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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Lauro

What Are the French Teachers Up To?

Did you know French is an official language in 29 countries across North America, Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia? It's a primary language for business and international affairs, and students of the language can develop a key perspective to events that have shaped our world, such as the French Revolution or the Enlightenment. Instructors Hannah Wegmann and Shannon Mauro sent us a few mid semester updates from their classes.

From Instructor Mauro: "French 1 students meet twice a week to practice grammar and conversation. Meeting on Zoom really helps us to be able to speak more in class, both in breakout groups and as a whole. In addition to our language study, we have been enjoying diving into French culture through art and music. Overall, the students have really impressed me with their creativity!

We've looked at impressionist painters so far. Here is a Seurat painting that we studied. We use these famous paintings as a way to talk about people using verbs and adjectives that we've studied.

And they listen to a new French song (each with a different style or from a different time period) each week. I add these songs, as well as cultural videos, to our class YouTube channel for students to enjoy at home.

A few students were eager share some projects from the first Unit. Students were asked to invent a conversation between a group of people meeting for the first time and to add graphics or their own drawings:"

Maria Karcher's comic-style approach:

Audrey Hutchinson's digitally created graphics:

And here's a screenshot of a song we listened to, Camelia Jordana's "Moi C'est".

The class also launched a new Conversation Hour for French to be held every other week. This is a great opportunity for students to meet outside of class for extra, focused speaking practice. They also have a fun self-portrait project coming up, and they'll be looking at Francophone holiday traditions to close out the year. If you're a CLRC French student and would like to join the conversation hour, email Shannon Mauro for a link!


Over in Dr. Hannah Wegmann's French 2 class, students memorized Victor Hugo's poem "Demain dès l'aube" (posted with translation below). Hugo wrote this poem after learning about the drowning of his beloved daughter while traveling in Italy. It chronicles his journey to her grave and it presents his grief. "The student who did an original illustration of the poem captured so well the atmosphere created by Hugo," says Dr. Wegmann, "It is a very well known poem in France, memorized frequently in schools. I love that our CLRC French students get to participate in this academic tradition!"

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