Nordonia High School German students in September took part in a classroom Skype conversation with several refugees living in Munich, Germany. These students, who are in their second year of learning the German language, prepared their own questions and carried on a 50-minute conversation with Taher, a journalist from Syria, Genkis, a Kurdish refugee from Syria, and Fardin, a Kurdish refugee from Iran. All three arrived in Germany within the last year, and since they speak little to no English, German was the only common language. Students and those they interviewed were able to understand each other, laughed together and broadened each other's horizons, said German teacher Endre Szentkiralyi.
"I think the whole concept was really cool," said sophomore Samantha Laba.
In addition, this cross-curricular opportunity was shared with AP Government students, sparking discussions about immigration policy.
"These students couldn't speak a word of German a year ago, and now they're interacting with Germany and gaining an understanding of international issues on a personal level," said high school principal Casey Wright.
"I got most of it, and was surprised at how open they were," said sophomore Gina Eterovich.
The Skype conversation took place around noon American time, which is in the evening German time.