Cumberland Valley STILES Club Prepares for Their Next Teaching Session

Posted on 03/14/2018
Harshita Gupta
Staff Editor

One of CV’s largest clubs, STILES (Students Teaching International Languages to Elementary Schoolers), is preparing for upcoming teaching sessions. Attracting students who are a part of the high school’s world language program and want to teach elementary schoolers, the club has only grown in size in recent years. Members are currently preparing lesson plans and teaching materials. Club officers are undertaking the hefty task of communicating with elementary schools and scheduling sessions that work for high schoolers, elementary schoolers, and parent chaperones alike.

“There's a lot of planning and organization that happens behind­the­scenes to ensure that STILES runs smoothly. After high school students sign up, I compile all the information in order to assign teachers to each class, trying to cover as many schools and languages as possible,” president Krittika Negandhi said.

“Our club advisor, Mrs. Ziegler, communicates with the elementary schools and coordinates students and parent chaperones. The club officers help run the meetings, send out reminders, and assist students with lesson plans.”

Many of the club members are motivated by memories of attending after the language
sessions when they were in elementary school.

“I remember learning languages when I was in elementary school. I want to be a role
model for the elementary schoolers now just like STILES members back then were for me,” junior Avni Sanghvi said.

“STILES is a great way to introduce kids to foreign cultures, and by extension, the idea of tolerance and a curiosity for different ways of life. This is so important to
introduce to children, especially when they’re young and curious.”

This year, high schoolers will be teaching fourth and fifth graders in elementary schools across the district. They will teach Spanish, French, German, and Chinese, as well as some ESL sessions once a week, starting with basic topics such as greetings, numbers, and colors. The
sessions will run from April 3rd to the beginning of May.

“This club is important for the elementary schoolers because they are exposed to multiple languages and countries at a young age. They can also gain awareness about different cultures around the world. Since language study isn’t offered until 7th grade, STILES is a preview for
what learning a language in high school is like,” senior Shashwati Banerjee said.

Because of a lack of parent chaperones in the elementary schools, languages are being
paired together during each session.

“Teaching a foreign language is a really great test of your own skills, and it's a lot of fun to be able to interact with the elementary school students,” Negandhi said.

“Also, we implemented a dual language program, so we combine two foreign languages in one class. The
teachers as well as the students get to experience two different languages.”

“I have taught sessions for three years. It depends on the group but they’re very eager to share their knowledge with their peers and parents,” vice president Abigail Roy said.
“If you teach with enthusiasm they will reflect that enthusiasm in their learning.”

STILES is an opportunity for interested high schoolers to take an active role in preparing the next generation for both high school and the global community. Students who are interested in joining the club should keep an ear out for announcements about STILES or talk to Mrs.

“After teaching kids for a few years, I learned how to make teaching fun and engaging. I also learned the importance of organization and having a plan,” Banerjee said.

“Through STILES, high schoolers can act as positive mentors and role models to elementary students and
have the ability to make a positive impact on young minds.”

“STILES is a good way for high school students to share their passion for their foreign language study, and hopefully encourage the next generation of foreign language learners!,” Negandhi said.
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