Caption: French Training Consultant, Bernard Gruas (first from left) with the group of teachers and administrators of the Alliance Française. Photo: SUPPLIED.
French Language Instructors are in Suva this week for a training course, organised by the Embassy of France at the Alliance Française de Suva.
The group of 10 instructors, from around Fiji and two from Tonga, are part of the Alliance Française network of teachers. They are undergoing a week-long intensive training course under the tutelage of French Training Consultant, Bernard Gruas, who has over 30 years of experience in training teachers of French as a Foreign Language (FLE) and has worked in Europe and South-East Asia.
The French Embassy facilitates at least one training session in Fiji annually that brings together its network of Alliance Française trainers in the Pacific, and teachers are also sent to New Caledonia and France to attend courses to upgrade their skills set.
The Embassy of France’s Regional Attaché for French Language and Culture, Guillaume Costille stated, “The education sector is dynamic. It changes constantly as society evolves so it is very important that our pool of instructors is kept abreast on these changes. This is our way of ensuring that our students receive the best French language instruction possible.”
French Ambassador Gilles Montagnier confirms that training programs such as these will continue to receive the support of the French Government as they are beneficial for both the Pacific Islands and France in that the French teachers, who are mainly from New Caledonia, are completely immersed in an English-speaking environment whilst teaching French locally.
“Language instruction is at the basis of successful bilateral relations as this is where the understanding and appreciation begins,” he said. “France, through her territories, is a Pacific Island nation and the learning of each other’s languages is essential to ensure for successful integration at all levels.”
In Fiji, French courses are offered at the Alliance Française de Suva, the University of the South Pacific (USP), Fiji National University (FNU), Suva Grammar and Marist Brother High Schools; and in Tonga at the newly opened Alliance Française de Tonga and Tonga High School.
The Embassy of France in Fiji is also accredited to Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu and Tonga.