Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Bailey Moffitt Completes Service-Learning Project with the Alliance Française de Kansas City
For my last semester at William Jewell College, I completed a service learning senior course to receive my French minor, something I had been consistently working towards since my first semester in college. I was given a list of possible organizations to work with in order to get my hours, and the Alliance Française de Kansas City caught my eye. The Alliance works very closely with Jewell; one of our French professors is actually on the board for the Alliance, so I had heard of it before. The Alliance works with the Kansas City public. They hold classes where people can spend a few hours every week learning and practicing another language; French, of course. They hold programs in public libraries and museums to expose the attendees to French culture, geography, and cuisine.
When I began my work with the Alliance, I worked on a number of small projects. The first program I helped with was a Trivia Night. I was in charge of the questions; a very stressful situation to be in. I wanted to make sure I got them right. I created and found questions on various French, Kansas City, and February topics. February because the trivia night was being held in February.
The biggest project I worked on with the Alliance was prep work for France Travel Day, an event held at the World War I Museum in early April. This was an all-day event where the public was ‘advised’ on what to expect when traveling to France, how-to conversation skills for basic navigation and cultural immersion, and popular traveling sites in the country. I looked up many conversation starters and phrases; small vocabulary people could use to get along if they ever visited France.
About halfway through my experience, I actually got to visit the Alliance Française classrooms. Currently they are holding their evening classes at a French-speaking elementary school, Académie Lafayette, in downtown Kansas City. I thought going to this school was an amazing experience because it was an ordinary elementary school, but everything was in French: from the posters on the walls to the date and day of the week on the chalkboard. I sat in on an evening class taught by Valerie.
The last contribution I made to the Alliance Française was to help send out confirmation emails for the spring session classes.
I really enjoyed this service learning project. I think it’s really important to actually immerse yourself as much as possible in a foreign language setting, especially when you are pursuing higher level classes in the language. I wish I had gotten to do more hands-on activities with the organization and gotten to know the structure of the organization better, but I still think I had a good experience and highly recommend it to any other French students.