Sarah Jones-Boardman, New French Instructor

Posted on September 14th, 2017 by

Bonjour! My name is Sarah Jones-Boardman. I completed my B.A. in French and Psychology and my M.A. in French at University of Minnesota where I am currently finishing my PhD on Francophone African literature. I am a Minnesota native, born and raised in St. Paul. In fact, my family has lived in Saint Paul since before Minnesota gained statehood. My maternal grandmother is a descendant of French Canadian voyageurs who came to St. Paul in the early 1800s. Born in 1928, my grandma, like the rest of her family, spoke French. But when she was six years old, her mother (my great-grandmother) forbad her from speaking the language. My great-grandmother believed, as many have mistakenly believed, that it is detrimental to a child to be raised bi-lingual. Grandma forgot her French as well as her relationship with her own grandmother who spoke no English. My grandma grieved this loss her whole life. She became an English teacher at a local high school only passing one French phrase onto her children, “mon petit chou-chou” (which literally translates to “my little cabbage-cabbage”), a term of endearment. I am delighted to have been able to help her reconnect to distant French Canadian relatives and, now, I am excited to share my love of French with the students here at Gustavus. I have seen first-hand the power of language to bridge distances between people and to unlock worlds of experience.


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