La Ville et le Cours: Bringing Community Resources into the French Classroom

by Marilyn V. Schuler
La Ville et le Cours: Bringing Community Resources into the French Classroom
Marilyn V. Schuler
The French Review
Start Page: 
End Page: 
Select license: 
Select License


La Ville et le Cours: Brin in Community

a PResources into the Frenc C assroom

by Marilyn V. Schuler

INRECENT DECADES THE EFFICACY OF IMMERSION as an approach to foreign language learning has become a truism.' French programs such as those at the Alliance Frangaise in Paris; at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California; at Middlebury College in Vermont; at French-Canadian universities like Lava1 prove that immersion in the target language environment is decisive to devel- opment in all five skill areas: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture. One corollary to the truism is, however, that the immersion experience is not ordinarily available to French classes in U.S. schools, colleges, and universities.

Historic U.S. monolingual bias is, of course, well documented, and its residual effects are by no means eradicated in the 1980s. But the climate for language learning is improving. For example, in many of the 50 states, the report of the President's Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies (1979) has been a catalyst for the establishment of requirements for the study of foreign languages. Perhaps even more significant is the publication of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (1986). Based on an assessment of what an individual "can and cannot do," the guidelines have important implications for a teacher of French whose students' contact with the language is limited to time spent in the classroom or language laboratory.

But is such limitation in contact hours inevitable and unavoidable? In her recent wide-ranging study, Mary Ashworth examines the relationship between second language teachers and the concentric communities-local, national, and international-within which they function.' Considering the community's role in FL teaching successively as that of beneficiary, resource, and control, she suggests that FL teachers become more active in using as well as creating community resources. She stresses, however, that since no two programs or situations are identical, ideas she presents may, according to their applicability, be adopted, adapted, or improved (2). It is one of the paradoxes of FL teaching methodology that, while much of what Ashworth has to say is based on the teaching of English (as a second, or as a foreign language) to FL speakers who are newcomers in communities where English is the language of communica- tion, her study is no less valuable to American teachers of French: some of us, like Ashworth, have indeed already ventured "beyond methodology."

The purpose here is to demonstrate how community resources for French have been identified and utilized in a specific urban setting over a ten-year 21

period. As Ashworth suggests, community resources may be categorized as funds, people, materials, sites, agencies, or activities (40-41). Those who seek to create a French "environment" in a typical U.S. urban community commonly have access to the following: 1) the urban university; 2) the municipality as a social, cultural, and political entity; 3) the city as a linguistic repository; 4) the city as history; 5) the community as a professional and collegial network. Although the Louisville experience which is the subject here cannot be repli- cated, it may suggest viable applications in other communities.

1. The Urban Universify

In the context of this discussion a university functions primarily as a dispenser of advanced academic instruction and a preparer of teachers of French. At the University of Louisville (UofL), programs for the B.A., M.A. and M.A.T. in French and M.A. in Foreign Language Education provide training in skills and access to information areas needed by the beginning teacher; certification programs administered by the School of Education meet state requirements in the theory and practice of teaching. Experienced teachers can return to UofL to maintain and upgrade skills as well as to develop new ones, and to participate in a unique month-long work exchange in Louisville's sister city, Montpellier. The university has conducted on its suburban campus an intensive summer language institute, a live-in experience based on French language use exclusively for a two-to-four-week period. Day-long workshops on French language and culture were held there in 1982 and 1984 for teachers and the community at large. UofL School of Music faculty performed vocal and instrumental programs of French music on both occasions, and one workshop featured a paper treating Verlaine's influence on the Impressionists and on Deb~ssy.~

Options for the non-credit study of French at three levels are available through UofL Continuing Studies, whose three "semesters" offer evening courses that meet once a week for eight weeks for a total of 12 contact hours. The Department of Classical and Modern Languages sponsors a three-week summer language institute for local middle and high school students with at least one year of regular study of French completed. Students of varying ages and backgrounds plunge daily into a round of activities based on a theme, learning grammar and conversational skills while dancing, singing, playing games, swimming, going on scavenger hunts, making field trips to local sites- with French the language at all times. To conclude the institute, students perform a program of skits and musical numbers for their families and teachers. An immersion weekend during the academic year for secondary students decidedly eager to meet their counterparts from other high schools results for some in the use of French for the first time outside the confines of a classroom.

