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‘French students can find opportunities on any continent’

In a tete-a-tete, Johanna Roth, director, Alliance Francaise underlines the institutes’s focus on quality education and talks about opportunities offered by French language.

07th October 2018, 02:23 Hrs

Aliya Abreu  

It’s Johanna Roth’s first appointment in India, and she’s been posted at the Alliance Francaise in Panaji, as its director. Johanna, who hails from Aveyron in the South West of France, comes to Goa after a stint at the Alliance Francaise in Cusco, Peru, where she was also its head.  

Excited about being in Goa for the first time, Johanna says she is extremely taken up by the fusion of colour she sees around her, the warmth of the people, and the religious diversity. “Panaji is a very charming city,” she said in conversation with TG Life. “What struck me was the religious diversity, with temples and churches all within a short distance of each other,” she elaborated. She didn’t fail to notice the Portuguese influence either.  

In her first two weeks here, she couldn’t help but get acquainted with the cuisine, which she found more than a little spicy, but “delicious.”  

As far as the French language in Goa goes, Johanna is impressed with not only the fact that the people she’s met speak a little, or a lot of French, but also with the interest the language generates here. When she went around the classes at the Alliance to greet the students, Johanna interacted with the beginners and expressed confidence that they would pick up quickly with the guidance of the French teachers and the methods of teaching used at the Alliance. The Alliance Francaise has always focused on speaking, listening and communication skills, which is, at the end of the day, the main purpose of any language.  

Talking about her plans for the Alliance at Goa, Johanna’s main focus will be on quality activities that will help motivate French enthusiasts. She also hopes to strengthen ties with other institutes in Goa where French is taught, like the Goa University, and all other schools, to take forward the language and Francophone culture.  

On the cultural activities front, Johanna hopes that with her team at the Alliance, they can organise a few activities of high quality. “Quality comes before everything else,” she stressed. “All the Alliance Francaise institutes in the world have a certain standard, and we will work towards maintaining that high standard,” she said.  

What Johanna appreciates about the team at the Alliance in Goa is their enthusiasm and dynamism, which she says is already half the battle won. While at her previous job, her main aim was to infuse life into the institution, over here, she finds the atmosphere a positive one on all fronts. “I accepted the post here, as in Alliances in smaller cities like Panaji, there’s always a lot of scope, a lot to do, and I find that very fulfilling,” she said. “There’s a lot of potential here.”  

With the Alliance training students for internationally recognised DELF and DALF diplomas that are given by the French Ministry of Education, Johanna also reiterated the scope of having such a diploma. Having a DELF diploma not only opens doors in France, but in 32 Francophone countries across the globe where French is an official language. Johanna herself has a Masters in International Relations. Besides, Johanna explained that with a diploma, students could think of studying in France, which was a lot cheaper than many English speaking nations.  

“Students can also think of a career in French with French companies based in big cities in India,” she said. “With the world becoming more and more open, students of French can find opportunities on any continent.”  

In continuance of the cultural activities hosted by the Alliance, Johanna informed that they will host photography exhibition “Imagine France by the Sea” on October 10 from 5:30pm onwards. The traveling exhibition will showcase the works of contemporary photographer Maia Flore.   

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