Over Reading Week, the Brock French Club organized a trip to Montreal, giving its members a chance to practice the French language and learn more about Quebecois culture.
The group, consisting of 16 Brock students, was in Montreal from Feb. 13 to 16. Some of the activities included visits to the Beaux-Arts Museum, the Biodome, the Science Centre and the Holocaust Museum. The group also toured Old Montreal, McGill University and several bookstores.
“The purpose of this trip is to provide an enriching experience for students interested in the French language and French-Canadian culture. It combines both the cultural and academic aspects that the club focuses on,” said Korshid Gharaee-Kermani, co-president of the club.
Participants of the trip also had the opportunity to try Quebecois food and interact with the locals, as the group visited numerous restaurants and cafés. For some students, it was their first time communicating in French with a native French speaker outside the classroom.
“I went on this trip to expand my vocabulary and have a chance to speak more French with a wide variety of Francophone people,” said Amy Barlow, a second-year French student. “I spoke as much French as I possibly could on the trip, even if sometimes the people answered me in English.”
The trip was also a bonding experience for the members of the French club and a chance to get to know each other better.
“My favourite moment of the trip was being able to meet new friends and to share this French experience with them,” said Lorita Touckly, a member of the French club.
“I was so happy to see one of our group members learn an incredible amount of French, and try so hard to use her newly-found vocabulary as often as she could,” said Barlow.
This trip to Montreal was just one of the many events that the Brock French Club has organized this year. The club is very active on campus, having weekly meetings that are either academic or cultural in nature. The academic meetings focus more on talking in French and having conversations with each other while the cultural meetings involve activities such as going to a café, watching French movies or having a French karaoke night.
The main goal of the club is to offer opportunities for students to speak French. The French Department does not offer any courses that are aimed at conversational French; most courses are based on studying literature, grammar or phonetics. The French club supplements this void by bringing together members to speak French.
“Our goal is to create a friendly environment where students get the opportunity to practice speaking French,” said Gharaee-Kermani. “I love how this club brings together students who are at different speaking levels and abilities.”
Members of the French club speak positively about how it has added to their experience at Brock.
“The club has allowed me to become more social than I normally would be and I’ve made some incredible friends,” said Barlow.
“It’s allowed me to engage students and encourage them to practice and improve their French skills,” said Touckly.
The Brock French Club is open to any student who has an interest in the French language or culture.
For more information, or to contact the club, email firstname.lastname@example.org