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French Club, L'Autre Club Francais, makes comeback at UNO


Published: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Updated: Sunday, January 19, 2014 15:01


Photo in Public Domain


The University of Nebraska at Omaha welcomes its first French club in eight years.

The club, L’Autre Club Français or ACF, was started by student Taylor Saunders and is in the beginning stages of its existence. UNO students, as well as members of the community, are invited to join in a variety of French activities the club offers.

Saunders, a transfer student studying education, realized there was a need for the group and started it in October. 

“I wanted to provide anyone interested with an opportunity for greater conversational immersion,” Saunders said. 

He also said he wanted to start teaching and be able to enrich the community by building a bridge between the community members, students and French speakers living in the Omaha area.

Saunders offers a free class every Saturday starting at 9 a.m. in the Jenkins room of the Milo Bail Student Center. The classes, taught mainly in French, focus more on the conversational style of the French language rather than the grammar and linguistics normally taught to students. 

“It’s all very lighthearted and fun. I don’t think there’s been a meeting yet that the class hasn’t had a good laugh,” said Mike Shada, an information assurance major who attends the classes.

Shada also said the people who attend vary in skill level from complete beginners to native speakers, but people are always willing to help explain things.

Kim McCabe, a community member who attends the classes, said she heard of the classes through the website and has attended every class since it started.

“Taylor’s approach is completely different. His enthusiasm for French is contagious, and I’m already improving after only three classes and my confidence in speaking is much better than before I started,” McCabe said. “He uses gestures and images to further explain vocabulary that I may not know. And after six years of formal study it’s amazing how little I know compared to Taylor’s three years of self-study.”

The club also meets on Friday evenings at The French Table at Spirit World off 75th and Pacific streets. Students, community members and native French speakers gather to engage in French conversation outside of a class setting.

L’Autre Club Français will host its first fundraising event Dec. 13 at The Parkway Club at the Biltmore. The purpose of the event will be raising awareness of the club, as well as stimulating interest in the French language and increasing sponsorship of the club itself. Members of the club, faculty from UNO’s Foreign Language Department, community members, and other supporters of the club will be at the event and all invited to attend.

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