Creating cross-Atlantic school partnerships for online language learning

Foreign language educators face a unique challenge when teaching from home: how to engage their students’ foreign language skills without the advantage of in-class exchanges or physical travel. Luckily, teachers have access to a world of cultural exchange opportunities for their online classrooms, thanks to the French-American Academic Exchanges (FAAX) platform. FAAX is a user-friendly way for educators to partner with French schools and universities to create fun activities online for their students, during confinement and beyond.

Any staff member working for or representing a secondary or higher education establishment can sign up, create a profile page and consult the directory of institutions that are looking for a partner either in the U.S. or France (including French overseas regions). Educators can also communicate with potential partners directly through the site; personal contact information is shared only at your discretion. Once you’ve found a partnership, you can collaborate with your French partner on bringing activities into the classroom.

The platform has been used in the past for teaching opportunities ranging from collaboration on a bilingual musical performed on school stages across the Atlantic to setting up school-wide pen pals between the US and Martinique. During this period of staying at home, teachers can set up video chats between their classes, have students practice their writing skills through e-mail pen pals, and more with classrooms of native speakers who are also eager for cultural exchange from home. Take a look at more success stories on our photo page (and send us your photos, ideas and experiences!)

Click here to see a video introducing the diverse users of the platform and learn more about what FAAX could do for your school.

If you have any questions about this platform, feel free to contact Rebecca Duncan, Educational Programs Officer at the Embassy of France in the United States, at rebecca.duncan@diplomatie.gouv.fr.

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