Ne Pas Enlever Notre Voix

“Don’t take away our voice”

D’un Étudiant Qui Parle Français

It has come to my attention that students are being automatically enrolled in Spanish class when they are scheduling for high school. That is an issue to me. If students can choose which science and electives then they should have the choice of which language they can take. Although Spanish is the second most spoken language in the US, students, just like all the languages offered at WMHS, may not use it ever again in their careers, so why not give them the liberty to choose now and find out if they have a love for the language.

Culture Française et Opportunités

French is spoken in many unique, culturally diverse areas in the world. The culture is not limited to what is portrayed in France-it is European, African, Canadian, and even Asian cultures that have fused and adopted the language. The diversity of the language means there is a need for bilingual people in international business programs. Because the amount of bilingual (Eng-Fre) businessmen is low, companies pay more to have these people on their teams. It opens up an entire window of opportunity, and as the US grows, the demand for francophone  people grows with it.

Association Louisianaise des Clubs Français des Ecoles Secondaires

It has been an honor to be a part of the WMHS French Club for the past two years, and I have loved being the vice president my senior year. Every year, the club goes to a weekend of french immersion in various, culturally rich cites in Louisiana dubbed “ALCFES” for short. It does not feel like a weekend of learning; ALCFES feels like an exciting, subliminally educational vacation spent with other students that are just as passionate about the language as the club is. At first. it feels intimidating to be surrounded by people that have been speaking/learning French since elementary school, but when you really get into it, it is magical! My first year (Baton Rouge), we went around to multiple stations throughout the hotel to learn about many francophone countries. It was fascinating to hear these people talk about how the language is utilized in their native countries. Later, we went on a fact hunt at the old capital building and spoke with someone FROM PARIS! He was incredible! A heartbreaking moment in the trip, though, was witnessing how the creole people in the 1960s where forced to never speak French on the school grounds. Seeing that blackboard covered in the words ” I will not speak French on the school grounds” made me appreciate my freedom to choose to speak French at school. This year we ventured to New Orleans and learned about the more religious and cajun side of French. We went to two museums and a cathedral while we went on a fact scavenger hunt throughout the French Quartier. The booklets that they gave us to fill out for the fact hunts are how we earn out ALCFES tee-shirts. The only thing that is handed to us is money…well kind of. The teachers use a currency called “piastres”  to motivate their students to communicate in French, and at the end of convention, there is a shop to buy French knickknacks with. It’s really fun, and ALCFES 2018 is when I realized that I wanted this language to always be a part of my life forever.

Le Meilleur Professeur

Sarah Young is the French teacher at WMHS, and she is a blessing to the school. She sacrifices her planning period and her extra time to her students, and it would be a shame to see her leave because no one enrolled in the program. Madame Young teaches her students with hilarious songs and games and dances, so her class is never boring. She goes the extra mile for her students so they can prosper in the language. Within the past two years, one of WMHS’s very own French students have been a regional president for ALCFES and the treasurer for ALCFES. These students exert their incredible intelligence, and without Madame, they could not have gotten there. Madame Young is a vibrant soul that puts her heart into every single word she teaches her students.

Conclusion

This language has enriched the lives of many people in the community, so why should someone get rid of it? Having a default option on scared, impressionable 8th graders going into high school is unfair because they aren’t sure what they want at the moment. No adult should prevent a student from finding their passion, so the students should be given an option from day one.

Don’t take away our voice. Keep in mind that this is Louisiana is the ONLY US state a part of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and that would be taken away if not for Louisiana’s youth.

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