Cayman Prep students got the chance to take in a unique cultural experience last week at a local Mexican restaurant.
The group of 66 students paid a visit to Casa 43 off West Bay Road on Monday, Nov. 28, as a way to practice their Spanish skills in a contextual way and to enjoy some authentic Mexican flavors.
“We have a fantastic languages team at Cayman Prep and High School, and of the most exciting changes we brought in this year was to give students more access to real-life opportunities to practise their languages,” said Cayman Prep and High School head of languages Jake Taylor.
“Our Year 10 students are heading to Costa Rica in February, and we are working on a French exchange for next year [so] this is just the beginning.”
Mr. Taylor said developing a love of languages in the school’s students is a priority, and noted that aside from trips abroad the department is very keen to keen to develop on-island language opportunities for students as well.
“Casa 43 was a perfect fit for our Year 8 students while they were studying a topic on food,” said Mr. Taylor.
“Casa 43 put on such a great experience for us. The students ordered their meals and drinks in Spanish, greeted and thanked the staff in Spanish, and even asked for the bill in Spanish. The staff were wonderful with our students, and they worked with the kids to extend their sentences, as well as giving us a great taste of Mexican culture and cuisine.”
He said that it was the first time that many students had used a foreign language in a real context, and for some it was a first introduction to Mexican food.
“It was interesting to order in Spanish and really different to what we are used to as English speakers,” said Year 8 student Lauren Chiazza. “The staff even taught us how to say different phrases like ‘I’m OK with water’ and we practiced our Spanish with them, which was great fun. I had quesadillas. ¡Me gustan las quesadillas!”
Fellow Year 8 student Sherena Anglin had the rice pilaf with avocado.
“It was ¡muy bueno! It was great to speak to the waiters in the language you learn in class,” she said.
Year 8 student Cameron Smith agreed that the food was delicious.
“Yo comí quesadillas y una hamburguesa. ¡Fue estupendo! It was fun to practise speaking Spanish with the staff, [and have] amazing Mexican food and culture. ¡Qué delicioso!”
Summing up the day, Mr. Taylor deemed it a wonderful experience.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of the excellent language teachers here at Cayman Prep, and the culinary skills, positivity and hard work of the staff at Casa 43,” he said.