Glendon’s Salon Francophone opens its doors

Where can you meet with friends, engage in French conversation and receive help with your French homework? Where can you borrow a good French novel or join a group of students for a French movie? At Glendon’s Salon Francophone.

The Salon recently opened its doors to welcome students, staff and every member of the Glendon community in the newly constructed B Wing of York Hall. This new location offers students the opportunity to improve their French conversation skills; join up with friends to do their French homework; get help from the Salon’s monitors; or just mingle, relax and listen to Edith Piaf or Yves Montand.

Right: Glendon students Kristina Appadoo (left) and Zaynah Muslun celebrate the Salon’s opening 

Sound superbe? Eh, oui. The Salon is a Glendon endeavour under the aegis of Glendon Extended Learning, with four monitors on location most of the week to assist those wishing to take advantage of the opportunity. Glendon students Renée Khargie, David Seni and Gabrielle Fortin-Villeneuve, and Glendon alumna Mihaela Andrei, take turns staffing the Salon. They provide help with French homework, organize the growing collection of the centre’s resources – books, magazines, CDs – and plan events that will be fun as well as educational. Two computers are also available for reference and French-language learning.

“Our goals for establishing the Salon are to offer a warm and welcoming location for exchanging cultures, practising second – and third – languages, discovering new friends and supporting success in French-language courses,” said Susanne Holunga, director of Glendon’s Extended Learning program.   

Left: The four monitors of Glendon’s Salon Francophone – Mihaela Andrei (left), Renée Khargie, Gabrielle Fortin-Villeneuve and David Seni

“We are planning to organize at least one special event per month with great choices such as a French movie night, an outing to a French café, a performance at the Théâtre Français de Toronto or inviting an interesting guest speaker,” said monitor Renée Khargie.

The organizers eagerly welcome donations of French-language books and magazines, posters and other decorations to create a truly French ambiance. “We are working on building a collection of printed materials and music so that all those who come can relax to wonderful sounds, enjoy some reading time and immerse themselves in French culture,” said monitor David Seni. To that end, a ‘coin de culture’ – a cultural corner is in the works, with a calendar of upcoming events, which will shortly be posted there.

Right: Glendon French Studies Professors Shodja Ziaian (left) and Brian Elliot were two of the many faculty at the Salon’s opening celebration

The monitors made every effort to get the word out about this much-awaited facility, including making presentations in classes, as well as by word-of-mouth. Judging by the number of those present at the grand opening, people got the message. “C’est magnifique,” said fourth-year sociology student Zaynah Muslun and fourth-year French studies student Kristina Appadoo. “We are certainly going to use the Salon as a place to study and get help when we are stuck.” Françoise Mougeon, Glendon’s associate principal, academic and research, praised the Salon’s concept and invited donations to help develop its materials. “What an excellent idea, an innovative way to encourage French language and culture on campus,” said Mougeon. “We hope that this will become a meeting place for students and a social centre for extracurricular activities.”

Left: Susanne Holunga, director of Extended Learning

“The Salon Francophone is a great privilege for Glendon students who want to improve their French,” said Seni. “We hope that people will take full advantage of what we are able to offer.”

Glendon’s Salon Francophone is open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm and Fridays, from noon to 3pm. It is located in B Wing of York Hall, next to the new Salon Garigue (the student lounge), suite B111. Questions can be addressed to the monitors by e-mail at Better still, just drop in and talk to them.

Submitted to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny