CWRU French section participates at the Biennale de la Langue Française

Photo of Kimberly Osbern, Lilas Al Dakr, Charlotte Sanpere, Fabienne Pizot-Haymore and Cheryl Toman
From left to right: Student Kimberly Osbern; Lilas Al Dakr, senior Fulbright scholar; Charlotte Sanpere, full-time lecturer in French; Fabienne Pizot-Haymore, a full-time lecturer in French and director of the French for Specific Purposes Center; and Cheryl Toman, the Eirik Børve Professor of Modern Languages.

In October, five members of the French section of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures participated in the Biennale de la Langue Française––an international conference co-sponsored this year by France’s Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, the Embassy of France in Washington, and the French Consulate of Chicago, among others. 

The conference, which gathered French language and literature specialists from 16 countries worldwide, was held Oct. 2–5 at the University of Illinois at Chicago and DePaul University. 

The CWRU participants were: 

  • Cheryl Toman, the Eirik Børve Professor of Modern Languages and president of the Biennal, who spoke about community literacy programs in a Paris-area housing development.
  • Gilbert Doho, associate professor of French and Francophone studies, who discussed the Anglophone-Francophone conflict in Cameroon.
  • Fabienne Pizot-Haymore, a full-time lecturer in French and director of the French for Specific Purposes Center, who gave a presentation on CWRU’s testing center, which she founded.
  • Charlotte Sanpere, a full-time lecturer of French and the first to offer a course on French for diplomacy in the United States, who spoke about the development and teaching of such a course.
  • Lilas Al Dakr, senior Fulbright scholar in the department this year, who presented on the Lebanese Francophone author Amin Maalouf.
  • Kimberly Osbern, a junior French and international studies major, who participated in a roundtable discussion on internships in France.

The Biennale is a 56-year old institution with a rich history and is registered officially in France as a professional organization for researchers and educators of the French language and related subjects. This year’s theme was on the value of bilingualism.