Posted: January 23, 2018
By: Alison Adair
What are we Learning?
In this new article series, What are we Learning?, we feature a Western Continuing Studies employee each month to discover what they’re currently learning at Western Continuing Studies, see how they’re applying it to their role and find out what they hope to learn in the future.
We asked Sandra Bardwell, Program Coordinator, for our French Immersion and languages programs; Qu'est-ce que vous apprenez? (What are you learning?)”
What’s Sandra Learning?
I have worked with Western Continuing Studies for almost two years. I am responsible for customer service, communication, and promotion for our French Immersion programming in Quebec and our language courses at Western Continuing Studies. In this role, I am able to help current and prospective students who share my same passions: languages, travel, and lifelong learning.
What is the most recent course you’ve taken with Continuing Studies?
This week-long French Immersion program allows students to learn French and experience Quebecois culture in the classroom, in the community and by living with a host family. The focus of the program is to improve your speaking skills, vocabulary and pronunciation whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced speaker.
How are you applying what you learned to your current role?
I’ve taken a lot of French courses in the past, but the French Immersion Week was one of the only programs that allowed me to use my French on a consistent basis, 24/7, and to actually live in a francophone community. This experience was invaluable for my personal life, as well as my professional goals. I can now draw on my own experiences when I tell students what they can expect from our program.
Do you have a learning tip for other students?
When embarking on a French immersion experience, be ready to step outside your comfort zone. Take every opportunity to speak French and to communicate with members of the community and your host family.
In the 1970s, my parents went to Trois-Pistoles to study French, so they were interested to see up-to-date pictures of the town when I went this past summer. After sending them a picture of the home of my host family, my mother responded with a photo of the same home from the ‘70s. It turns out she stayed in that same house as a young student!
What are you hoping to take next?
I’m really looking forward to taking Video 101 so I can create amazing videos to share the French Immersion experience with people from around the world.
See what Program Manager, Chrstine Wilton is learning.
See what Director, Carolyn Young is learning.