Collaborative France Exchange Program
The Faculty of Education has a collaborative exchange partnership with the IUFM through the University d'Orleans. Each year students from the Centre Val region of France, led by Valerie Zanelli, come for a four-week stay and are billeted with our B.Ed. students as well as some of our faculty and staff members. The students from France, who are also earning a professional degree, attend different language learning classrooms during their visit. At the same time, under the leadership of Dr. Julie Byrd Clark, our Bachelor of Education students in French language pedagogy, will have the opportunity to go to France to conduct their T2P (Transition to Professional Practice) in the month of May, and will likewise be billeted with the students from France during their stay. This is a wonderful opportunity for our B.Ed. students for a number of reasons: (1) they can make a connection (both professional and amicable) with an international colleague; (2) they are able to observe different kinds of practices and approaches as well as conceptualizations of language teaching and learning; (3) they can profit from having the possibility to "make French real" by being able to use French both in and outside the classroom (that is in everyday life); and finally, they have the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation of cultural and linguistic diversity, develop a lifelong passion, and can share this as well as these experiences and insights with their future students. In a world where language is being both globalized and globalizing, and internationalization remains a priority in the global workforce; the need for professional language educators will continue to be in demand.