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Facilities Available to Students in French and Spanish

The Department of French and Spanish makes available to its students a number of facilities to assist them while they complete their course work in the department. These are of different kinds, and not all students will take advantage of all of them every semester, but chances are you will come into contact with all of them if you do even a couple of courses in our department.

The Departmental Office (SN4023)

Located on the fourth floor of the Science Building near the north-west corner, the departmental office is often the best place to start for students seeking information or guidance on programmes in French and Spanish. Not only is Heather O'Brien, our departmental secretary, extremely well-informed about such matters as the whereabouts of faculty and staff, course content, programme structure and so forth, but she can also help you take best advantage of the printed information and other material housed in the office. This includes copies of departmental and university information and application forms (for deferred examinations, prerequisite waivers, etc.).

Administrative Staff Specialist Patricia Churchill (SN 4026) is able to assist students who are employed part-time in the department with such programmes as MUCEP.

The bulletin boards outside the departmental office are frequently updated, and are the best place to look for job announcements, exam schedules, and posters from other universities with programmes in languages or translation. Important announcements are always posted on or near the door of the office, as is a complete schedule of course sections for the semester and a timetable showing faculty office hours. You can call the office by dialing 864-7636 or 864-7637.

The Digital Language Centre (DLC)

The DLC is an academic support unit in the Faculty of Arts comprised of two facilities that are used by  instructors and students for our department and other departments teaching modern and classical languages as well as linguisitcs. It is located directly across from the French and Spanish Department  in SN4022 and SN4030. It houses 70 iMac computers and a wide variety of language-related and linguistics software. You must have registered for a language course in the current semester in order to be able to use the computers in the Digital Language Centre for your individual work. Accounts are generated from Banner Self-Service feeds and those held in previous semesters have expired. If you registered late for your course, your account will not be ready until your registration information is uploaded into the Banner system. In this case, you should apply for an DLC account by filling out an application form (available from student staff on duty in the DLC, SN-4022/4030. For more information, you should visit the appropriate sections of the DLC's web pages.

Students with advanced knowledge of one of the modern languages supported by the DLC, including French and Spanish, may be interested in applying for a position as a student monitor. To apply, you will need to complete an application form, available from the office of Dr. Karin Thomeier, Director of the Digital Language Centre.

Conversation classes

Conversation classes are a normal part of many language courses. The scheduling and teaching of the classes depends to large extent on the preferences of individual instructors and on the type and level of courses. Advanced students in French can expect to participate in a weekly conversation class with either the assistante or the lectrice, while students in first-year French may take part in classes conducted by advanced students or by their instructors.

The Help Centre

The Department operates a Help Centre in French staffed by advanced students employed on MUCEP grants. For exact hours of operation each semester, you should consult the departmental office in order to find the time that best suits you. The Help Centre staff are available to help first- and second-year students with specific difficulties you may be encountering in your study of French: they are not there to do your homework for you! The Help Centre normally operates in the departmental seminar room located in SN4049. You can find the hours of operation for the help center for the current term here.

The Francoforum

The Francoforum, located in Saint-Pierre, houses the department's Frecker Programme. It is owned and operated by the Conseil général of Saint-Pierre, and houses several classrooms, a language lab, offices and other facilities. During the winter and spring semesters, the Francoforum is home to visiting groups of adult and school-age students who come to study French in Saint-Pierre.


French and Spanish student societies

Memorial's French and Spanish student societies, the Cercle Français and the Sociedad Hispanica, welcome the participation of all students registered in French and Spanish courses or simply interested in activities of which the French or Spanish language is a part. They are run by elected executives whose term corresponds to the academic year, and who are assisted by a faculty member of the department.

For recent news on the French student society, see the Cercle Français Facebook page.

The members of the Cercle Francais normally organize a visit to Saint-Pierre once or twice a year during the mid-term break or after April exams, and conduct a number of other activities each year. In recent years, these have included not only the usual mixers, which are well attended by students, faculty and staff and are a great way to meet other people in the department, but activities that include both a social and a cultural element. For example, students have organized wine- and cheese-tasting sessions and a French banquet. If you are registered in a French or Spanish course, you will hear about the activities of the student societies; if not, by all means e-mail!