The UofL Theatre Arts department, whose regular seasons have featured in recent years The Bald Soprano, Ubu Rah! [sic],An Italian Straw Hat, and A School for Wives,offers performances convenient and inexpensive to attend. The student repertory theatre presents abbreviated versions of The Miser, The Would- Be Gentleman, etc. for secondary school students in the space of a regular class period at their home schools. The School of Music's opera workshop recently staged Tales of Hoffmann.

Another university resource is the International Center, under whose auspices various activities are organized. For example, each year an exchange scholarship student from Montpellier attends classes at the University of Louisville and agrees to accept invitations to go to local schools to meet and talk to students about life in Montpellier and in France. French exchange students live in the UofL dormitory but, depending on their adaptability and the hospitality of their classmates, visit local homes and participate in local organizations and student clubs. For secondary and college students alike, these personal encounters make France seem less far away and the study of French relevant and useful. UofL students-especially those majoring or minoring in French-have the added advantage of access to the Modern Languages Fund, sponsored by anonymous donors, which provides some or all the travel funds needed to support their participation in the work-exchange program each July or to carry out other appropriate learning activities in a French milieu.

2. The City as Social, Cultural, and Political Entity

Besides utilizing the advantages of the university and its resources, French teachers look to the city itself, which in Louisville provides four major resources: the Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL), the J. B. Speed Art Museum, the Rauch Planetarium, and the Area Chamber of Commerce. Since the library lends free of charge not just books but other items including reproductions of paintings, teachers of French display in their classrooms works by Renoir, Rouault, Picasso and others to illustrate regularly held discussions on French aesthetics, painting styles, and history. Put at the teacher's disposal by the library, too, are tapes and records of French folk and classical music, video cassettes such as Truffaut's Argent de poche (with English subtitles), and movies in English about French history like the story of the Louvre narrated by Charles Boyer. Perhaps unique and certainly one of the most useful library resources available to Louisville's French teachers is Coin de France, a section of French language holdings on all subjects created decades ago by members of the Louisville Alliance Frangaise. Each year, the Louisville chapter adds books of poetry, fiction, photographs, and biography, and subscriptions for various magazines to the collection, thus continually enhancing the typically small number of items available to students of French in their respective school libraries and classrooms.

Louisville teachers use the Rauch Planetarium's 40-minute program un Voyage duns l'espace (prepared by NASA) to introduce their students to the French space-age vocabulary and experiences already familiar to them in English by way of their science courses and their TV screens. Since the vocabulary lists (scaphandre, navette, satellite, etc.) and the text of the narration are available upon request, the teachers usually orient the class before undertaking this popular field trip to the planetarium, sometimes combined with luncheon at Cafk Musbe in nearby J. B. Speed Art Museum. At the museum, teachers frequent the permanent collection which contains French paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and furniture as well as traveling exhibits, which in the recent past have included the Ingres retrospective commissioned by the Speed Museum and paintings from the Phillips and Armand and Hammer collections. If the level of the students' listening comprehension warrants it, the teacher specifies that the docent conduct the museum visit in French.

Teachers of French in Louisville began networking actively during the U.S. Bicentennial era when they staged French Heritage Weekends at downtown locations in cooperation with the Heritage Corporation, a non-profit arm of the Louisville Area Chamber of Commerce. For five years, teachers interacted with the local francophone community to plan an annual outdoor program of performances and exhibits. The former included the can-can (the ballet mistress was a former petit rat), puppetry, mime, fashion shows, folk music and dance, etc., and, at the student level, a pageant of French historical personages and literary characters. In addition to what one might expect (Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Jeanne dfArc), students appeared costumed as the three musketeers, the dancers in a Degas painting, the burghers of Calais and other immediately recognizable and delightfully inventive choices. Each group or student had submitted an explanatory text so that, as the personages appeared on the open- air stage, an informative commentary was provided alternately in French and English by student winners of the previous year's AATF competitions. Students also presented short plays (Blanche-Neige) and demonstrated French games (boules); they saw or participated in fencing exhibitions, bicycle races (with appropriate maillots), floating of miniature sailboats in the belvedere fountains and other typically French activities such as visiting the outdoor cafbs and stands to sample French fare (gaufrettes, croque-monsieur, quiche, etc.). Some of the activities-folk-dancing and fencing, for example-continue today in the form of community groups which anyone may join.

