Ask Away: 5 Questions for a High School French Student Interested in Sustainable Urban Development
We’re asking students, teachers, and counselors five questions on how languages play a role in shaping personal and professional success…
Meet Lily—a senior taking AP French whose favorite phrase in the language is “Ça marche !” (That works!)
1. Why French?
I chose to study French in the seventh grade, almost six years ago. My dad actually suggested that I choose French as the primary language to study because of his experience. He had worked with different companies all around the world and had found French extremely useful for international business. He thought that I would reliably use French more than any other language if I wished to travel to Europe or Africa.
2. Does your school provide any experiences outside the classroom where you can use your language skills or celebrate French culture in a different setting? Tell us a little about that!
My school provides several different languages and cultural experiences outside of the classroom. I am a member of our Foreign Language Honor Society at Triton High School. As a member, I participate in French events and community service opportunities that benefit foreign communities. In addition, middle school students can travel to Quebec City for a weekend of cultural immersion.
However, the largest cultural and language experience at Triton is the French Exchange Program. Although I have not participated in the program myself, I have been in class with French students and their hosts. The two weeks that the students from France are here are fun and give me a sense of the French culture. My peers who have had the opportunity to travel to France rave about their time there.
3. As a high school student, why do you feel it’s important to learn another language?
My generation is lucky enough to have been born during a time when global communication is so readily available. News from one end of the world can travel to the other in the blink of an eye. The world has been connected by innovations like the Internet and social media, and thus it has become increasingly important for students to understand the world that they are entering upon graduation.
The time is over for students to simply learn the history, culture, and language of their own country.
It is essential for students to be knowledgeable of the entire world. Students must learn a language other than their own so that they can fully communicate with their peers and be knowledgeable of the world into which they are entering.
4. What advice would you have for other students who are looking for ways to use and practice their language(s)—any tips?
I have the French keyboard in my phone and text my friends from French class in French! I also use a neat app called Duolingo which helps me refresh the French I learned in French 1 and 2. Sometimes, I am so immersed in learning culture in AP French Language and Culture that I forget to brush up on my grammar and vocabulary.
5. What’s next on your journey with the French language?
I hope to work in the field of Sustainable Urban Development. Because of this, I know that I will need to learn from countries that are already the forerunners of clean and sustainable building practices. France is one of those countries.
In addition, I plan to work with developing countries in designing sustainable buildings, and ultimately cities that run on clean energy. A lot of these cities reside in Africa and a lot of currently developing countries in Africa are French-speaking countries.
I hope that my studies in French will help me achieve my future goals.
BONUS QUESTION: What has been your most memorable French language experience so far?
One of my favorite French memories is the French cooking video that my sister and I made last year. French 3 was the only class my sister and I have shared since kindergarten, and it was definitely a refreshing experience for us. We had so much fun making that video together. It is still on YouTube to this day.
Are you interested in French language scholarships, university programs, or student testimonials? Visit our Lead with French page to learn more. And don’t forget to share your language learning story @LeadWLanguages on social media!