Students at Hoffman Middle celebrated the French holiday La Chandeleur on February 2. The celebration is also known as la jour de crêpes, la fête de crêpes or crêpes day.
Soha Nassef decided to spice things up. The French teacher gave her seventh and eighth grade students a culinary delight. She invited pastry chef Rana Khalifa to assist with the delicious lesson. Khalifa is a sous chef at one of Houston’s upscale ice cream parlors, Cloud 10 Creamery.
The origins of La Chandeleur (shahnduhluhr) celebration date back to Roman times. The name “Chandeleur” comes from the Latin candelorum festum, which means festival of candles. The French sometimes refer to it as the fête de la lumière.
It was also the time of the year that the winter seedtime started. The surplus flour was used without too much risk of shortage. The people prepared thin pancakes. Crêpes became a symbol of prosperity for the coming year.
Nowadays, it is a family event associated with eating crêpes.
Khalifa, with the help of student “sous-chefs” demonstrated how to cook crepes. Students were also able to flip crepes during the every lunch period.
Nassef’s seventh grade French students enjoyed making and eating their own crêpes during class.
Hoffman is an International Baccalaureate World School. The campus offers the IB Middle Years Program. Language acquisition is a compulsory component of the MYP in every year of the program. IB Schools must provide language learning in at least two languages for each year of the MYP. Hoffman Middle Schools provides French and Spanish courses.
“Studying a foreign language is not only about learning another language,” said Nassef. “Students who study another language develop the deeper concept of culture. And they realize that there are diverse ways of living, viewing and behaving in the world. International mindedness is one of the elements of the IB program.
“Learning to communicate in a variety of ways is fundamental to IB students’ identity.“
There are many benefits to picking up another language. Learning a foreign language in a global economy increases job opportunities and financial gains. Research shows that there are also many academic and cognitive benefits.
Director of Written Communication & Spanish Media
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