COOL options grow
Professor Eric Beauregard’s Criminology 101 class has just 11 students this semester, rather than the usual 200-plus. That’s because he’s teaching it entirely in French.
The course is part of SFU’s COOL Option program. COOL is the acronym for Curriculum in the Other Official Language, a program organized through SFU’s Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs (OFFA).
OFFA may be best known for developing the French Cohort Program—an undergraduate program in French, political science and history that is taught primarily in French and leads to a BA. But the office also helps develop other courses taught in French, both to offer the cohort students some additional variety, and to offer other French-speaking students on campus a chance to study in French.
“These are courses in subject matters that might be of interest to students who graduated from French Immersion, or who are Francophone, and don’t want to lose the language,” says Bettina Cenerelli, associate director, OFFA.
This spring, the COOL program includes two history courses and three in political science.
Beauregard, who hails from Montreal, taught the Crim 101 course in French for the first time last semester. While it’s an added teaching load because he had to design the course all over again in French, he notes that there are significant advantages to teaching it in French.
“Because I have so few students, I can take the time to lecture and discuss the readings with them. For me, it’s good because I can really test whether they’ve understood the material, and for them, they have a chance to ask questions. It provides a good class discussion.”
He also was surprised to discover how well French Immersion students speak and understand French, and hopes the COOL program continues to grow.
Cenerelli notes that all courses in the French Cohort degree program are also open to students outside the cohort, as long as they are proficient in French, and the number of external students is not too high.