I began my undergraduate degree by taking a single class with the French Department. I remember the class well; World Litterature in French with Professor Catherine Khordoc. I was immediately fascinated with what I discovered in taking that class. We touched on different subjects and studied literature from various cultures in a way that enhanced my academic learning experience.
After taking this class, I decided to declare a second study major in French. Doing this allowed me to partake in a variety of opportunities. For example, I conducted research with Professors Catherine Khordoc, Christine Duff and Sébastien Côté. As well, I participated in the séminaire in Québec City and I also completed a co-op placement with the federal government of Canada.
The classes and the opportunities the French Department offered allowed me to explore the world and prepared me for my future academic studies. I was able to translate what I learned into practical writing and communications skills. As such, I was able to pursue my graduate studies, and my career, knowing I had the tools and the knowledge I needed to succeed.
During my time as an undergraduate student at Carleton, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work as a Research Assistant for Professor Sébastien Côté. My work consisted of reading and transcribing 18th Century French letters; for a student pursuing a Combined Honours degree in History and French, this complemented my studies perfectly! It was absolutely fascinating to explore the writing style and conventions used in these letters as well as discover the stories of those who wrote them. And the best part was that I was able to put skills and knowledge from my French courses into practice!
Combined BA Honours,
FRENCH and JOURNALISM (2016)
“ …what really reinforced the transition to a double major, was the French department’s flexibility and accommodation… through all of these wonderful opportunities, it was the French that really made my university experience feel complete. ”
UPDATE: Francesca is now doing her Masters in French Language and Culture at the University of Victoria
I started my first year at Carleton, proud to be a Journalism major. It seemed natural to continue studying French throughout university, having been in immersion since Grade 6. So, I immediately declared a French minor at Carleton. What I didn’t realize was how much I would grow to love the French department, and the influence it would have on my four years at Carleton University… what really reinforced the transition to a double major, was the French department’s flexibility and accommodation… I also had the privilege of being hired on as a Teaching Assistant for that same Introduction to French Linguistics course that I’d started my degree with. For three semesters I got to mark assignments, term papers and final exams, assisting with the course wherever needed. This was definitely what made me start to feel connected to not only the French department, but Carleton University as a whole. I had found my place, and though I’d always expected it would be in the Journalism department, through all of these wonderful opportunities, it was the French that really made my university experience feel complete.
BA Honours, FRENCH (2016)
“Professors, supervisors and the chair really care about our academic and personal growth, and are readily available to listen and provide advice.”
It can be intimidating to go back to university as a mature student. My experience at Carleton University has, however, been filled with exciting challenges, unexpected opportunities, inspiring discoveries, and great friendships. Apart from being a place of study, the French department offers a convivial environment for staff-student exchanges. Professors, supervisors and the chair really care about our academic and personal growth, and are readily available to listen and provide advice. Their support have been invaluable to help me believe in myself and achieve my potential. Students in the French department benefit from advice and opportunity for employment such as a teacher’s assistant and undergraduate research assistant. I was given the opportunity to work with dedicated instructors who were willing to share their experiences and their knowledge. Now, that I have completed my Honours in French, I’m looking forward to do my Masters in French and Francophone Studies at Carleton University. To any new student coming to the university, I would say this: Never doubt and throw yourself at every opportunity that comes your way.
4th Year French major Laura Briggs and Dr. Carmen LeBlanc at the Canadian Linguistic Association annual meeting (University of Ottawa, May 31st, 2015)
Over the 2014-2015 academic year, Laura had the opportunity to work with professor LeBlanc as an undergraduate research assistant. The study she was involved with was part of an ongoing project on the Sociolinguistic History of Acadian French, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, for which Professor LeBlanc is co-investigator. Laura and Professor LeBlanc subsequently presented a paper during the Congress of the Humanities and Social Science on the verbal morphology of a dialect of Acadian French : « “Là les Madelinots étiont tout après boire pis ça chantait” ou L’étude des désinences à la 3e personne du pluriel ».