French For Fun, Lafayette, California

French For Fun - Newsletter

ARCHIVE - November/December 2010

International Education Week

On the week of Nov 15-19, 2010 International Education Week was celebrated at French for Fun by our students, faculty, staff, parents and grandparents. International Education Week is a joint project of the U.S departments of State and Education. It debuted in 2000 and is intended to "promote international understanding and build support for international educational exchanges ... prepare Americans to live and work in a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study in the United States."

International Education WeekOur students at French for Fun, ranging from preschoolers to teenagers embarked on an exhilarating journey across Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, Central and South America. Prior to the celebration week, we started collecting photographs of parents and grandparents of every student at French for Fun. We also created a simple survey requesting the languages that their family members spoke and their country of origin.

The response was tremendous and very impressive. To represent the diversity at our Center, our teachers created a World Map in the hallway and posted the photographs illustrating our students' heritage and origins of their parents and grandparents.

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Gradually, as photographs went up, our students of preschoolers to middle-schoolers were mesmerized with the faces of the World and the people in their community. This presentation alone spoke at many levels about the French for Fun community, in general. We are truly blessed to be able to share countless similarities living in an American society as well as various differences from our global connections that continues to strengthen our unity and respect for one another.

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Our classrooms were festooned with flags of different countries. Parents and grandparents supported their children's learning by bringing in traditional artifacts, costumes, musical instruments, books, handmade tribal goods to embellish our displays of these countries and cultures. The authentic cuisines shared in their presentations enlivened our senses and awoke our willingness to sample delicacies from cultures near and far. Many of our parents and grandparents participated as guest speakers in the classrooms throughout the week sharing their experiences of living and growing up in another country, such as China, Korea, Japan, Russia, Poland, India, Peru, Syria, Algeria, Nigeria, Malaysia, Mexico, and Morocco, Belgium, Sweden, and Norway. Languages and writings of their native cultures enthralled these students who are already coming to the Center to learn a second language. We were especially proud to see and hear that our friends who come daily to the Center to learn French, are also speaking, writing and reading in other native languages.

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The success behind International Education week clearly shows that today more than ever, it is critical for the people of the world to learn to understand and respect one another's cultures, languages and beliefs. To succeed in today's global environment, we are preparing our students' increasing need to complement their academic and career learning with the international skills that allow them to understand and work with people from other countries.

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After a well deserved Thanksgiving break, our Center has now moved on to the holiday spirit with festive decorations and activities! December 13-17 is our last week of instruction for 2010 and most classes will celebrate with performances by our students and share a goûter de Noël with families.

Classes will resume on Monday January 3rd, 2011...We will get ready for another favorite celebration at FFF, la Fête des Rois (Epiphany) and its famous galette! Miam Miam...

We wish you all a Joyous Holiday Season and a Happy New Year! A l'année prochaine....

FFF Faculty & Staff

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