Montpellier, the eldest among Louisville's five sister cities, has for more than 30 years cooperated in a work-exchange program unique in the U.S.4 During the month of July, approximately 35 Louisville college students, under the aegis of the International Center, live in dormitories at Universitk Paul-Valbry and work in Montpellier hospitals, businesses, stores, agencies, and offices. With their wages, participants are able to pay their living expenses. They may also earn academic crecbts by demonstrably improving their understanding and speaking of French, progress in which is monitored by a comparison of entrance and exit interviews; or by undertaking an independent study research project, subjects of which have included skindiving in the Mediterranean, the SNCF, attitudes towards physicians and medicine, the status of women, and fire- fighting, among others. As mentioned earlier, Louisville teachers of French may qualify for the work program, and an exchange of academic year scholarships between the two universities is also maintained. A recent agreement will facilitate future academic exchanges between the two universities of students and faculty in law, medicine, and the liberal arts.

Kentucky Opera Association (KOA) has been on the Louisville scene long enough to have a following of local opera lovers who often actually prefer to hear a French opera sung in French. Bizet's Carmen and Les Ptcheurs de perles, Gounod's Faust, and Gluck's Alceste are among recent examples. Opera libretti (like M6rim6e1s Carmen and Dumas's Dame aux camtlias) often appear as prose selections in French literature anthologies or survey courses, and records or cassettes of famous arias (frequently accompanied by the text) are readily available. Prior to the KOA premiere of Alceste, the Alliance Fran~aise sponsored for its members an introduction to the opera (presented in French) by the newly-arrived music director followed by a noteworthy performance by the diva of Alceste's principal aria. In general, recital hall or classroom exposure to hearing or talking about French opera has been well received by students as a normal aspect of French language and culture even when the genre has been unknown to them in any other context.

Actors' Theatre of Louisville (ATL) has performed The Three Musketeers, Cyrano de Bergerac, and A School for Wives in recent seasons. In 1986 ATL embarked on a new series of performances, films, and lectures called Classics in Context. The initial program, honoring MoliGre, had productions of The Misanthrope alternating with Bulgakov's The Royal Comedians, which treats MoliGre's attempts to finish and produce Tartuffe while under attack by the divots and subject to the personal censorship of Louis XIV. Among memorable "context" presentations were Michel Vinaver's eloquent verbal portrait of Mo- liGre and Robert Gross's masterful description of the court of Louis XIV. The October 1987 program focuses on The Romantics and features plays by Alfred de Musset and Dumas fils, and lectures by Gross, Vinaver, and Victor Brombert. Following its regular procedure, ATL offers reduced rates and special perform- ances to student groups.

3. The City As Linguistic Repository

Almost by definition, a large urban area is a collection of speakers of foreign languages, a linguistic repository whose resources can be lent to the French classroom. Among francophone organizations in Louisville, for example, is the Amicale Fran~aise, a group with a nucleus of French natives, many of whom came to the U.S. following the world wars. They and their children and friends meet once a month to dine, to speak French, and, occasionally to play games, sing, or take a trip to a nearby winery or cheese (La Vache Qui Rit) manufactury. They welcome Louisvillians who want to converse in French. Their mostly social activities offer a contrast to the more culturally oriented programs of the Alliance Fran~aise; some teachers of French are members of both organizations.

Besides providing an off-campus opportunity to speak French with native francophones, both groups offer the teacher classroom visitors and resource persons.

We Speak Your Language (WSYL), a volunteer language bank, has been active in the Louisville area for more than ten years. Sponsored by four local non-profit organizations, it offers individuals bilingual in English and another language the opportunity to practice their skills for the benefit of those whose English is limited and who consequently find it difficult to communicate in medical, legal, or other practical situations. An unforeseen benefit to franco- phones was their discovery of other French speakers through their common involvement in the program. An umbrella organization, the Louisville Interna- tional Cultural Center, has recently been formed to coordinate hospitality for foreign visitors and to catalog community resources for international interaction. Graduate students in French were among those invited to attend a recent reception for visiting jurists from French Africa.

