La Table Française (or The French Table) is an informal club open to students, faculty and community members who are interested in and speak the French language.
Hélène Perriguey-Keene, founder of the group and foreign language professor at the college, was inspired to create the club in 2008 after organizing one at the University of Nebraska. She wants students at the college to receive the same opportunities to practice their language as those who attend a university.
Although the club hopes to let attendees speak fluent French, Perriguey-Keene invites beginner level students and community members to attend.
“Even if you have a very low level of French, you can come listen … anyone from the community is welcome to come practice their French. The club is a way to expose people to the language because unlike Spanish, we don’t hear French a lot,” Perriguey-Keene said.
Albane Ruiz-Campagne, an eight-year member member of the club, welcomes anyone who wants to speak or listen to French.
“We try to speak only French, but there is no level required, you just have to want to come and not get bored. We correct mistakes and give insight about French culture,” Ruiz-Campagne said.
Club member Laura Provance is not a student at the college, but lives nearby and once live in France for nine months. She joined the club in order to reimmerse herself in the language and culture. Provance emphasizes the importance of students joining language clubs to improve their skills.
“It’s hard to really learn in a class, you don’t have enough hours. You can’t get good at a foreign language if you don’t practice an unbelievable amount,” Provance said.
Two-year member Robert Starcke says the discussions aren’t just limited to academics but include food, travel and politics.
“There’s no tests, no homework, just fun,” Starcke said.
The club meets for an hour every other Wednesday at Java Jazz in the Commons at 11:30 a.m. For more information visit www.latablefrancaise.weebly.com/.