Narrows Spanish students take authentic test
NARROWS – A group of Narrows High School students had the opportunity to trade in their No. 2 pencils and bubble sheets for a real-life test Tuesday, as Kim Gardner’s Spanish III class spent more than an hour visiting with native Honduran Juan Romeo Zavala.
Romeo Zavala has spent the last five weeks in the New River Valley receiving a prosthetic left leg thanks to the combined philanthropic efforts of Blacksburg Church of Christ and New River Valley Orthotics and Prosthetics.
Office manager at New River Valley Orthotics and Prosthetics Kim Wade asked Gardner if her class would like to meet him before he headed back Thursday to Honduras.
Gardner loved the idea.
She said she believed this was the first time any of her students had met someone from Honduras, as well as the first time they had a met a Spanish-speaking individual who was not already assimilated to the area.
For this reason, she was very excited to see how the group would interact during a more “authentic experience” with Romeo Zavala, who speaks no English.
The class of 20 ninth- through 12th- graders welcomed the 51-year-old with refreshments before quizzing him on what life is like in Honduras and what his thoughts are about the New River Valley.
Although he admitted missing home, Romeo Zavala told the class he enjoyed the tranquil nature of the area, and he felt free from danger almost everywhere.
The Honduran added that March 5 was likely the coldest he’d ever been in his life, telling the class he feared his ears would break off.
As the class learned more about Romeo Zavala’s trip, they learned he’d had quite a few first-time experiences in recent weeks. He’d taken his first car ride, had his first plane flight and even had the opportunity to see, touch and taste snow for the first time.
“That was mind-blowing,” said. senior Ben Morrison.
Following the visit, Gardner said she thought her students did very well with the experience.
“I think they understand more than they really think they do,” she said.
Gardner added that she believed Romeo Zavala’s visit would have a lasting impact on the class, not only as they continued the course, but also later in life.
“They may not remember all they verbs we conjugate, but they’ll remember Juan,” Gardner said.
This story will print in Friday’s edition of The Burgs.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1643
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