Activities and contacts initiated during the era of the Louisville Heritage Weekends gradually began to operate as independent and ongoing exercises in French culture and language: Catholic Mass, a feature of the heritage program, was later scheduled once a month at various churches on a rotating basis; a French Scrabble League has held regular meets which produce an annual champion school team; a regional language festival to showcase language as well as arts and crafts skills is held annually in Louisville, the winners advancing to the state level competition.

The Alliance Fran~aise de Louisville is a distinguished resource to the Louis- ville French student. Affiliated with the Alliance Fran~aise de Paris and its U.S. Federation, the Louisville chapter is among the most active in moderate-sized American communities, having as its mission a serious commitment to the encouragement and development of French language and culture in the urban area. To this end, among other activities, the Alliance awards prizes to the top three local winners in the AATF competitions and to winners in various categories in the regional language festival, and hosts the local sitting of the National French Essay Contest sponsored by the U.S. Federation. (In 1985, more than 20 local students wrote essays; of those, three were judged first, second, and third place winners nationally in the high school division and another won third place in the college/university division.)

The Alliance also hosts dramatic performances by touring companies such as Le Trtteau de Paris and Compagnie Claude Beauclair and each year a number ofconftrenciers officiels whose programs range from a slide presentation on the Centre Pompidou to performances of French folk music or formal readings by authors from their writings. The Alliance has joined with UofL and the J. B. Speed Art Museum to sponsor in Louisville the U.S. premiere of a series of French films first seen at the 1984 Rencontres Cinimatographiques Franco-Amtricaines in Avignon. Alliance members frequently act as native informants, visiting French classes, making tape recordings of texts, and generally acting as resource persons for the classroom teacher. To encourage student participation in its activities, the Alliance not only encourages student and school member- ships but admits students to Alliance programs either free of charge or for a nominal fee. Advanced students, along with their teachers, participate in regularly scheduled Causeries du lundi.

4. The City as History

Another potential community resource is a city's history. Louisville's French heritage-the city was named for Louis XVI at its founding in 1778-flourished for a brief period. By mid-nineteenth century, waves of Irish and German immigrants began to supplant the French as the dominant ethnic groups. The American Bicentennial, coupled with interest reawakened by the city's own bicentennial, resulted in a proliferation of lectures, classes, and exhibits. An overflow crowd attended a lecture on the French origins and lore of Louisville gven at the Filson Club, the city's historical ~ociety.~

Another very large group heard later a repetition of that presentation, this time sponsored by the Alliance Frangaise on the UofL campus. Because the speaker had illustrated his lecture with slides of old maps, buildings, and sites pertaining to the city's past, the next logical step was a tour-the first ever undertaken-to visit historical landmarks. The Filson Club and the Alliance Frangaise, assisted by local preservationists and archivists, planned and conducted a bus tour which in- cluded a stop at the Falls of the Ohio (the raison d'ttre of the Louisville settlement), a historically and archeologically important site rarely seen by Louisvillians and the location of the remains of a spectacular (for the time) mill built in 1815 by an ill-fated French family. Other highlights were the Catholic Cathedral of the Assumption, whose museum contains memorabilia of Kentuc- ky's two French bishops, Flaget and David, and the formerly French-language Church of Our Lady ("Notre Dame du Port") located in the Portland area, to which the French settlers moved after repeated Ohio River floodings of their original site, Shippingport I~land.~

More than one hundred participants were transported in two large buses, where an English language narration was given, and in a smaller tour bus which featured a commentary in French. The success of the venture was marred only by the planners' secret disappointment that, along the way, the travelers were not greeted by the proverbial "vieille petite dame en noir" relating in flawless French stories of "le bon vieux temps." Alas, there are few such vestiges of Louisville's early days. (The lecture and the tour were complementary to a course at the university, La France et les Francais en Amirique.) Ten years later (spring 1987), a second tour attracted an equally large number of participants.

Louisville nonetheless does possess visible reminders of her French connec- tion: one, a gft of Montpellier, is a massive statue of Louis XVI (placed in close proximity to that of his contemporary, Thomas Jefferson, in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse), opposite City Hall; another is Rodin's Le Penseur, which sits on the steps of the University's administration building. Elsewhere is a bust of Lafayette presented to the City by the French ambassador in 1976. Other 'finds" are a Foucault pendulum, on the University campus; the three fleur-de- lys featured on the city's flag; the Cathedral's French-made clockworks and stained-glass window illustrating the presentation of the relics by King Saint Louis at the founding of Sainte-Chapelle; French tombstones near the Church of Our Lady and elsewhere; and a plaque near the Ohio Rver that bears the claim that LaSalle explored that Mississippi tributary.

