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Learning holidays in the Hérault: “It was really important to me to help Ukrainians”


Professor of literature at the Philippe Lamour college in La Grande-Motte, Elodie Garcia explains to us how she teaches French to Ukrainians hosted in France.

“As they don’t have the same alphabet as us, we had to start all over again with the syllabic method”. Professor of modern letters at the Philippe Lamour college in La Grande-Motte for 11 years, Elodie Garcia was not disoriented when she was called upon to teach French to these Ukrainian refugees, accommodated in the Hérault seaside resort. “This profession of teacher of French as a foreign language, I practiced it when I started and since then, when there is need, I am called upon in all the establishments where I teach.”

And there was no need to push it much in this case: “It was really close to my heart to help these people who are victims of the war and they are very endearing. It’s not at all the same contact, you feel really useful. They are already able to present themselves and will be very quickly independent.”

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“In total immersion, children learn very quickly”

Élodie recognizes it, children keep an aptitude superior to that of adults for a rapid acquisition of the basics: “First because they learn for two more hours in college each week and even those aged 4-5 are in total immersion and we observe that they have little accent when they repeat the words.”

The teacher does not hesitate to voluntarily go beyond her class hours to accompany her adult students on their outings: “There is a very strong return. They are very endearing, they send me words of encouragement, invite me to children’s birthday parties. We go far beyond the framework of the student-teacher link, we become friends and exchanges are very rewarding.”

As long as they need it, Elodie promises: it will be there!

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