Learning French and Spanish is really very cool

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Award-winning Canadian musician and educational consultant Étienne Steven Langlois, who has performed at sell-out concerts worldwide, delivered a high-energy, rockin’ and engaging musical concert in English, French and Spanish for 7th and 8th graders March 13th in the Newark Middle School auditorium.

And it ended on a really high note with lots of the students not only singing with the highly-animated Langlois, but dancing to the upbeat music videos that accompanied him on the big screen in the room.

NMS French teacher Dina Austin, who had invited Langlois to perform at Brockport High School for students in 2019 when she taught there and knew what a hit he was, learned Langlois was going to be touring in the region this month and invited him to come to NMS.

He said “yes.”

She obtained an Arts In Education grant from Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES to pay his fee and other expenses.

Austin said the main purpose of inviting the talented, multi-lingual performer, was to have students realize the French and Spanish they are learning has many applications, including cool ones as in entertainment.

Langlois drove that point home, and then some.

Not only that, he moved effortlessly around the auditorium shaking hands with many students as he sang throughout his performance. He even sang “Happy Birthday” in French to 7th grader Reagan DeSain, one of Austin’s students.

And afterwards, he had innumerable selfies taken with students and signed autographs. He also met with some students before the event.

That impressed NMS Principal John Ginter.

“We are very thankful that Etienne came to the Middle School to perform. He spent time meeting the students prior to the show and delivered a highly-engaging event. He made sure all the students felt that they were part of the show. After the show, he spent time taking pictures and signing autographs for any student that wanted. This was a great experience for our school, and one I will truly never forget.”

Austin echoed Ginter’s enthusiasm for Langlois’ performance.

“I am so happy and grateful that Étienne came to our school! His show was interactive and engaging! He had the students singing and dancing. He stressed the importance of learning languages to students. He took the time to take autographs and selfies with all students who wanted it. He was positive and patient. Étienne is a true rock star!”

And this from Reading teacher Laura Roblin:

“It was really heartwarming to see the huge smiles on the kids’ faces. During the concert, I really liked the interactive nature of the show. The students were learning a lot without even realizing they were learning! It says a lot when middle school students ask for selfies!”

But what did the students think about Langlois’ performance?

Here’s what two 8th grade Spanish students had to say:

• Angel Ubiles Jr: "His songs were good, and he was funny! He gave me a high five!"

• Kylie Craig: "It was such a good concert! The music was great! I liked how he let people sing with him! And from two French students:

• Mikayla Kleiboer: (7th grader) "I got my poster signed. I was so excited when he walked over to my class. I wish I had my phone so I could take a picture with him!"

• Graci Baker (8th grader) "The concert was fun and upbeat and boosted my mood. The concert gave me a reason to get up in the morning. I wish that Étienne would visit again.”