Dialogue of Cultures in the French Elective at the Karelian Branch of RANEPA

14 December 2017

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Each lesson in a foreign language with native speakers is a meeting at the crossroads of cultures; it is the practice of intercultural communication since foreign words and phenomena reflect the customs, traditions, mentality, and culture of the people of the target language.

On 12 December, 2017 a French elective lesson was devoted to Christmas and New Year traditions in Belgium and Russia. Aurelie Bartolome and Sophie Tips, permanent participants of the elective, made a presentation about the main symbols of Christmas and New Year in Belgium and taught Russian students to write greeting cards, as Francophone countries have their own rules and traditions in writing such kind of texts. In their turn, the students told the Belgian guests about the mandatory attributes of New Year holidays in Russia and made colourful greetings in Russian for them, which really impressed Aurelie and Sophie. The culmination of the lesson was singing karaoke of the famous Christmas song in French "Vive le Vent !" and the Russian traditional New Year song about a fir tree.

According to the students, constant participation of Francophones in elective French lessons creates real conditions for live communication in the target language and enriches knowledge about the world of Francophonie. No doubt, inclusion of native speakers into lessons helps to model  situations of dialogue of cultures in which students can compare features of the lifestyle of the people in their own country and in the countries of the target language, as well as cultural traditions and customs in these language communities, getting to know the history and culture of their own country better and deeper.

The Chair of Foreign Languages and the students of the Karelian branch of RANEPA thank Aurélie Bartolome and Sophie Tips for initiative, hard work, creative approach to teaching, and willingness to help master the beautiful French language.