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French language, culture inspires new club

In spring 2005, Irene Emeléus-Goguen, a third-year French student at the University of Toronto Scarborough, saw the many diverse clubs on campus and realized that none of them catered to the needs of the French-speaking student body.

 “I spoke to professor Karen McCrindle in the French department and she suggested that I start a new club,” Emeléus-Goguen says.

On May 21, 2005, Emeleus-Goguen held the first meeting of the her new club,  L’Association française.  She became club president and appointed four other students to executive positions.

“Our goal is to create a friendly atmosphere where students can practice French conversational skills,” Emeléus-Goguen says.

“We try to improve their knowledge of not just the French culture in France, but La Francophonie as a whole—incorporating the Caribbean and African perspectives,” says Darein Elarabi, the club’s vice-president.

 The club meets weekly for a ‘Pause-Café’ where members enjoy snacks and beverages while participating in activities that improve their ability to communicate in, and appreciate, the French language. 

 Some of the events this year have included a holiday party, lectures by French professors and French debates.

In winter 2006, the club is planning a trip to Montréal, a Saint-Valentin (Valentine’s Day) event with French love songs and performances, an Afro-Caribbean rap artist, and a steel band from Cameroon.

For more information about L’Association française, email

© University of Toronto Scarborough