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Tom Kennedy

“Ici on Parle Français!” Who would have thought that this simple line at age 5 would set me on the path to where I am today? Looking back on the early immersion program I completed in 2002, my interest was sparked the moment I set foot in Kindergarten classroom. Perhaps it was childish curiosity, then again it may have been the reinforcement from my parents, nevertheless it was quite clear that this would be ‘me’.

I enjoyed every facet of the early immersion program. The bond between students, the challenge of second language acquisition and the interest in culture became a triumvirate of reasons why my appreciation of the French Language deepened. Upon graduation, I realized my positive experience with the NL immersion program was largely due to quality instruction and dedication. Without the appropriate teachers, French students would not have the opportunity to visit foreign cultures first hand and ‘live’ the language. Students would not travel throughout Quebec and Saint-Pierre as I had done. Therefore the decision seemed quite simple, become a French teacher and ensure that these experiences are felt by upcoming students.

In university, my studies opened my eyes to the extent of ‘La Francophonie’ around the world. Learning of the vastness of French influence worldwide only strengthened my resolve to learn and teach French. Over four years of study, I had the wonderful opportunity of being a part of the French Department at Memorial. This close-knit Dept taught me about literature, phonetics and philosophy to lengths I never imagined. In 2006, with my BA in hand, I found myself one step closer to my goal.

While I may have had the appropriate background in French, the Faculty of Education allowed me to understand the pedagogical aspect. Despite my belief that teaching is a calling or, perhaps, even a natural talent, the Faculty of Education teaches one the proper approach to instruction. Without structure, any classroom would fail. Quality instruction during French methodology courses taught me how to share my love for the French language in constructive ways.

In August 2008, I convocated with my B.Ed from Memorial. After 17 years of preparation I was now ready, and certified, to share the passion for French language and culture. Memorial’s French education program allowed me to achieve my goals.

French programs in NL are growing stronger as a result of Memorial’s Faculty of Education, come share the passion!

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