SYRACUSE -- "Hola. Buenas tardes," greeted the Carl's Jr. cashier as 12-year-old Alex Moore approached the counter.
"Buenas tardes. Deseo frijoles y queso burrito," responded the seventh-grader, ordering a bean and cheese burrito in his newly learned Spanish.
On Wednesday, Alex was one of dozens of Syracuse Junior High School students who lined up to order in Spanish at Carl's Jr., 2118 W. 1700 South.
Each student came prepared to use skills learned recently in the beginning Spanish class.
The nervousness of the students was evident in their wide eyes and shaking hands, as each awaited their turn to order items ranging from cheeseburgers to strawberry milkshakes.
Anxious glances at their cheat sheets of Spanish terms helped calm them and allowed them to accurately place their orders.
"He had to ask me if I wanted lettuce and onions and everything on my tacos," said Tyce Petterson, 12. "I'm picky, so it was a little harder."
Many of the students were excited to practice their language skills in a real-life situation.
"Alex has been excited about this field trip since he learned about it at the beginning of the semester," said his mother, Jamie Moore.
She also mentioned that Alex's teacher, Bruce Culp, encouraged as many students as possible to attend.
"It gives them a chance to use the skills they are learning in real-life situations," Jamie Moore said.
Culp said he has been doing this activity with his beginning Spanish students for several years, and that both he and the students really enjoy it.
He practiced ordering techniques with his students for several weeks before the outing. He also coordinated with the restaurant to ensure that someone who speaks fluent Spanish was prepared for their arrival.
Many of his students walked the short distance from the school to the restaurant immediately after school, and enjoyed a tasty snack with their fellow Spanish speakers.
"It's a good opportunity for the kids, although it is not mandatory," said Principal Chris Keime. "(The students) like to do it and practice what they have learned."