What is "CHILLER EN FRANÇAIS"?
Have you been "learning French" for a looooong time - and yet you still don't feel comfortable expressing yourself in the language? Does being in a 100% Francophone (French-speaking) environment make you CRINGE with apprehension? Can't even begin to understand Québécois (Quebec French)?
WELL! Have we got something NICE for you! Launched in Fall 2011, we call it "Chiller en français"! Every week, we match up some of our Afro-Caribbean peers who are native (or simply excellent) French speakers with the less-than-confident French speakers who'd like to immerse themselves in a Francophone, Afro-Caribbean environment! Different - and yet uncannily familiar - come experience the other side of the artificial language divide, and prepare to be amazed!
Now of course, we're gonna be chillin'! HOWEVER, we're also going to actually LEARN a thing or three - so to facilitate that, we've got a few principles to keep in mind:
1. TOUT EN FRANÇAIS, TOUT LE TEMPS! (ALL in French, ALL the time! How are you EVER going to swim in French if you just sit on the English side of the pool poking your toes in the water? Ça ne va pas!)
2. PLUS D'EXPLICATIONS EN FRANÇAIS, MOINS DE TRADUCTIONS EN ANGLAIS. (On-the-spot translation into English will be kept to a strict minimum.) HOWEVER (and this is something you'll rarely get outside of this activity), we will take the time to explain anything in French that seems to go over anyone's head. If you don't get something, simply raise your hand; no-one is going to just leave you out of the conversation and keep going.
3. TOUT LE MONDE EN PARLE! (EVERYONE is engaged in the conversation.) We want to hear from you - in fact, we must hear from you! No-one gets to be a wallflower at Chiller En Français. And if you make a mistake, so what, huh? Ne t'inquietes pas! That's how you learn - and yes, even those know-it-all native French speakers make mistakes sometimes.
4. LE THÊME RESTE LE MÊME. (The theme stays constant.) Of course, we'll be discussing nearly anything and everything - and usually from an African/Caribbean perspective - but for the conversation to be as productive as possible (and to build vocabulary in certain subject areas) we'll be focusing on the main discussion points posted at the start of the session.
#1 - AFRICA is the continent which the majority of the world's Francophone people call home.
#2 - MORE Francophone people live in a single Caribbean country (Haiti = ~10 million) than live in all the Anglophone Caribbean countries combined (just ~7 million - and yes, that includes the so-called "big islands", plus the Bahamas, Belize, AND Guyana).
#3 - MORE than half of Montreal's population of African/Caribbean descent is Francophone.
What are you waiting for? Sometimes, all you need is a little immersion. Jump in and start splashing around in French! See our events calendar to find out about our upcoming next sessions for Chiller en français - drop-ins are welcome!