Christopher Benos (Chesterfield ’14) represented MLWGS as one of 60 Virginia high school students who were selected through a statewide competition to attend the three-week Virginia Governor's French Immersion Academy at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia from June 22 to July 13.
Benos and the other students who attended spoke French exclusively during the entire experience. The immersion experience included studies of a variety of subjects, such as Belgian culture and politics, Arabic, the history of Quebec, and phonetics, all taught entirely in French. The language immersion also included activities such as performing arts, among other pursuits. In this regard, Benos composed a new and original piano and voice piece while at the Academy entitled “Je t’ai dit,” which he performed entirely in French for his fellow students and teachers to enjoy at the student concert. Benos was voted best artist and best musician for his efforts.
The Virginia Department of Education sponsors five Governor's Foreign Language Academies each summer where students cultivate fluency in their language skills. CBS News and USA Today have featured the Academies as examples of innovative foreign language programs.