5. The City as ProfessionaI/Collegial Network

In the last resource area, the city as professional/collegial network, some of the most exciting events are now occurring. Louisville teachers of French- middle school, high school, college/university-have realized the need to draw upon one another as resource persons. On one level, collegial networking began more than ten years ago as an effort to provide students with an extracurricular language opportunity. That effort, the Scrabble League, currently consists of ten teams from private and public high schools competing on both junior varsity and varsity levels in a season that stretches from October to March. The benefits to the participants are not only linguistic but social, as students visit other schools in round-robin fashion during the year. On another level, the Heritage Weekends and interaction within professional organizations like the Kentucky Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French and the Kentucky Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages have fostered professional growth and development.

In the wider community, the past two years have seen an involvement of interested citizens in the foreign language classroom. Through a committee working for the betterment of local schools, the Junior League of Louisville requested the support of the local business community to promote foreign language program^.^ The League's "School Interest Group" identified bilingual business executives who were eager to talk to students in a workshop setting on the subject of foreign-language-related careers. The result was a day-long career seminar which introduced students to business people from the com- munity there to speak from personal experience about foreign language curric- ulum choices that would enhance students' career decisions. The project, started by one chapter of the Junior League and one high school, has had even greater success statewide in Kentucky. Last year 50 teachers and business leaders met for a series of seminars ("Partnerships in Education") which examined the myriad ways business and educators can interact in classrooms to the betterment of the educational process and the practical application of proficient use of foreign languages (as well as information and skills learned in other disciplines). Of particular interest to foreign language professionals is the rising student desire for foreign language study: the Jefferson County Public Schools (includ- ing Louisville) experienced in 1985 a 30% increase in FL enrollments and a consequent demand for more FL teachers in the classroom.

What has brought about this rise in the number of FL enrollments? One answer is the demonstrated willingness on the part of classroom teachers to reach beyond their schools for motivation and professional enrichment. In 1985 for example, the University of Louisville, in conjunction with the Jefferson County Public Schools, sponsored a two-day workshop on oral proficiency. Who could have imagined the outpouring of energy and excitement generated by that workshop? In the midst of the winter doldrums, the workshop triumphed. Teachers responded enthusiastically and asked for similar programs regularly and often. A workshop on suggestopedia techniques followed in 1986. In answer to this new language learning vitality, the Kentucky Chapter of the AATF revised its spring meeting format from a luncheon meeting to a day-long Saturday workshop and immersion in French. The workshop was led by francophone instructors who, among other approaches, demonstrated innova- tive use of tapes, texts, and song lyrics in a classroom setting, effectively reminding teachers of psychological and peer pressures which afflict all stu- dents. Another workshop featured presentations on teaching techniques by two teachers whose students have consistently excelled in language competitions.

Rising enrollments, greater enthusiasm for languages, and improving morale of FL teachers in the Louisville area were factors in the forging of yet another community resource for teachers of French and other foreign languages. Anx- ious to provide a good return to teachers on the growing dues investment required by their respective AATs, local officers in those organizations lent support to the formation of an academic alliance on the model proposed by Claire Gaudiani9 The concept was discussed at the fall 1985 meeting of the Kentucky Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (KCTFL). An area academic alliance quickly became a reality. A steering committee representing public and private middle school, high school, and college/university FL faculty demonstrated a meeting of minds that surprised and encouraged. During one hour's discussion, the eight members selected the group's name (Kentuckiana Language Collaborative), the year's theme-Proficiency-and the topics of the four general meetings to be held in October, November, February, and March, i.e., Proficiency in the four areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The theme for 1986-1987 was Articulation, which was examined at four general meetings announced in the appropriate issues of KCTFL newsletters and else- where. A third series of meetings in planned this year.

French (and other FL) faculty in the Louisville area are witness to a fortuitous fusion of national and local events, of individual initiative, of collegial cooper- ation and of organizational accountability; the result is the utilization of com- munity resources and teaching personnel to a degree projected only as a desirable possibility by the MLA-sponsored conference on Graduate Education in Language and Literature held during fall 1985 at the University of Virginia and described in the spring 1986 MLANewsletter.

