Under the theme « My French, My Future: I’m Onboard! »
SUMMERSIDE, PEI – March 11, 2014 – To further encourage youth to interact and speak French, organizers of this year’s French for the Future Local Forums have decided to transform their former career fairs into improvisational theatre competitions focusing on themes related to careers and the French culture.
Some 500 Grade 9 students from French Immersion and French first language programs throughout the province will have the opportunity to participate in these Local Forums, which will bear the theme « My French, My Future: I’m Onboard! » Students from the western half of the Island will have their Forum March 26 at the Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside while those from the eastern half will gather March 27 at the Murphy Centre in Charlottetown.
Each school will be asked to make up one or more improv teams to participate in a playoff tournament. Matches will continue until a champion team is found. The students watching the games will get to vote for the teams they feel have given the best performance. Maxime Duguay, a teacher from François-Buote School in Charlottetown, will be the main referee. He’ll explain the rules and the playoff system at the start of each day.
Forum coordinator Sylvie De Sousa explains that the forums will begin with a word of welcome from host Megan Doherty, a student from Three Oaks Senior High School who served as PEI Ambassador at French for the Future’s National Ambassador Youth Forum last summer. She’ll share about her experience at the national forum and comment about the importance of the French language in her life.
At the start of the day and during the closing ceremonies, energetic motivational speaker Mathieu Gingras, promotion and international recruiting counsellor for the Université de Moncton, will speak to the students about the importance of pursing their education in French. He’ll talk about the numerous advantages of bilingualism in their professional and personal lives, while touching on the cultural riches of the French language.
« His talk fits perfectly into our Forums since one of our major objectives is of course to encourage students to pursue both their high school and postsecondary studies in French so that they will one day be able to access a French or bilingual career, preferably right here on PEI, » says the coordinator.
To give youth an overview of their study and career options, several universities and colleges, as well as the Federal Council of PEI and the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, will bring their information booths to the Forums. The students will have several opportunities throughout the day to go visit the booths to find out what they have to offer.
As a preparation to the Forums, several of the province’s French monitors have visited all participating schools to give the students a taste of improv acting. The participants were given the basic rules of the tournament and even got the opportunity to try out a few games. During the visits, the monitors also dropped off information kits from the National Improv League, based out of Montreal.
The French for the Future Local Forums on PEI are being organized, again for this third year, by various partners interested in French education: Canadian Parents for French PEI, the Department of Education, the French Language School Board, the English Language School Board, the University of Prince Edward Island and RDÉE Prince Edward Island.
CUTLINE: During the school tour by the Island’s French monitors, Grade 9 students from Evangeline School discuss a few improvisational themes, in preparation for their participation in the French for the Future Local Forum in Summerside March 26. Seen from left are Dylan Arsenault, Benjamin Gallant, Joceline LeBlanc and Jenny Richard. Darcy Arsenault’s face is hidden in the back.
For more information:
Sylvie De Sousa
Coordinator of the PEI Local Forums