How can we embrace our nation’s fantastic Frenchness?
Students will authentically research Canadian Francophone culture and its relevance today as part of the French 11 big ideas: “Acquiring French provides a unique opportunity to access and interact with the Francophone world” and “Language and culture are interconnected and shape our perspective, identity, and voice”. The Launch Event will be a visit to Maillardville (Francophone community near Coquitlam), where they have an active French society, but a small community of French speakers. This will demonstrate to students that French Canadian society exists in British Columbia. Students will then have the opportunity to establish penpal connections (French and English) with a Francophone school in Quebec in order to ask genuine questions about Francophone life and culture. If possible, a Skype or Facetime period will be set up so that follow-up can happen with the two groups. In addition, guest speakers and/or workshop leaders will be invited to the school so that students can interview them and ask engaging questions about life as a French-Canadian. Students will split into groups and choose an aspect of Francophone culture that they would like to dive into more deeply. In the background of their individual research, direct teaching about the history of French-Canadians, idiomatic expressions, comparisons, register and language, ethics of cultural appropriation, questions and interview skills will take place. The students will have voice and choice in the way in which they choose to highlight their chosen aspect of culture (food, film, music, etc), but will have a list of certain elements that should be included in the final product/display. The students will also advertise the cumulative cultural event, inviting other schools, parents, and community members to be part of the celebration.
CONNECTIONS AND PERSPECTIVES:
“And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?” Acts 2:8. Our mission statement is to engage minds, nurture hearts and shape God’s world. Part of shaping God’s world is in loving His people, being disciples of nations, and being Christ-like witnesses in the community. To do so means to engage with people on their level, in respectful, neighbourly and meaningful ways. Canada has two official languages, and often French is neglected as lesser than English, or used only as a tool to serve students’ futures in University or when travelling for pleasure. This is an opportunity to hear and engage with a different perspective, and to value the 2nd language as a language of equal importance and celebrate what the Francophone community has to offer.