A Welcoming Partnership for All

A Welcoming Partnership for All
A Welcoming Partnership for All 2
For the third consecutive year, differences in language and cultures are bringing students together at Syosset High School. The school’s National Honor Society students once again worked with the English Department to organize a special “meet and greet” with the school’s English as a New Language learners, an experience that has proven to be beneficial to both English and ENL students alike.

“It is such an honor to have worked with the English Department and the NHS to develop the Language Partners Program,” said guidance counselor Debbie Contino, who works with ENL learners. “NHS volunteers are paired with ENL students to practice speaking conversational English and assist them as they acclimate to American culture and society. It is also a wonderful opportunity for American-born students to learn more about other cultures and customs.”

The meet and greet began with students, school administrators and ENL teachers participating in creative icebreaker activities, highlighted by the popular yarn web game. The event concluded with the new language partners meeting in small groups and making plans to meet at least five times throughout the year.

“The Language Partners Program was a great way to connect with students that I normally would not have been able to get to know,” said Alec Haber, a senior, NHS executive board member and program liaison. Some of the countries represented in the Syosset High School student body are Brazil, China, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Haiti, Israel, Korea, Japan, Peru, Taiwan and Turkey.

ENL students shared comments such as “I was nervous but everyone is so nice” and “I like meeting a new friend and practicing my English pronunciation.” NHS students shared similar sentiments, including, “It was an interesting experience getting to know other students whose first language was not English” and “I really enjoyed learning about someone else’s culture and making new friends; it’s an incredible way to acclimate new students to the high school environment.”