It’s all good and well to learn French in school, but would you really ever actually use it in the real world? While, 22 Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS) students are getting the chance this fall as part of SEVEC, an exchange program which pairs French-speaking students from Quebec with students from Western Canada.
“SEVEC is an organization that gets money through Heritage Canada to organize cultural and historical exchanges,” said David Reimer, a French and Social Studies teacher at GFSS and the local organizer for the program. “My students don’t often get a chance to use their French outside the classroom. This is a great chance for the students to learn that French is a living language.”
The 22 GFSS students, who are in grades 11 and 12, have been paired with 22 students from Magog, Quebec. The Magog students arrived in B.C. on Sept. 7 and will be spending a week in the province and will be visiting Ainsworth Hot Springs, Nelson, Kokanee Creek, horseback riding and a bike ride up the old Kettle Valley Railroad (KVR).
In Grand Forks, the students were treated to a barn dance and will be taking a historical walk through town and will even be treated to a borscht feed.
GFSS grade 12 students Ben Garrison and Aidin Klassen are participating in the program and believe it’s a great way to enrich their French learning. The two are also part of the local band Mountain Men, who played at the barn dance on Sunday.
Jaclyn Salter, also in grade 12 at GFSS, has taken French for 10 years and is enjoying the chance to converse en Francais. “Having a second language in Canada is very useful,” she said. “It opens up so many jobs and opportunities like this.”
SEVEC is a great way to practice your French and learn about the culture.”
The GFSS students head to Magog, Quebec at the end of the month and will spend a week visiting and taking in some of the culture including visiting Quebec City and seeing the Parliament buildings.