French 2 students at Proviso East High School recently said "Bonjour" to their fellow students as they introduced them to the French-speaking world at the third annual Festival de la Francophonie.
Taking place in the school’s social room, the students dressed in the clothing of their chosen country, whether it was France itself, French-speaking nations in Europe, or any of the countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean that is or was a French territory. They also had to present a poster with information about their country, and bring a food representative of that nation as a prop.
"It had to be as authentic as possible to something in their country," said Ms. Ana Greab, a Proviso East French teacher, adding that students had been working on the research for their project since November.
Ms. Greve said that students who visited the festival received "passports" that were stamped as they visited each of the national displays, which were to feature not only essential facts such as history and government, but also little-known facts about the country. She said that the purpose of the festival, which included 17 nations or French-speaking territories (including Louisiana, a former French colony), was to expose students to the greater French-speaking world.
"The French textbooks are more oriented to covering France, so I was wanting them to get outside of the class," she said. "My biggest thing is that culturally, they’re aware the French world is so multi-cultural."
Mr. Tony Valente, 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."
Photos by Isis Croston, a senior at Proviso East High School