La Table Française
(The French Table)
By Dr. N. Kupper,
Associate Professor of French
The French Table is an informal French conversation group and a social gathering, held weekly. The French Table was organized at the beginning of Fall semester 2000. It is open to students and people in the community who want to speak French and/or who are interested in French and Francophone culture, language, and literature.
Although the meetings are informal, the French Table is a productive and effective learning experience. It is hosted by upper-level students as part of their Academic Service Learning activity. Each student hosts two evenings during the semester. The student plans engaging topics they want to introduce for discussion and presents them to their professor over a phone call prior to the meeting. After the session the student reports back to the professor, detailing the events of the evening.
In spite of the effort the students must put into this activity, they seem to enjoy it tremendously. Many attend on regular basis, without meeting any requirement or receiving extra credit. April Spray says: “[La] Table Française has become a social event! It’s a great way to practice without any pressure and to learn more by correcting each other.”
Abbie Pesola adds that: “The French conversation table ... is a great place to freshen up on your French Conversation skills, and take part in some great, relaxing, fun, and exciting discussions. We talk about all sorts of things, the company is great ... While participating and listening to others, you pick up on things, catch errors, learn new phrases, correct yourself, and expand your knowledge ... Classes are important part of the learning process, but this is the place to truly see and enjoy the reasons we all take these classes.”
Liz Day is very grateful that “the whole thing [got] started.” She says: “It gives us, as classmates, a chance to get to know each other outside of class, from that, I feel that I have built some wonderful friendships. La Table Française allows me to use my language skills outside of class. It allows me to practice my conversational skills in a non-intimidating environment ... I truly look foreword to Wednesday nights.” Louis Taccolini shares Liz’s sentiment in saying that “it places us in another environment, different from the classroom, and also allows us to meet new students.”
Come join us in these informal meetings where you can have a glimpse into the French culture through occasional slide presentations, discussions about people’s experience in France and other Francophone countries and even meet native French speakers who live in our community.