French Week is a worldwide event celebrated by the American Association of Teachers of French during the second week of November to immerse students and teachers nationwide in French culture. This year the theme is “Mon Français Mon Avenir” (my French my Future) and it is embraced throughout all of the Francophone world, or the countries besides France that speak French.
The celebratory festivities of French week at Mercy ranged from a wide variety of interactive and engaging events. Classes started off the week by making and taste-testing macaroons. The students watched a presentation regarding French culture in Louisiana and learned a Cajun dance, listened to Cajun music, and ate jambalaya and bananas foster. The rest of the week they had a crepe eating contest, visited the French restaurant La Cuisine, and listened to a guest speaker from Cameroon Africa, who spoke of his experiences in a continent where half the population speaks French.
Not only is French Week a fun and exciting time, but each of these experiences from the week resonate with students in a big way. Junior Lily Beasley, a French Honors Society officer, looks forward to this week every year and says it impacts students beyond the classroom.
“[French week] is a really good way to be immersed in [the culture],” said Beasley, who wants to minor in French in college. “[It shows] what it can be like after high school, rather than just a language class.”
In fact, many French students have taken their French experience in high school and applied it to their adult lives. French teacher Madame Joyce Campbell has taught many students who have incorporated the French language into study abroad experiences and their careers.
“They work in newspapers, in universities, [and] in government positions,” said Madame Campbell. “It’s very heartfelt and warming to me that they chose French and are using it in a career.
“We have to want to understand other nations [and] other cultures,” she added. “We are living in now a global community where we are totally interdependent on one another.”