Anglais Collèges et Lycées
 

The English club

samedi 1er janvier 2005, par Webmestre

 L’organisation d’un Club d’anglais, en collège comme en lycée, est une idée qui fait peu à peu son chemin dans notre Académie. Cà et là, de nouvelles expériences sont régulièrement lancées.
   Ces expériences ont le grand mérite d’offrir un moment privilégié à l’élève désireux d’améliorer ses savoirs et savoir-faire en anglais. C’est aussi un moment propice à la découverte d’une langue étrangère par d’autres biais, de façon plus ludique et moins directement liée au déroulement d’une séance traditionnelle. En outre, ce type d’activité permet une bonne découverte ou redécouverte d’éléments de civilisation.

   Voici le témoignage de Mme Shauna ROUX, professeur d’anglais au Lycée d’Altitude de Briançon qui, avec l’aide de l’équipe d’anglais, a mis sur pied ’an English Club’. Elle désire faire part de sa propre expérience, dans le but d’aider ses collègues désireux de se lancer et de leur fournir quelques pistes de réflexion.

   Nous vous invitons à nous contacter si, vous aussi, avez des idées ou des pistes à proposer. Merci d’avance.

Marena TURIN




To All Those Interested :
Hello ! I would like to share an idea which has been put into action this year in the Lycée d’Altitude de Briançon.


STARTING UP
With other colleagues, I have started an English Club. The idea has been in the back of my mind for years, but because I needed to complete my work schedule with an additional work hour, it seemed that this year presented the ideal opportunity to get the project rolling.
The goal of this project, defined as precisely as possible, is to help students discover the pleasures of communicating in English without the weight of a grade or a scholastic judgement. It seemed to us that this meant putting those youngsters interested in the idea into situations that take them out of the school context. One essential point is to give the students as much choice as possible in the activities they decide upon, in order to maintain interest and curiosity. The club, if it is to be viable, must be their own.


ORGANISATION
Concretely, we have organised weekly meetings during school hours for those students, staff members or administrators who are able to come. The purpose of our meetings is to propose monthly activities for the entire school body at times which are more convenient (Wednesdays, weekends, etc.).
There were about a dozen people at the first meeting, and I observed an enjoyably sincere effort on the part of all to speak in English. The first object of the meeting was to elect a student president, vice-president and secretary of the club. These students are full of good intentions, but clearly they need direction and guidance in the face of their lack of experience as administrators. The meetings, in order to be efficient, need some advance planning and follow through with the notes, etc.


ACTIVITIES
A large and varied number of activities have been proposed since that first meeting, as the following list (far from exhaustive) shows.
 1. Travel in an English-speaking country
 2. Speak a maximum in English
 3. Invite native speaking guests
 4. Find pen pals or e-pals
 5. Watch videos or movies in English (English, American, or other origin)
 6. Read and/or act out plays
 7. Have a "Speak English Day" for the school, when everyone would have to try to express themselves in English
 8. Big Challenge (concours)
 9. Outdoor picnic (everyone would be obliged to speak in English as much as possible)
10. Listen to music in English, maybe sing it, translate the lyrics
11. Decorate the English Club room with maps, flags, posters, postcards, appropriate objects
12. Invite students from the "collège" to come and participate
13. Play board or other games (Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, etc.)
14. Outing at the ice-rink
15. Outing at the swimming pool
16. Read books, magazines and discuss
17. Have parties, celebrations (Halloween, Thanksgiving)
18. Present displays of projects dealing with English-language/culture themes
19. Volleyball or other sports tournaments (to encourage boys’ participation)


SOME ADVICE
Anyone who undertakes such a project should be forewarned—the time and energy involved is enormous. However the rewards are equally so. It is important that all share in the preparation and creation of an activity, including the clean-up. Keeping the administration informed of activities is also a priority if only for safety and insurance reasons. To avoid the club becoming a strictly feminine activity, it is important to think of activities which are of interest to boys. Although the whole idea here in Briançon is still in its first stages, the feeling is up-beat and encouraging both among students and staff members.

We more than welcome all your comments and ideas concerning this project. If you have decided to go forward with something similar, by all means let us know so we may exchange ideas. And have fun doing it—GOOD LUCK !

Shauna ROUX
English Club, Lycée d’Altitude Briançon
E-mail : englishclub.briancon@laposte.net




ADDENDUM
Just a note about our November activity, which was a Thanksgiving party held on school premises for about 35 students and 15 adults. It was fun ! The administration was against the idea at first, but with a little patient persuasion, an explanation of the objectives, and reassurance that things wouldn’t get out of hand, we had their full support.
Distributing the tasks is important. Everyone contributed to bringing snacks and entertainment items—chips, drinks, cookies, cakes, napkins, decorations, a CD player and CDs, and of course pumpkin pie. And clean-up was a team effort which went pretty smoothly considering we had forgotten to locate brooms and sponges before the staff went home. It’s important though, if one is to keep a positive relationship with the maintenance crew, and this is also the key for a positive response regarding future activities.
The atmosphere was festive and truly sincere in terms of trying to use English—it’s fun to see teachers who can barely peep out a word to really really give it their best. Bravo for them.
On the list for December—a special guest (the kids don’t know it, but it’s my son who is doing his studies in an American university) will be coming to speak on the U.S. university system and a student’s life in that system. Don’t know if this will be as popular as a party, but we’ll see. If you have ideas-send them along !

 
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