The Louisville experience demonstrates that a modest urban setting, at first glance geographically and linguistically isolated, can provide, short of true immersion, a surprising number of experiences in hearing, speaking, reading, and writing the French language, and a many-faceted introduction to French culture. FL faculty would do well to re-create or simulate the immersion model so as to maintain student interest and constant progress during the six-year continuum recommended in the report of the President's Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies.

getter preparation of teachers; effective use of computers, films, television, and other technology; humanization/personalization of instructional methods a la Dartmouth or suggestopedia; TPR; student-centered, integrated learning programs: all are recognized necessities for the contemporary classroom or language learning center. The student spends a relatively short period of time in these primary learning sites, however. Learning experiences orignating in the wider community are, therefore, not only necessary but crucial, whether these experiences occur by bringing the community into the classroom or by transporting the student into the community. Either way, contact hours with French are increased and immersion is more nearly effected.''


'An oral version of this article was presented in New York, 29 November, 1985, at the 58th annual AATF convention. I want to express appreciation to my co-presenter on that occasion, Jean

S. Amick, current president of the Kentucky Chapter of the AATF, whose wise utilization of community resources has benefited not only her own students but many others in Louisville and in Kentucky.

While Ashworth's book treats mainly the teaching of English (EFL, ESL), it has many applica- tions for American teachers of French. Chapter 2, 'The Community as Resource," (32-49), provides a theoretical basis for the identification and utilization of local resources. D. E. Ingram, 'Learning Through Use: A Projected Community-Based Course for Tertiary Students of French," posits that community involvement plays an integral and integrating role and takes three forms: 'extramural," 'formal," and 'informal" activities. Ingram covers both learning strateges and methods of evaluation for such courses at the Mount Gravatt College of Advanced Education, Brisbane, Australia. Jose B. Fernandez, 'The Campaign to Promote an Interest in Language Study at Valdosta State College," describes techniques in two major categories: 'internal" and 'external." "Internal" programs benefit the college's students and the college community and consist of innovative teaching approaches and new fields of study in which FLs play a major part. "External" activities include those for high school students and teachers and members of the community. Constantino Ghini et al., "State wide CODOFIL Program of French Instruction in the Elementary Grades, 1973-1974, Evaluation Report" and its companion report for 1974-1975 describe the second and third years of implementation of Louisiana Senate Bill No. 639, which authorizes the teaching of second languages in grades 1-12; community support is described as crucial to the success of the program. Vivetta G. Petronio, 'French in the Dry Goods Department: Shopping for Foreign Customs," provides an example of the French class moving into the community sphere as a college French department presents a 'French Day" at a local department store. 'Descriptions of Selected Interdisciplinary College Courses" is a survey of career-related, community-related interdisciplinary and non-traditional foreign language offerings in U.S. colleges and universities during 1974-1975. Descriptions of courses on French film, Paris, a specific year (1913), etc., are given.

State-wide invitations were issued to the two day-long immersion workshops on French language and culture, which included presentations on pedagogy, reports on the activities of all ent tuck^ cities twinned with French cities, appearances by the French attache culturel, French cuisine for breakfast and luncheon, performance of French music, slide presentations showing recent changes in the Paris skyline, etc. The workshops were funded in part by the Kentucky Humanities Council and NEH.

See David Hershberg and James A. Van Fleet, 'Work Exchange Programs: Achieving More for

Less," Modern Language Jourizal (Fall 1987) for information on the Louisville/Montpellier exchange.

'Louisvillians of French descent were among the founders of the Filson Club in 1884. Its library is the repository for many French documents from Louisville's early days-daries, letters, deeds- and possesses an autograph document of Louis XVI, several items relating to one-time Louisville resident John J. Audubon, early maps of the city, etc. The national headquarters of the Sons of the American Revolution, recently relocated in Louisville, offers another archival source of interest to francophiles.

To observe its 125th anniversary, the parish published Our Lady: Notre Dame du Port-Louisville, Kentucky: History of the Parish 1839-1964. The work consists of a reprint of the book issued in 1939 for the centenary, and an additional history of the parish 1939-1964. It contains biographies of the French bishop, Flaget, and of other important figures of French orign or descent; the minutes of the parish; and an account of how the Ohio River, a near neighbor to the church, has been historically both friend and foe.

