Le Mois de l’histoire des femmes (Women’s History Month)
To celebrate Women’s History Month, my upper level French classes at Spain Park High School are researching francophone (French speaking) women in the domains of business, scientific research, and civil service. Keeping their own interests and passions in mind, the students chose their “Experte Francophone” from this database of women from all over the world. These women are current professional lawyers, professors, entrepreneurs, accountants, human rights activists, and nutritionists, just to name a few. They live in Haiti, France, Ghana, Senegal, Switzerland, and lots of other countries where French is an official or important language.
I’m so excited about this assignment because my students are writing emails to these experts in hopes of a response which we can share with the class during the presentations. They’re writing real messages to real people, so the stakes of their understanding their professions and making sure the language they use makes sense are much higher! Not only is this great practice for the email writing portion on the AP exam, but it’s a tangible way to show my students the reach the French language has in the world and in business. I also hope it inspires my students- these women are successful because they have worked hard and made education a priority. They are passionate about the work they do, whether it be the study of rain forest ants or sustainable architecture.
Already today one of my students came to me between classes to tell me the woman she contacted responded to all of her questions! This student was so excited, and I can tell she is really engaged! Maybe one day my students will open their inboxes to messages from high school students hoping to answer questions for a research project about them!