It was a whirlwind 3 days this week at AATF 2019, the American Association of Teachers of French Congrès annuel, in Philadelphia.
After attending the keynote address on the 50 years of the Francophonie, the welcome luncheon, a workshop on authentic Québécois texts, and the opening of the exhibit area, I attended sessions all day on Monday — on Philadelphia’s French connections, on innovation and advocacy, on French government initiatives to support K-12 French language teachers, on student travel to Québec, and on the future of French in our colleges and universities. In the evening, I attended an inspirational dinner meeting of ASFAP, the American Society of the French Academic Palms, at a local French restaurant, Bistrot la Minette.
The following day, I attended a session on French government initiatives in Professional French, won a prize – a Bastille Day picnic basket — at the exhibitors’ tombola (I never win anything!), and had the honor and privilege of presenting on Strategic Advocacy for French Language and Francophone Culture Education: Session officielle de la Commission sur la Défense du Français, with Founding Chair, Tennessee Bob Peckham.
All too soon, it was time to head back to Penn Station for the train ride home.
As always, the AATF Congrès annuel is an inspirational event — in terms of both the dedication and professionalism of all the attendees, and of the creativity of the ideas and initiatives discussed in the sessions and in more informal conversations in English and en français. It is also a wonderful opportunity to make new friends and to re-connect with colleagues we may only have been able to communicate with by email and/or social media throughout the year.
The Philadelphia setting, with its many French elements, and the venue were perfect. Congratulations to the Award winners. Many thanks to the organizers, and to the AATF President for hosting a luncheon for the Commission Chairs. Special thanks to my co-presenter, Tennessee Bob, and to all of you who attended our session.
À bientôt, à Trois-Rivières!