The National University of Laos (NUOL) will look to increase its cooperation with francophone universities (universities whose primary language is French) with the aim of strengthening its own French language courses.
The increased cooperation hopes to promote the French language at the university level and enhance the attractiveness of French courses offered in Southeast Asia with the support and guidance of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF). Deputy Director of the Department of French at the Faculty of Letters at NUOL, Ms Souvannapha Vongxay, last week welcomed francophone summer school students from Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China and encouraged them to enjoy themselves learning French in Laos and to share aspects of their own cultural heritage while here.
The summer school students are part of a project conducted by the AUF in collaboration with French embassies in South East Asia since 2008. The project’s main objective has been to strengthen university level French courses and departments in universities throughout the region.
Each year students from universities around South East Asia have had a cultural exchange with francophone universities of countries involved in the AUF project depending on the topics they are studying.
“This year five institutions in the region have hosted summer schools. Laos and more specifically, NUOL, has worked closely with the AUF, the Embassy of France and the Centre of Francophone Activities to launch the first edition of its summer school gathering 40 francophone students from Cambodia, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos,” Ms Souvannapha said.
“The theme chosen this year was “Lao Cultural Heritage” with the objective of improving students’ knowledge of the French language while promoting the discovery of regional cultures,” she added.
For five days starting on July 25, students participated in educational activities and cultural outings to write a detailed report at the end of the intensive course on cultural awareness, being open to other ways of living, and Lao heritage, all in French.
Ms Souvannapha said the “…gave students the opportunity to view a moment together and interpret their impressions in French, and these are the expected results of this course”.
During the week the students enjoyed both educational and cultural experiences, which allowed them to improve their knowledge of French and to discover Lao traditions.
According to NUOL’s Department of French, French is one of the most spoken languages in the world and the only one, along with English, to be spoken on five continents, so France fully supports the work of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie to which the country is a main contributor, especially in their educational missions and training.
Source: Vientiane Times