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Language Festival in Paris 8

The Faculty of Modern Languages and Cultures of the University Paris 8 organized its first Language Festival on 13-15 March 2023. This showcased cultural exchanges in different languages through workshops, artistic performances and debates allowing participants to explore the diversity of uses of languages and cultures.

In his welcoming address, the dean of the faculty, Dr Brice Chamouleau, underlined the importance of offering different approaches to discovering a multilingual and multicultural environment. To this end, the Language Festival aimed to develop participants’ plurilingual skills and reinforce intercultural exchange through experimental performance and creativity.

The program included 37 workshops, conferences and round table debates. The themes had jokes and humor, Arabic and Chinese calligraphy, and creative writing. Musical performances were offered as introductions to Brazilian percussion, Portuguese guitar, and singing by a fado concert. The Language Festival was ended by a theatrical performance in which students used several languages, a short film and a concert.

This event was also an opportunity to strengthen partnerships with cultural institutions which are recognized supporters of language teaching using various means, including the Camões Institute and the Ramon Llull Institute.

By creating a space to explore a diversity of languages and cultures through various means, the Language Festival offered all members of the University Paris 8 an opportunity to get involved. Participation by administrative personnel, lecturers and students ensured the success of this first Language Festival, which bodes well for future editions.

To follow are comments by participants (in different languages, of course!):

‘L’atelier si è svolto in due parti, una prima parte di traduzione del testo, dal francese all’italiano, insieme ad un gruppo di studenti italiani e italianisti, e una seconda parte di messa in scena del testo, in collaborazione con i gruppi che hanno tradotto o lavorato in altre lingue. È stato stimolante mettersi in gioco per trovare soluzioni originali di traduzione, ma allo stesso tempo adatte per i diversi testi proposti ed è stato d’aiuto confrontarsi con tutti i membri del gruppo per la traduzione. Per quanto riguarda la seconda parte, questa è stata caratterizzata da una componente più ludica, che ci ha permesso di utilizzare le diverse lingue di origine o studiate (italiano, inglese, spagnolo, tedesco e arabo) e dare vita ad un misto, fatto di creatività e multiculturalità.’

Guilia Bruna Pezzotti

‘I was one of the presenters at the language bar. The concept allowed the participants to get together, even though some didn’t know each other, and play different games in English. This workshop was my favorite because I could see how the participants, who were shy to speak in English in front of others, warmed up and became more confident. It shows how games can be part of learning and practicing a foreign language. In this way, it can be much more effective than we think.’ Bacar Faidati

‘Creo que el festival de las lenguas de la facultad de Lenguas y Culturas Extranjeras de la universidad Paris 8 permitió a los estudiantes de licenciatura y máster conocer a otros alumnos, profesores, abrirnos a culturas, prácticas, y actividades para descubrir otros países. La primera edición fue un éxito y espero que se repita de nuevo el año próximo .’ Charly Dernoncourt Corrouge

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