Sacred Heart’s own French Revolution

Looking back at the French Department’s eventful year

Sacred Hearts own French Revolution

John Lancaster

On March 24, Sacred Heart’s French Department had the pleasure of welcoming Quebecois rapper Webster for a writing atelier. While having a special guest was a momentous occasion in itself, this year has been a whirlwind for the department with a brand new team.

Beginning in January, the French Department set out on a brand new mission. On One World Day, all French learners, ranging from junior school to high school, performed a mash-up of iconic French songs. Despite the fact that there are many students who study French at our school, this served as an opportunity to both unite students regardless of their level and to show the school just how big the French-learning population is. Mina (12), a student who was part of the performance, said, “It was an eye-opener because, while I’ve been studying French since third grade, I never knew just how large of a group this was until today.”

Soon after, the department also published the first edition of its email newsletter La French Connection. The newsletter consists of students’ work, teachers’ work, jokes, crossword contests, and the latest updates on extracurricular activities that can enhance students’ speaking skills. Megu (11), who has been learning French for almost a decade, said, “I like how informative the newsletter is and how it tells you about all of the French-related events that are coming up. I also enjoy the games because they are a fun way to reinforce my French.” The newsletter also creates a sense of transparency to the department’s activities as it is accessible to any of our students.

In March, all students created posters about various French-speaking countries in order to raise awareness for the International Week of French Language and Francophonie. This was an opportunity for the entire Sacred Heart community to visualize just how large the French-speaking population is as these posters were displayed in the hallway. In addition to this, the French learners in 11th and 12th grade had the privilege of welcoming Madame Claire Deronzier, Quebec’s General Delegate to Tokyo and vice-president of the Council for the Promotion of la Francophonie in Japan. She spoke about her efforts in both promoting the province of Quebec and building bridges between Japan and other French-speaking nations. One 11th grade student said, “It was very interesting to take time away from usual, classroom French and be exposed to the normal pace at which French is spoken. Unfortunately, my French proficiency did not match hers but it was a good kind of challenge.”

Another weekly event, that sets out to unite the student body in their Francophilia, is the French Ciné-Club. Showing a wide range of films with French audio and English subtitles, it is no surprise that the turnout, ranging from kindergarteners to seniors, has been consistently great. Films that have been shown so far include Little Nicholas, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, and Ratatouille.  

When asked about the drive behind the French department’s efforts during this school year, Mr. Delacharlery, who was newly appointed the Head of Department, said, “ The possibility to do it with a brand new team played a big role. We have a lot of energy! We all share the idea that there is nothing better than studying French both inside and outside of the classroom.”

A colorful display of posters on French-speaking nations
A colorful display of posters on French-speaking nations
A captivated audience at a showing by the French Ciné-Club
A captivated audience at a showing by the French Ciné-Club