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Fête de la Science 2022

Fête de la Science 2022

To celebrate the 31st anniversary of La Fête de la Science, some 200 high school students of French (years 9 – 12) joined the Alliance Francaise de Melbourne online on Wednesday 12 October for a webinar with five experts in their field.

The webinar, entitled How speaking a second language can enhance a career in science, featured established French and Australian bilingual scientists working in Australia and covered topics such as the benefits of being bi-lingual, how language can boost an international career, how languages shape the way we see the world and do research as well as personal anecdotes and advice.

The discussion, during which student questions were answered, was broad and insightful, ranging from topics such as gender equity in science, how languages can enrich your professional life, making yourself understood in new environments and dealing with a new language, having fun whilst making mistakes and the cognitive benefits of having a second or third language.


Professor Frédéric Hollande – Head of the Dept of Clinical Pathology at the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research, located within the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC)


Professor Tim Fletcher Professor of Urban Echydrology, Ecosystem and Forest Sciences at the University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Joanne Ryan – Head of the Biological Neuropsychiatry and Dementia research unit in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM)

Dr Helene Kammoun - Innovation Program Manager at Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)

Prune Bokobza – International expert, hydrogen and renewable energies, currently working with Invest Victoria

Watch the replay of the full webinar

Feedback from teachers and students

“It was really excellent! The students got some fabulous tips from it. The older girls in particular appreciated the question about gender equity.”

“They had good advice about how to motivate yourself to learn a language - instead of focusing on becoming fluent, just focus on getting better. You’ll find you become fluent without realising it”

“It was interesting to hear how non-linear their career paths were and how the more unpredictable paths were often the most exciting”

“I liked hearing the less obvious ways that learning a language can be beneficial - there are cognitive benefits and also the ability to comprehend things from two different perspectives”

“It was a fantastic initiative, I hope there will be many more as it is such a great way to promote French through different domains in life”

“I would just like to say how much we valued being able to attend the webinar, it really was a fantastic way for our students to hear some very important messages from a range of highly educated individuals with a wealth of experience and in some very interesting fields”


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