French for the Future Local Forum provides memory making opportunities for French-speaking Island students
Charlottetown, April 24, 2018 – All opportunities for promoting the use of the French language are good opportunities, from mundane everyday activities to taking part in large-scale events such as French for the Future’s Charlottetown Local Forum. That’s exactly what Victoria Gibbs of Little York, PEI, discovered when the she attended her first forum last year.
“I believe that for a lot of students across the country, French is a classroom language which is associated with school and work,” said Ms. Gibbs, a grade 11 student at Charlottetown Rural High School. “French for the Future has shown me that you can live your life in French, make friends, go out, and make amazing memories that will last a lifetime, all in French.”
This year, close to 300 grade 10 and grade 11 students from across the province will participate in a full day of interactive workshops and fun activities, entirely in French. These include exploring civic engagement, communications styles, developing one’s identity, entrepreneurship, hip-hop dance, the importance of play, improv, leadership, official languages, painting, postsecondary education and stress management, among others. The event will be held again at Collège de l’Île and Holland College, at their downtown Charlottetown campuses.
This year’s special guest is Rachelle Gauthier. Originally from Summerside, Ms. Gauthier learned French while enrolled in French immersion. It was only later in life that she discovered her Acadian roots and it is through her bilingualism that she began reconnecting with her Acadian heritage. She is currently working on her Ph.D. at Université de Moncton which focuses on identity building of youth attending French school in official language minority communities.
“We look forward to hosting French-speaking students on May 2 and for them with a well-rounded schedule of interactive experiences to explore life in French outside the classroom,” said Maxime Bourgeois, coordinator of the Charlottetown Local Forum.
“My participation in the forum has given me a completely different outlook on my future,” added Victoria Gibbs. “To anyone who may have the opportunity to participate or connect with this event, I would say to take it. You don’t want to miss it!”
French for the Future promotes Canada’s official bilingualism and the immediate and lifelong benefits of learning and communicating in French to students from grades 7 to 12 across Canada.