Living/Learning Center Programs
La Maison Française
Students who are studying French language, literature and culture in an American setting need opportunities to speak the language outside the classroom, to develop the use of the language in their everyday lives, and to enrich their understanding of the contexts of Francophone culture.
The Living/Learning Center offers students a community based on their interests in Francophone language and culture, in which they make French the language of their everyday activities. A student resident organizer will lead the group. Residents of the French house will agree to use French exclusively for a specified portion of the day. The French house will also be the center for many activities based on Francophone culture which are available in or close to Burlington; films, lectures, contacts with French speakers throughout the University and city community, visits from experts on the Francophone developing world, visits to Quebec, theater, music, museums, television programs and reportage. Participants in the French house will improve their fluency and gain a greater familiarity with issues in contemporary Francophone experience.
Students will have the option of signing up for one unit of credit per semester, with a grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. To earn this credit, students will be expected to participate in at least one specific activity per week, such as:
Students are expected to design their own program of activities in consultation with the faculty advisor. They will also keep individual journals of their activities, which will be part of the evaluation of their work for the unit of credit.
Joseph Acquisto, Department of Romance Languages, 656-3575; Joseph.Acquisto@uvm.edu
Janet Whatley, Department of Romance Languages; 656-1371; Janet.Whatley@uvm.edu
Description of Student Needs
Students who are studying French language, literature and culture in an American setting need opportunities to speak the language outside the classroom, to develop the use of the language in their everyday lives, and to enrich their understanding of the contexts of Francophone culture. The course work of the department provides an excellent intellectual structure and a certain amount of practice, but budgetary constraints have dictated class sizes of 15-25 students, even at the highest levels. In classes this large, the amount of active oral participation of each student is limited, and in any case the classes meet only three times a week. Students are often searching for ways of getting together to pool their energies to develop not only their spoken French but also their knowledge and contact with the Francophone world.
We expect that participants in the French house will bring back to their academic course work an increased fluency and ease in the spoken word which is almost invariably reflected in improved writing; a greater familiarity with issues in contemporary Francophone experience; an increased capacity to take initiatives in organizing for themselves activities that will further develop their interest and knowledge of Francophone culture. The interaction between the classroom and the French house should contribute to the vitality and to the multiplication of resources of each.
LEARNING OBJECTIVE I: To help students improve their fluency in French.
1. Establish French as the language of communication for a definite period of time or set of circumstances (for instance, all communal meals, all meetings and public discussions, and informal interactions in public areas).
2. Make available audio tapes, video tapes, TV programming from SCOLA, the French CBC channel, magazines, and dictionaries.
3. Establish contact and organize meetings with Francophone speakers from the university and the community (see below).
LEARNING OBJECTIVE II: To make accessible the Francophone intellectual and artistic resources of our region.
1. Films: There is a wealth of great French film available on videocassette. Possible topics for film series include: World Wars I and II, the end of the French colonial empire, the art of the theater, perspectives on feminism, etc.
2. Art exhibits: The Fleming Museum frequently has exhibits or lectures involving art of the Francophone world.
3. Lectures: (a) From French-speaking UVM faculty: the French House students would interview Francophone faculty to discover their common areas of interest, including subjects related to Canada, Africa, the Caribbean, etc. (b) Other speakers from the region (possibly including Montreal) whose specialties in literature, the arts, the social sciences or natural sciences interest the students.
5. Video and Television resources such as French CBC and SCOLA.
LEARNING OBJECTIVE III:
To foster relations with the Francophone community in the University,
the city of
local Francophone organizations for exchange of hospitality: for instance, the
Pause-Café in downtown
2. Invite undergraduate and graduate students who are native French speakers from other disciplines.
French House will serve as a center of hospitality for Francophone people in
the University and in the
The commitment can be quite flexible, but if the program is to flourish, students must be prepared to plan activities, publicize them, and support them with their presence.