It’s been a chilly, grey week out there, but I have some excellent news that should brighten things up a little: Leila Slimani, the Goncourt prize-winning author is coming to the French Section! On behalf of our whole school, I would like to thank the French Office in Taipei for organising her visit.
Leila Slimani is a former student of a Lycée français abroad, she holds dual nationality and is a writer who enjoys critical and public acclaim. Her books have been translated the world over. She is an intellectual with powerful influence, President Emmanuel Macron’s representative for the promotion of the French language, and an active, politically engaged woman.
She will come to visit us next Thursday 8th of February and we cannot imagine a more prestigious visitor or one who incarnates our values more. She will be all ours for two hours and we are delighted at the prospect of spending this time with her.
We want it to be a moment of maximum student involvement and a chance for them to show us what they do best. The LFT media team will be covering the event, as will the webradio crew. All of our students have all been working to prepare for the visit: reading, writing and reciting. Some of them, I know, are a little nervous (and of course, as always in cases like this, we are nervous for them too, even though we try to persuade them not to be).
Our students will have the chance to tell Ms Slimani about our school: French, yet also bilingual – even trilingual – European, yet within Asian borders. They will tell her about their connection to the French language: mother language, father’s language or school language. They will tell her about the culture they appropriate, the books they read, the history they learn, the places they come from – Montreal to Geneva, Brussels to Ouagadougou, Paris to Taipei. They will tell her how, like Aimé Césaire, they “bend” the French language to suit their meaning.
They will talk together about the French-speaking world, an ever-expanding space whose vitality speaks volumes. They will tell her about their own tiny French-speaking territory and their days spent in French, in English and in Chinese. They will talk about their progress, their delights, their favourite texts and maybe – will they dare? – their struggles with French spelling. Our oldest students will talk to her about literature, her books, her profession and her projects.
It’ll all be over much too quickly, but it will make for a precious a memory that will stay with them for a long time.
Have an excellent weekend