Julie Cases, enthusiastic about the project, found it only natural to contact Aurélie Lapiteau, French-foreign language trainer, who works on the premises of the Anatole-France college, “because Aurélie gives French lessons to some parents of my students” , Julie explains Cas. Informed of the project, the principal of the college and her team agreed to open the establishment’s kitchens for the preparation of couscous: “This is the first time that our two establishments have been in such close contact around a project” , notes Fabienne Latapy, director of the Jean-Jaurès school.
In the afternoon, it was therefore facing the huge hobs of Anatole-France and overseen by the cooks of the establishment that the small team made up of different nationalities got down to cooking the couscous. With instructions to speak French, under the watchful eye of Aurélie Lapiteau. “It’s important that they are here today, at the heart of a school, with the college team that helps them. Because if we go out to the museum or to the cinema as part of my FLE lessons, it’s always in between. By offering them to prepare this couscous in and for their children’s school, we are truly inclusive. »
The fifteen women on deck split into two teams, one being in charge of simmering vegetables and meat, the other of shelling the semolina: “The recipe was the fruit of long discussions, sometimes quite lively, says Fabienne Latapy with a smile. On the vegetables to put, celery or not celery, and especially on the spices to use and in what proportions. The project has made it possible to create exchanges between different cultures and above all to make the children proud when they see their mother entering their school. »
A host school
At the Jean-Jaurès school, 20% of school children have been in France for less than three years. They arrive from Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Italy, Morocco, Mauritania… following their parents who have come to work as seasonal agricultural workers or in manual trades. Julie Cases gives her French language lessons three to four times a week to the 20 compatible children, integrated into the UPE2A class, in small groups of six: “The objective is to give them the keys to understanding the French used at school , Julie explains Cas. These are children who land in a school system that is often very different from that of their country of origin. They are multilingual, their parents having worked in other European countries before arriving in France. Thus, Julie Cases, to make herself understood, speaks Spanish. “They are brilliant and determined students. Some even have higher levels than French schoolchildren in certain subjects. And I’m always amazed at how quickly they adapt and become as they come through the year. As proof, the 20 children for whom she is responsible at Jean-Jaurès have all obtained their Diplôme d’études en langue française.