A French Connection in Dexter

French students Huynh Rubis-li, facing left, Ta-Ly Alicia and Gbaguidi Ilan, right, and their teacher, Myle’ne Louiserre work with Creekside students. Photo by Lonnie Huhman

By Lonnie Huhman

A group of French exchange students paid a visit to the Spanish language classroom at Creekside Intermediate School in Dexter on Oct. 30 to work on learning a new language while getting to know a little bit about culture.

Over the past two weeks, 22 French high school students have shadowed their counterparts at Dexter High School, worked on language lessons at Mill Creek Middle School and Creekside, visited Detroit and all the while each one stayed with a Dexter family. The visit is part of the Dexter-French American Cultural Exchange Program.

This is the second year Dexter has been part of this type of student exchange. Myle’ne Louiserre, the teacher who chaperoned the French students, said they enjoyed their stay in Dexter. She said she has been to Michigan several times now on similar visits with other groups.

“We love Michigan,” Louiserre said, citing previous visits to Saline and Grand Rapids.

The students at Creekside enjoyed the visit as well. The French students split up into teams of three and worked at the different classroom tables on lessons on French nouns, numbers, and colors and how to have a basic conversation with the Dexter fifth- and sixth-graders. Diem Lee, 11 and a Dexter fifth-grader, said she was looking forward to the visit.

“I think it’s cool,” she said of the students teaching them their language. “I like how they say certain words.”

For the French students, the visit opened their eyes to the America school culture. Huynh Rubis-li said she liked walking around downtown Dexter and said it was very different from France. She said Dexter looks like a little town, but the high school was big and had more students than her school back home.

She and her fellow students all said it has been a fun visit.

“I love it,” Rubis-li said of connecting with the students.

Creekside teacher Martina Bricio said the visit to her classroom was a good one for many reasons. She said it gave students a good introduction to French and a different culture.

“It’s good to see them working through conversations and interacting with each other,” Bricio said.

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