To view pictures set to sounds of Franconnexion, click here
Jan. 9, 2013
Nearly 250 Grade 6-8 students had a grand temps taking part recently in a daylong event to help them better appreciate French culture.
Called Franconnexion, the November 29 event included performers, guest speakers, storefronts, interactive activities, games and more. The goal was to share with students and teachers a variety of cultural opportunities and give them a chance to see how the French language can be used in real life situations.
“We hope we were able to foster un joie de vivre for the French Language, while providing an understanding of all the advantages there are to having acquired a second language,” explained Wendy Wright-Pettersen, Instructional Program Leader with the Halton District School Board. “In turn, the event also fostered the desire to continue with the program all through high school, and perhaps even into post secondary studies. The networking between students and teachers was very much appreciated.”
Each school that participated received materials to support classroom activities including holding assemblies and promoting a positive attitude toward French. The hope is that schools may continue the celebration of culture, said Wright-Pettersen, and make connections with many other cultures present in Board schools, acknowledging the benefits of learning languages.
Students were treated to three guest speakers who all provided a different perspective on French culture including Mike Ford, a singer and songwriter, who taught himself French. He shared strategies for learning the language and the advantages of having the second language in his life. Megan Trip, a Grade 12 student from Robert Bateman High School, spoke of her experience as an exchange student in French with the YMCA that brought her real life experience and allowed her to immerse herself in the culture and to make new friends. Jessica Earley from the Mississauga Living Arts Centre led a French hip hop dance session 'en français' to show how French can be fun.
Wright-Pettersen said Franconnexion had many connections to the curriculum including planning student opportunities to experience francophone culture and bringing the French language to life through understanding customs, social practices, values and beliefs.