My community field experience has come to an end and I am now in a position to take what I have learned and apply it to the classroom. There are a lot of things that I will reflect on in the days and weeks to come but I would like to write down some thoughts on culture as it has been a personal goal of mine during my program as well as a major component of the new curriculum for French. Admittedly it has been a challenge trying to understand what it means to engage the students with authentic cultural material while maintaining sound pedagogical lessons and keeping the interest of the students high. On Wednesday I had the chance to accompany the students to Café Salade de Fruits inside the French Cultural Center near the school. My expectations for this experience were pretty average regarding how the students would experience culture and to be honest I did not expect them to be too ready to “show off” their year of language acquisition or polishing in this kind of setting. After all, they were teenage boys of various grade levels who would have difficulty using any of the “risk it” behavior that we need in learning a language. What occurred was amazing. The students actually lived the culture. I spent a year living in France as a language assistant and my one hour in the café made me feel like I was back there. The students made the necessary mistakes and they corrected each other if they could. It actually seemed like some students were practicing what they had learned but not just to show what they knew to the café staff, teachers, and their peers, but actually were using this hour as a transition point for going to French speaking countries or parts of Canada where French is the dominant language. It struck me that without this kind of a cultural link or spring board language learning may not complete itself for students. For some they may not use their high school core French for anything else in their careers but at least they will have the experience. I am inspired to find a way to have mini spring boards scaffolded into my teaching and it will be a fun challenge to figure out how to do this in my lesson planning. Thank you to the staff at Vancouver College for the amazing opportunity and to my Faculty Advisor Jim McCleod from UBC for the encouragement to reflect and to patiently allow teaching culture and pedagogy to form who I am as a person.