Promotion of the French language
The German-French bond is of particular importance within Europe and it makes sense to become familiar with the language of our neighbour, with whom we are in constant contact.
Since 1986, the Bezirk of Lower Franconia has had a lively partnership with the department of Calvados, in which 41 Lower Franconian communities are also twins. More than 50 other municipalities in Lower Franconia are twinned with other departments of France.
It is important for the Bezirk of Lower Franconia to contribute to the fact that the following generations can communicate in their respective partner’s language within the framework of the existing partnerships.
Therefore, it supports the learning of the French language from an early age and encourages all those who are actively and highly committed to learning their partner’s language in various ways.
Since 2002, the Bezirk of Lower Franconia has been awarding its twinning prize every 5 years for the grammar schools and high schools target group and the following year for the primary and secondary schools, special needs and vocational schools target group.
The Twinning Office supports the mediation of school twinning and subsidises student exchanges between the two regions.
“Coup de pouce” funding programme
In 2017, it created the “Coup de pouce” programme to support project seminars with an explicit reference to France and/or the French language at Lower Franconian high schools.
Reception of nursery groups and school classes
At regular intervals, the twinning office invites nursery groups and school classes to the German-French hall of the Bezirk during the Mainfrankenmesse and to the Bezirk's administration building to mark the occasion of the Day of the German-French bond, in order to provide information about activities, projects and the partner country and to get into conversation.
“Salut, ça va?” competition
In 2001, the Bezirk of Lower Franconia held the "Salut, ça va?" competition for nurseries and elementary schools with French for the first time. In the years 2005, 2006/2007, 2009/2010 and 2016/2017, it once again called upon all children and their teachers to send their favourite French song, rhyme, story, or ritual to the Bezirk of Lower Franconia. A jury judged the films submitted and the winners were either visited by a French artist or invited to a special performance with French children's theatre.
“Prix Polar” competition
Since the 2008/2009 school year, the Bezirk of Lower Franconia has been financially supporting the "prix polar" competition for secondary and high schools, which is organised by the German-French Institute of Erlangen. Initially, this only took place in Middle Franconia and Lower Franconia every 2 years and has been offered annually throughout Bavaria since the 2017/2018 school year. The Twinning Office is also represented on the jury.
French Teachers' Day
Since 2010, the Twinning Office, in collaboration with the services of the ministerial commissioners for secondary and high schools in Lower Franconia, has organised an annual French Teachers' Day with workshops for secondary school teachers on current topics in French teaching. It also participates in regional training courses for French teachers.
"Treffpunkt Frühfranzösisch" (Early French hangout)
Since 2002, the Twinning Office has been offering the exchange of experience through "Treffpunkt Frühfranzösisch". This aids the networking and improves the French capabilities of those involved in the pre-school and primary education sector, whilst offering them further training opportunities in addition to the exchange of experience.
Furthermore, the Twinning Office has a media library with numerous picture books, films, and teaching materials for use in children’s groups.
"Salut, tout le monde" campaign
Since the 2007/2008 school year, the Bezirk of Lower Franconia has been sending volunteers from France, first within the framework of the "European Voluntary Service" programme, then within the framework of the European Solidarity Corps, from January to mid-April to secondary schools and high schools. Within the "Salut, tout le monde" campaign, they act as youth ambassadors for classes that are about to choose which foreign language to study.
In cooperation with the Department of Calvados and the Romance Studies Department of the University of Würzburg, the Twinning Office regularly invites French teachers, students and interested persons to French-speaking events.
Since 2007, the Twinning Office has repeatedly posted artists or writers from France and especially from Calvados to school classes in Lower Franconia to allow French learners to have direct contact with francophone representatives.