This year, the BFCCPS Grade 8 students will have the opportunity to write to pen-pals in Lyon France. This project has been made possible by coordination between our Middle School French teacher, Mireille Malouf and BFCCPS Alumni Evan St. Germain who is currently working in Lyon, France.

“French at BFCCPS aims to stimulate the curiosity and interest of the students and to prepare them for French II Honors when they leave to go to High School. Learning a second language is a progression and it spirals up from grade to grade. Vocabulary is introduced, reinforced and reviewed, expanded upon and then mastered. Each aspect of language acquisition is focused on: reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension.

During class, students are immersed as much as possible in French and encouraged to use it in their speaking and writing. All of their papers are in French with visual aids as needed. The goal of the program is to stimulate a lasting love for the French language and culture. We hope to inspire students to continue their language studies beyond their time at BFCCPS.”  – Mireille Malouf

We hope you’ll be inspired by the letter from Evan to the students and parents in our Grade 8 class this year.  While  COVID-19 has disrupted our typical plans to travel with students to Quebec; we are thrilled that Madame Malouf continues to find new ways to celebrate Francophone culture for our students and create new opportunities for them to put their French skills to use.

“My name is Evan, I’m 22, and I graduated from BFCCPS in 2012. In middle school my favorite subjects were ancient history and French. I did a presentation on Voltaire, one of the greatest French philosophers of the Enlightenment, for French Week. The trip to Quebec organized by Mme. Malouf was the first time that I traveled to another country. After BFCCPS I went to Franklin High, where I started a Philosophy Club, and fully discovered my new passion for philosophy. I continued to study French because I wanted to read French philosophers in the original language. After high school I went to Oberlin College in Ohio, where I majored in French and philosophy. I studied abroad in Paris for one semester, it was wonderful! I love Paris, I traveled all throughout Europe, and I really liked speaking French with the French. It is a privilege to be able to express myself in a language that is not my own and be able to make new friends who do not speak English. I finished my B.A. this May, and it has been two weeks since I returned to France. I am an English language assistant at a high school and a middle school in the city of Lyon, and I already love my students! Mme. Malouf, my old French teacher, and I are going to work together to facilitate penpals between BFCCPS and the middle school where I work. It’s really cool to be able to work with a former teacher!

In the end, the most valuable thing that I have gained from learning French was not new philosophical ideas, it has really been the experience of learning and sharing a new language and culture, and this is why I am really excited to teach English! A new language opens up a whole new world of possibilities for you, and I promise that it wasn’t really intellectualism that motivated me to learn French. It was ultimately a desire to be understood and to understand other people. It was a desire to make friends and meet different kinds of people from other cultures, because that is ultimately how we come to appreciate the things we all have in common.” 

We invite you to read about highlights of the BFCCPS French Program here.