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Author Engages Berner’s Spanish Language Learners

Author Engages Berner’s Spanish Language Learners   Author Engages Berner’s Spanish Language Learners

After reading “La Chica Nueva,” Spanish language students at Berner Middle School got to speak with the author — in Spanish, of course. Jennifer Degenhardt, author of more than a dozen books, met with eighth-graders on Dec. 18.

Ms. Degenhardt spent the day visiting with students in Janice Kincaid’s and Elizabeth Villajos’s classes. They had discussions about the novel and her inspiration for the story and characters. Students asked her questions about being an author, and she inquired about their hobbies and interests. The discussions gave students a chance to practice their Spanish conversational skills.

Her visited followed their completion of the book, which Ms. Degenhardt described as a modern day Romeo and Juliet tale with a happier ending. Set in a fictional town in Connecticut, children welcome a new classmate of Hispanic descent and have to teach their parents to be accepting of new relationships.   

Ms. Degenhardt complimented Berner students on their Spanish language skills and said she was fascinated by the conversations. The language learners enjoyed the opportunity.

“Imagine being able to meet the author of books your just read,” Ms. Kincaid said. “That just happened for our students, and that kind of personal interaction brings novels to life and makes it that much more interesting.”