What is Foreign Literature Week ?
It is a special event hosted by Lycée Pierre Mendès-France once a year to promote foreign literature and foster debates among students. It has been going on for 5 consecutive years in partnership with Vitrolles Public Library.
Students are presented with a selection of recent English, German and Italian books in September. Copies of the books are ordered by the school and local Public Libraries. Students have a month to read the selection and do independent study on them. They can choose from a wide range of assignments including creative writing, research projects, art work and oral presentations.
The students read the books in their French translations at their own speed. A dateline is given for assessing reading comprehension in class and in English. Then the students are presented with a selection of key passages for textual analysis in original version. They write letters and emails inviting the authors and their translators to participate in FLW.
FLW is held in Spring. For one week, students from different classes and years meet in the school library and at the Public Library in Vitrolles to share their work on the selected books and discuss them. Exhibitions of student assignments and related works of art are organized and held simultaneously at both venues.
During the debates, students are encouraged to refer to the 4 notions listed in the foreign language syllabus for French “Baccalauréat”, namely “places and forms of power”, “spaces and exchanges”, “myths and heroes” and “the idea of progress”.
Similarly, literature students are encouraged to refer to the 6 themes listed in the foreign literature syllabus, namely “The author playing with language”, “the writer in his/her time”, “Imagination”, “Meeting other people ; love and friendship”, “the transformation of characters” and “Initiatory journey”.
Previous selections have included Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith ; Race, by David Mamet ; Home, by Toni Morrison, Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch and N-W, by Zadie Smith.
The 5th edition of FLW will showcase a science fiction novel for young adults entitled Genesis, by New-Zealand author Bernard Beckett.
The 5th edition of FLW will be held from Tuesday 09/05 to Friday 13/05 at the school library to coincide with the first edition of Language Week.
It is organized jointly by A. Engel, A. Soulier, A-L. Claudet, M. Robinet, D. Vallon and the students from TL1, 1L2, 1S4 and 1ES2.