La Journée Intensive en Français – a French Immersion Day for students

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Earlier this month, approximately 125 persons from 25 area schools participated in the 7th annual Journée Intensive en Français, an all-day French immersion program for high school students.

Joliet Catholic Academy senior, Adam Wahl, took part in this exciting day, which required him to speak French during the entire day.

Donna Czarnecki, retired French teacher from Lyons Township High School, directed the program and was assisted by Dr. Sylvie Goutas, French professor at Wheaton College.

The national and the local American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) organizations and the Délégation du Québec au Midwest sponsored and supported the event. The AATF Chicago/Northern Illinois chapter donated prizes for everyone who upheld the pledge to speak French for the entire day.

The participants ate a French breakfast of chocolat chaud et croissants, passed through customs, played games, sang and danced French and Haitian folk dances. They prepared original skits called “situations” and played word games to further communication in French. The classes centered on the culture of the francophone world. Vive le hockey! Contes du Québec, and Venez au Carnaval à Québec directly dealt with French speaking Québec, whereas La Semaine du goût centered around France and Découvrons le Cameroum! dealt with Cameroun. a French speaking country in Africa. All of these classes and activities helped the participants attain the program’s and their personal goal of furthering their competence in the French language and of enhancing their knowledge of French culture.

A highlight of the event was a Chasse au Trésor (Treasure Hunt) on the Dominican Priory campus. Groups of students had to understand and follow French clues to find the various stations and then either answer cultural questions or carry out a variety of activities successfully before moving on to a new station.

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