OLY Parle is a small non-profit, based in Olympia, Washington (capital of the state of Washington). OLY Parle strives to expand horizons for adults of all ages with an affinity for the French language. The focus is mainly to acquire basic skills and to develop ways for all of them to gain stronger verbal skills in a non-native tongue. The approach is exploratory with two-way interaction between facilitator and participants.
The changing curriculum is tailored to the skills’ mix of the participants. Such practice can open doors to professions using multi-lingual skills, sharpen appreciation of cultural and artistic expressions plus seize opportunities to expand perspectives beyond a North American-Anglo driven setting. The practice can help to regain use of the language and to put it into practice in other francophone settings.
2019 Program Purpose
The original purpose was to engage student interns (part-time) over consecutive weeks spanning at least 6+ months. The activities, gradually used to advance toward verbal French fluency, vary by participant. Some periodic activities join all participants. Other community members joined the initial group. The facilitator is a native speaker. Program offers opportunities for attendees to share their use of the language, no matter how rudimentary.
This is not a class in writing or grammar study or a textbook-based program. The main products will be recorded material (samples of practice material, including some sound tracks posted on the website). They also include feedback notes on barriers to fluency and recommendations on the main aspects to better master the spoken language.
Objectives for OLY Parle 2020 and onward
#1 Continue to offer a cost-effective program
Keep overhead costs to a minimum; lower costs of reading supplies by tapping into e-resources; and aim for an affordable, yet professional quality sound component (Ongoing)
#2 Maximize use of Internet portal (mid-2020 launch)
Keep postings up to date; develop and nurture new ties with South Sound and prospective new markets, then adjust practice tools as needed (2021)
#3 Seek recognition for participating students (fall 2021)
Initiate outreach to local educational bodies (Evergreen and others) to seek acceptance of a credit award program toward the participating interns. This approach could facilitate their earlier readiness for graduation (requested by one participant)
#4 Implement and diversify French language-based initiative
Attract new members or draw returning members via a cultural & entertainment component. Provide fee-based (transportation) trips to venues with European themes outside of the area (2022). Contemplate future opportunities to bring on board another foreign language (2025)
#5 Explore the eligibility for capital or operating revenues
The program expansion and/or emerging need for a permanent, stand alone facility (2025+) may warrant the influx of capital revenues and/or an increment to operating revenues. In light of COVID-19, the remote ZOOM meeting option might become an attractive mid-term approach. Such an operational shift would reduce the need for a standalone meeting space. New technology investments in more advanced ZOOM features, including on line support, could become a priority.
Audio track illustrations by Annie Herzig
Audio track recordings and sound editing by Mike Mercker
Website design and development by Pixelsmith Design
OLY Parle contributors: Cantala, Célène, Clément, Framboise. Gentiane, Nashesha and Valérie