By Dhyana Holla '24
French 3 Honors students have been working hard to cultivate both their writing and oratory French language skills. Recently students had the opportunity to meet with native French-speaking women for the duration of the class. The previous week, students worked in groups to draft questions and practiced speaking them in French in preparation for the conversation.
Ms. Kathy Lipps, the French teacher, shared the purpose of this activity and how it sets her students up for further complex articulation of spoken language. “We invited four French women to class (and Ms. Raveneau, a former Notre Dame French teacher on Zoom) to give students an opportunity to speak with French women about their lives. Throughout the class, we have looked at important women in the francophone world, and this activity gave students a chance to have authentic conversations in French with local Women of Impact.” Students were able to truly hone their French speaking skills and apply them in real life situations, continuing to learn about French culture and impactful women in local communities.
Students, grouped together by fours, and were able to talk and initiate conversations with fluent French-speaking women for about 20 minutes. The conversation topics included colleges and universities, family life, current jobs, adaptation to American culture vs French culture, etc. Students found connecting with these women who brought warmth and correct French grammar to the classroom to be a valuable learning experience.