher for 11 years.

“We had an exceptional group of students last year and decided, ‘Now is the time.'”

Teachers plan to travel back with another group of students in 2015.

Clutter, along with teachers Dave Dadowski and Lisa Barbour, chaperoned students on a tour this past summer that included stops at the Montmorency Falls; the Plains of Abraham where a battle took place during the French and Indian War; and Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City.

The trip was conceived to emphasize lessons from foreign language classes that highlight a French-speaking Canada.

Freshman Olivia McQuarrie said she enjoyed learning about the city.

“We learned about the culture, not just that it is a different place but what made the city, the history of it,” McQuarrie said.

She said she enjoyed putting her language skills to the test.

“It's fun to get to practice,” she said. “You talk to real people with the language that we practice so much here and you pick up some tips.”

Other highlights of the week-long trek included a stop at the Parliament Building, the S.S. Louis Joliet and the Fontaine de Tourny, a landmark designed in 1854.

“It was exciting to see our students embrace the French-Canadian culture and converse with the general public using their French-language skills,” said Dadowski, a science teacher.

Freshman Ian Tracey said he was impressed by the city's rich architecture.

“I liked all the historic stuff, like that big hotel. Everything was so majestic,” he said. “There are a lot of old buildings. I want to go back and explore more.”

A highlight for Clutter and Barbour was hearing students interact with residents.

“It was great seeing the looks on their faces when they realized that they had used the French language and were understood by a real French speaker,” Clutter said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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