Outdoor French classes
Summary: Open-air language class given to asylum seekers
Where: Paris, France
Initiated by: BAMM
If you pass the Platz de la Bataille de Stalingrad at 6 p.m. each day you will see a free open-air French class given to dozens of asylum seekers (and anyone else interested). Learners can join one of two groups: one for beginners and another for more advanced French speakers. According to Bamm, an NGO that runs the classes in a number of locations throughout Paris, the objective of the classes is to “accompany people to linguistic autonomy alongside the learning of cultural norms needed for daily life”. By appropriating the flights of stairs edging the square, the classes recreate the structure of the seminar room, with the teachers sat at the bottom and the students gathering above them. These open-air public classes not only help asylum seekers to get on with the French language, but also serve as social occasions on which to meet up, make new friends and exchange information.