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French-Speaking World on Display at Proviso East Festival de la Francophonie

March 30, 2016 01:28 PM
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French students at Proviso East High School showcased their research into the French-speaking world at the fourth annual Festival de la Francophonie on Monday, March 28, in the Proviso East social room.
 
Participating students presented posters with facts about the country that they had researched, which included Madagascar and Rwanda in Africa, Laos and Cambodia in Asia, Canada and the state of Louisiana in North America, and French-speaking European nations such as Switzerland and Belgium. Many also gave samples of food that were representative of their researched nation, including Khmer fried rice from Cambodia, Belgian waffles, and Vietnamese spring rolls.
 
Ms. Ana Greab, a Proviso East French teacher, said that the purpose of the festival, which featured 15 nations or French-speaking territories (including Louisiana, a former French colony), was to expose students to the greater French-speaking world.
 
"I wanted them to adopt another culture," she said. "It becomes something they look for. For being here the entire day, I’m hoping they know at least one country on each continent that speaks French."
 
Students took different approaches to completing their research and presentations.
 
Tina Williams and Carmen Ramos, both Proviso East seniors, visited the Chinatown district in Chicago to learn more about Cambodia, a nation in Southeast Asia that was a French colony from 1863 to 1953. They learned the various greetings that are used for different types of people in Cambodia, and showcased sour sop (a fruit native to Cambodia) and a beef and rice stir fry.
 
"We’re interested in Asian culture," Tina said on why they chose to research Cambodia. "We go to Chinatown together. We’re really a fan of Asian culture."
 
Across the room, Anna Marie Rodriguez, a Proviso East senior, and Harlaee Jimenez, a Proviso East junior, presented information and culture about Switzerland. Their poster board decked out in the red and white cross of the Swiss flag, they recited facts about the nation such as how teachers are the highest paid profession there.
 
"It was the beautiful view," Anna Marie said of why they chose Switzerland. "We learned a lot. Once I saw the scenery, now I want to go there when I am older."
 
Dr. Patrick Hardy, principal at Proviso East, said that creative projects such as the festival help students to learn the material. 
 
"Through projects such as this, students are able to take ownership of what they are learning and are able to apply it," he said. "By applying themselves in this way, they learn to understand the material."
 
For more photos for the Proviso East Festival de la Francophonie, please click here.
 
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