French - Term 3, 2021

NCEA French Immersion Day, University of Canterbury

On Friday 11th June, the French department at the University of Canterbury (UC) hosted a special immersion day for more than 300 senior students of French from more than 15 secondary schools in Canterbury.

From Timaru to Rangiroa, 140 Year 11, 92 Year 12 and 40 Year 13 came to the UC to attend some language workshops, get a few tips about NCEA assessments, hone their vocabulary skills and race across the campus for a challenging treasure hunt. Oh, and did I mention the beautiful French brioche from “the Village Bakehouse”?

The theme for the day was “Le Canada” and we were lucky to have the presence of Nicolas Sabourin, of the High Commission of Canada, who came with lots of books to give away to our students. We also had a former UC student, Zoe Reason, who made a good job trying to urge our students to keep their language skills. Antonio Viselli, the Head of UC French Department, inspired them to combine those very skills with other subjects, like Law, Political Science or European Study.

The Alliance Française of Christchurch was well represented by Florence Cuillé, the director, who not only brought coffee and muffins to all teachers for a nice morning tea, but also her expertise and experience to our Year 13 .All our young students were well looked after by the tuakana from UC, second and third year students who helped them both with the clues for the hunt as well as for good translating skills.

Finally, Simon McGinley, the French National Language Adviser, made the trip especially from Auckland and we were very pleased to have him with us since it was the first time a National adviser would represent Future Learning Solutions at UC. He did not come empty-handed as FLS shouted the 30 teachers to a beautiful lunch. Merci Simon!

Photo 1: Antonio Viselli(Left) Justine Scarlaken(Middle) and Eric Mouhica(Right) and Photo 2: Eric Mouhica(Left) and Antonio Viselli(Right)

Article by Eric Mouhica, School of Language, Social and Political Science Te whare Wananga o Waitaha, University of Canterbury