Exchange students Ferhat Imarazen from Algeria, Salah Eddine from Morocco and Nikolay Harutyunyan from Armenia had an idea when this semester started. They wanted to teach other Chadron State College students how to speak French. Imarazen said, “Nik was the one who really insisted and made it come true even though none of us had taught French before.”
The class started in February and met twice a week for an hour in the Reta E. King Library. In the beginning, around 20 students were attending. Now, that number has decreased slightly. French is the second language for Imarazan and Eddine and the fourth for Harutyunyan. The three have touched on reading and writing the language, but the focus of their teaching is on speaking. Mercy Bagnon has also assisted with teaching.
Tests were even given to see the progress of those taking the class. Imarazan said, “We gave tests to evaluate them and to make sure they were taking the class seriously. We needed feedback.”
“I really appreciate doing something for the others. It feels great when people thank you all the time for your class. I feel like I’m giving something back to this community that welcomed and hosted me. The students are really grateful because they knew we are doing a great job for free. They are thankful for that and seriously we are just amazed how some of them are learning so fast. I think this shows their gratitude,” Imarazan said.
He added, “Unfortunately we won't be able to teach next year as all three of us are exchange students. I hope that incoming exchange students will finish what we've started.”
Imarazan and Eddine are Near East and South Asia undergraduate exchange students. Harutyunyan is an International Research and Exchange Board student.
—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator