- Upper School
Students in Mr. David Willis’ Advanced Placement Spanish classes got the chance to put their language skills to the test when a family of four native Spanish speakers visited the classroom.
Marisol, Joan, Juan and Mateo emigrated from Bogotá, Colombia to Virginia Beach four years ago and met Mr. Willis through church. They first visited Cape Henry Collegiate in 2019 and have come back via Zoom and in person every year since.
“The family enjoyed getting to know the students,” said Mr. Willis. “The sons, who are school age, think it’s cool to interact with big kids in Upper School and learn about their life.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Willis’s students benefit in several ways: interacting with native Spanish speakers builds their language skills and confidence, and they learn they don’t necessarily have to travel to build global competency.
“I was really proud of my students. They weren’t shy about speaking and asking questions to our guest speakers,” he said. “I think that speaks to how our teachers throughout the Cape Henry world languages program put a lot of emphasis on spontaneous conversation and making the classroom a place of immersion.”
Senior Rachel Sobers especially enjoyed learning about Colombian culture firsthand and came away from the experience believing that people from all around the world have more similarities than differences.
“At Cape Henry, we study all these different cultures and we’re all about inclusivity and learning about each other,” Rachel said. “It’s not just seeing another person, it’s seeing how your life can relate to them. Even though they came from another country, we’re all living here together now.”