Immigration

Multiculturalism and immigration: Chansons françaises

In connection with the 8th grade Civil Rights Trip and a small unit I do in conjunction with the 8th grade Spanish classes, French C Honors has been studying Immigration and Multiculturalism in France and the Francophone world for several weeks (along with reviewing for our final exam!).  We have looked briefly at Immigration to New England and Louisiania from France and Québec.  We have considered issues faced by Haïtians in the Dominican Republic (complete with a Skype interview via the DR with a Haïtian teacher and an American who works with the Haïtian community).  We have looked at issues that are of concern in France and Europe as a whole as they define what it means to be French.  Mostly, we have had fun hearing a wide variety of songs that address these topics.  Students were asked to select one of the songs we studied in this unit (and could also choose from a few others we have learned over the year) and learn at least 10 lines to recite to the class.  There was an option to sing the lines as well.  As you will see in the videos below, many took this task to heart and presented a very fine performance in class today.  Merci beaucoup tout le monde!  You have made me proud and made me laugh, today and all year!

Les Chansons de l’année: “Aïcha” by Khaled, “Métis” by Yannick Noah, “Au Bal Masqué”by La Compagnie Créole, “Ma philosophie” by Amel Bent, “Inch’Allah” by Grand Corps Malade and Reda Taliani, “Mezanmi” by Luck Mervil and Corneille together, “Seul au Monde” by Corneille, “French in America” by Josée Vachon, “J’aime la vie” by Zachary Richard and his grandson Emile, and a lot of Wanito in Créole and other musicians in French as background music!

A special BRAVO to those who were very BRAVE and decided to sing even if they “can’t sing”! 🙂

A sampling (sorry if you aren’t here…some videos had a technical problem!):

Jacques

Elizabeth

Julien

François

Véronique

Marie

Daniel

Jean

CC

Megan

Claude

Guy

Annie

Sabine

Jeanne

Marguerite

Brigitte

Noëlle

Alexandre

Project Esperanza Donation

I am proud of my French C Honors students who asked what they could do to help Haïtian children who live in the Dominican Republic during our Skype interview with the Director of Project Esperanza, Caitlin McHale.  After finding out that they could send a student to school for an entire year for $100, they realized that their small class of 9 could make a difference for a child by working together to raise some funds. They even asked some of the Spanish students who joined our Skype session to contribute to their cause and raised $130.  L’Union fait la force!We sent the $130 in class today via PayPal.  The students should receive a profile and picture of their sponsored student in their emails soon!

Find out more here:

http://esperanzameanshope.org/student-sponsorship

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SPRENCH classes

Last week, the entire 8th grade class took a trip from Atlanta to Montgomery, Lowndes County, Selma, and Birmingham, Alabama, and Memphis, TN. The focus was to explore the journey of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. As a French teacher, I think it is important to teach more than grammar.  It is essential for students to understand the struggles that many different groups of people have endured in this country’s history (for example, about 100 years ago, French-speaking immigrants from Quebec also suffered prejudice as they tried to make a better life in New England.) and that they also look beyond our borders so that one day their language skills and cultural understanding may be used for good.

In an effort to tie our 8th grade Civil Rights trip together with our cultural studies, I had the opportunity to team teach a unit on immigration with Mrs. Jiménez (MS Spanish teacher). We discussed racism and discrimination in America against the immigrant speakers of both of our languages. I also presented information about immigration and discrimination against Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic that parallels what has happened to immigrants in the USA.   I learned about this during a trip last summer, when I worked with many undocumented Haitians in the Dominican Republic. It was fascinating to see that discrimination against immigrants is something that happens in many parts of the world.

My D period French class has also been researching and making presentations about Haïti as part of a unit on Haïti and Martinique. Both 8th grade French classes have studied a song, in Haïtian Créole, and studied the French lyrics as well.  It was fun to compare and contrast the two languages and find out that we could read it a little bit!Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 10.29.17 AM Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 10.29.26 AM

Today my E period class teamed up again with the Spanish students as we Skyped with Caitlin McHale, director of Project Esperanza in the DR. The mission of Project Esperanza is to create positive change in the city of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. They work with the Haitian refugee population through providing a home for boys and supporting several grassroots schools. Caitlin shared with us what is is like to leave the comforts of the US and start a new life in a community where she speaks three different languages all day long. Students had many good questions, and even learned some Creole. Mesi, Caitlin!

My summer work update

I thought some of you might be interested…As some of you already know, I taught English in the Dominican Republic for part of the summer, working primarily with children of Haitian origin through a grassroots organization called Project Esperanza.  I am also sponsoring one child so that she can attend school this year.  Because the Dominican Republic doesn’t recognize these children as citizens, their access to education is limited.  It only costs $100, and her tuition, books, and uniform costs are covered!

Here is 5 year old Clichie with her mom and sibling.

Click on the picture to find out more about Project Esperanza!