The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic now means that more services are being relegated to cyber space as scores of readily exportable service providers take advantage of the physical distance and other costs saving benefits that are engendered through the World Wide Web.
Locally, the Alliance Francais continues to offer its French language training services; this time via an online platform. “To respond to the COVID-19 situation and to keep our students up to date with their French, we have opted to resume our term online using the Zoom app. We still have junior classes for Forms 1 – 3, CXC preparation classes and adult classes including a new beginners class,” which got underway on Tuesday May 19, directrice Vanessa Demirciyan told us.
“To be honest it’s not an easy situation, we had to adapt urgently and use the means that we have.
The online part is not seducing everybody, we have lost a lot of students and we are doing the best to keep classes fun and interactive,” directrice Demirciciyan added while acknowledging the inherent challenges of this new normal.
“At the same time it is opening a new door to online teaching that we have been thinking about for a while but never implemented. So it kind of forced us to do it and in a somewhat unprepared way too but it will allow us to get prepared for the next online offer that we will think about.
“On our side for now, we try to take some time to do things that we might not always have the time to do in regular classes like oral practice of the language through different activities.”
The latest online French class to get started includes 3 Vincentians who are French language scholarship recipients through the French as a language of exchanges (IFLE) project. Classes are conducted by Lilla Guyon ,a young French American volunteer with the almost 50 year-old organization and Delphine Hadley, l’Alliance Francaise’s presidente, who also assists with the CXC prep classes.
Of the 108 candidates in 12 different artistic fields across 11 partner countries, 5 persons – Karen de Freitas with her Soka fashion brand, singer/songwriter Dynamite, filmmaker Akley Olton and visual artist Shanique Stewart together with Shalom Sutherland and his digital art wares – were selected from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to partake in the opportunities for residences, workshops, master classes and performances aboard that would be available once the VAPA leg of the program comes on stream.
Other applicants to the IFLE program were awarded consolation prizes inclusive of a full scholarship for a year-long French language study course.
As with everything else COVID -19 has caused major setbacks in the IFLE producers’ plans but the local l’Alliance Francaise is still welcoming new students to their ongoing classes – albeit, online. “We will probably offer online classes after [COVID-19 passes] but in a different way. And of course, we are looking forward to resuming regular classes and physically interacting with our students.”
Interested persons may email [email protected] or call 1 784 531 7637 for details. Students already enrolled are encouraged to make payments at the RBTT bank account #102024024 or leave payments in an envelope addressed to the l’Alliance (with the student’s name included) at the National Trust.