Kristina Carson, Ohio University French Club President 2012-2014
On November 25th, 2013, 120 high school students and teachers from Athens, Alexander, and Vinton County High Schools gathered at Ohio University for the French Immersion Day event hosted by OU’s French Club. As everyone arrived, university student volunteers mingled with the high school students, welcoming them to campus and playing a game about French around the world. The day’s events consisted of a few words of welcome, five different stations centered on the theme “La Francophonie,” a lunch with conversation in French, and a quick wrap-up and goodbye.
The students were divided into five groups according to their French level, giving them the opportunity to meet other high school students studying French. Each group went around to the stations together to learn about la musique, la nourriture, le verlan, la culture, and French at Ohio University. Students were introduced to each of the topics and then played games such as matching songs with their corresponding music video and practicing speaking French slang.
Ohio University’s French Club prepared all semester for French Immersion Day, designing the format of the event and planning the activities. The club received help in preparing Immersion Day from many faculty members in the Department of Modern Languages at Ohio University. Dr. Yolande Helm offered support as French Club advisor, Jan Harmon, Departmental Administrator, helped with creating invoices and photo release forms, and Dr. Emilia Alonso-Sameño, chair of the Alumni Relations and Departmental Outreach Committee, played an active role in contacting the high schools and planning the event.
Students and volunteers alike greatly enjoyed the opportunity to practice French outside of class and to meet other people interested in French! The event won the Outstanding Programming Award for Fall 2013 from the Division of Student Affairs at Ohio University.
High school and college students having lunch together at Ohio University.
At the “La musique française” station, students gather around to watch French music videos.