I was selected last year as one of the 10 young people from around New Zealand to go to France as a Shared Histories Young Ambassador, and commemorate New Zealand's involvement in the war. It was an incredible experience to be a part of the Young Ambassador’s programme. The programme inspired me to start a group called Francophones en Herbe. It is for French learners throughout New Zealand.
When I was in year 11 and a pretty poor French student, I decided that I wanted to go on an exchange to France at the end of the year. Being ambitious and bit ignorant I thought that 3 months would be enough to master the language, after which I could quit French because surely I’d have a great level by then. I also was adamant on missing as little school as possible, as all the teachers had told me how important year 12 was and hey, after not doing so well in year 11 I believed it. So, I packed my bags and with my heavily accented bonjours and vous allez biens I headed off. I certainly got an education, learning not only how to conjugate basic verbs and how to deal with 8 hours of school in a day, but realising that l loved to speak French. I was happy to come back home, as things hadn’t been the easiest in France; but I also had this sinking feeling that I was on to something with this whole language learning thing, and that it might slip away being in New Zealand without a French connection.
There was still so much work to do, and it felt overwhelming at times to have a small French class but not feeling like I was progressing and that being thrown in the deep end meant that I hadn’t learnt the basics or the proper structures. When I was selected for the Young Ambassadors trip I was overjoyed, having felt that my hard work with French had paid off !
Last June when I met the other Ambassadors I thought to myself how great it was to talk and to connect to so many other young people taking French from around New Zealand. I loved bonding with the others over our shared challenge of learning French, and meeting the enthusiastic Morgan Patterson and Pascale Hyboud Peron, made me think of what I could do as a learner of French for other learners in New Zealand. So I had a think and send a few messages out and after numerous emails, skype meetings, and one fabrication of a short video later voilà... Francophones en herbe was born!
The video below explains what Francophones en herbe is about. So if you’re in 11,12 or 13 and take French I encourage you to join.
Here is the trailer ⬇︎
Who for? Francophones en herbe is a Facebook group for senior level French students to encourage a community of young learners of French in New Zealand.
Why? To create discussion about everything regarding learning French in New Zealand, a place where students can communicate with each other and share things that have helped them, made them laugh. And also a space to share what they find difficult or need help with.
Useful stuff I want to post what’s happening in New Zealand with French and the opportunities that one can have with the French language, including testimonies from people who have been on an exchange and have done something with French in uni or later on in life.
A space for you If you have any content regarding French in NZ, have had any opportunities thanks to learning French that you’d like to share, or have any questions to do with the group please don’t hesitate to message me from the group page.
I am still a learner, my French is far from perfect but I hope through the creation of this page others will be encouraged to post, express themselves and build confidence with the French language. I want to not only help French language learners in New Zealand, but all language learners as it would be awesome to see other language learners being inspired by Francophones en herbe to start their own similar group or platform to promote their language.
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Last modified on Thursday, 09 February 2017 14:03