'The presentation on Louisville's French past was given by Professor Robert A. Bumett (then on the faculty of the History Department) and later published in the Filson Club Quarterly. Bumett studies the cultural impact of French Catholics and Huguenots in the community and concludes that the French 'played a distinguished role in the history of Louisville and one far out of proportion to their limited numbers" (27).

Bettye B. Samuels-past president of the Kentucky Chapter of the AATF, teacher of French in the Jefferson County Public Schools, and member of the Junior League of Louisville-played a leading role in organizing and promoting 'Partnerships in Education."

Academic ~lliances-groups of high-school and cbllege faculty who meet regularly for scholarly interaction and professional enrichment-were first proposed and designed by Claire Gaudiani. There are presently over 100 such groups in the U.S. and the model has expanded to include other academic disciplines. School or college faculty wishing to initiate foreign language collaboratives may address inquiries to the current director, Ellen Silber, at Marymount College, Tarrytown, New York 10591.

'O The Bicentennial Issue: Historical and Literary Relations Between France and the United States of the French Review is a useful source of information about the French impact in various U.S. localities. Both the articles and the works reviewed in that issue are worth consulting. An example of the latter is Une Amirique francaise,published to celebrate the American Bicentennial and to memoralize America's French-speaking pioneers. Though not entirely free of errors, the book is an excellent source of Franco-American history. It contains important iconographical features (photographs of maps, paintings, statues, stamps, coins, etc.) and a useful primary and secondary bibliography (158- 60).

Works Cited

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. N.p.:

ACTFL, 1986. Ashworth, Mary. Beyond Methodology: Second Language Teaching and the Community. New Directions

in Language Teaching Series. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1985. Bumett, Robert A. 'Louisville's French Past." Filson Club Quarterly 50.2 (1976): 5-27.

Casanova, Jacques-Donat, and Armour Landry. Une AmPrique fran~aise. Paris: La Documentation Fran~aise and Qubbec: Editeur Officiel du Qubbec, 1975. America's French Heritage. Trans. Gillian Damilano et al. Paris: La Documentation Fran~aise and Qubbec: Edteur Officiel du Qukbec, 1976.

'Descriptions of Selected Interdsciplinary College Courses." Foreign Language Annals 10.1 1977; 33-

43. Femandez, Josb B. 'The Campaign to Promote an Interest in Language Study at Valdosta State College." Paper presented at SAMLA Convention. Atlanta, 5-7 Nov. 1975. ERIC ED 112 666.

Ghini, Constantino, et al. State Wide CODOFlL Program of French lnstruction in the Elementary Grades, 1973-1974. Louisiana State Dept. of Education, Baton Rouge. New Orleans: Ghini & Associates, 1974, ERIC ED 11 1 224.

---. State Wide CODOFlL Program of French instruction Elementa ry Grades, 1974-1975. Louisiana State Dept. of Education, Baton Rouge. New Orleans: Ghini &Associates, 1975. ERIC ED 111

225. Haig, Stirling, ed. The Bicentennial Issue: Historical and Literary Relations Between France and the United States. Spec. issue of French Review 49.6 (1976): 835-1233.

Ingram, D. E. 'Learning Through Use: A Projected Community-Based Course for Tertiary Students of French." Paper presented at Congress of National Applied Linguistics Assn. of Australia. Newcastle, 23-25 Aug. 1976. ERIC ED 129 108.

Kunkle, John F., ed. Bilingual Education and FLES: Keeping the Child in Focus. A Report by the 1974 FLES and Bilingual Education Section of the AATF, AATF Convention. Dec. 1974. New York: MLA Publication Center, 1975.

[Lyons, John A. and Michael K. Lally.] Our Lady: Notre Dame du Port--Louisville, Kentucky: History of the Parish, 1839-1964. Louisville: n.p., 1964.

Modem Language Association of America. Newsletter 18.1 (Spring 1986): 1,3.

Petronio, Vivetta G. 'French in the Dry Goods Department: Shopping for Foreign Customs." Foreign Language Annals 3.10 1977: 307-10.

United States. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare. Ed. Div. Office of Ed. Strength Through Wisdom: A Critique of U.S. Capability. A Report to the President from the President's Commission on Foreign Language and international Studies. Washington: GPO, 1979.

  • Recommend Us