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Café des Idées - Science in Conversation

In 2020, the Alliance Française “Café Scientifique” became “Café des Idées - Science in Conversation” jointly organised with FAST!* and the Embassy of France to offer a convivial meeting platform for the exchange of ideas, information  and discussion for all those who are interested in French-related science and its broader implications for society and the natural environment.


The new format will include the possibility to connect on line or to come at the premices of Alliance Française in Wellington (free admission). 


* France Aotearoa Science Technology and !nnovation



Next Event:  Friday 26 November 2021 (online event only)

Language in Learning: How do France and New Zealand education systems facilitate the inclusion of immigrant teenagers?

Join the conversation with Fiona Smythe who will be speaking live from Bordeaux on Friday 26 November at 6:00 pm.


As this is an online event, you can connect with Zoom from the comfort of your own home. You will receive the link with the booking confirmation. Please register (donations welcome):


Book your ticket on EventBrite

About the topic


While research supports the potential benefits for minority language speakers when first languages are included in education, many education systems continue to exclude students' home languages.  On the basis of the study of language use amongst immigrant teenagers in Bordeaux and Wellington, the speakers will discuss how students with low proficiency in the language-of-schooling on arrival make good use of their first languages in English/French classes.

Our speakers

Fiona Smythe (Bordeaux University)


Fiona Smythe is a post-doctoral researcher in comparative education, and an English teacher and international teacher trainer at INSPE Bordeaux Aquitaine and the University of Bordeaux since 2017. Specialising in plurilingualism and languages in/for education, she is interested in intercultural education, inclusion of diversity, differentiated learning and the role of interactivity in language acquisition.

Trained in language pedagogy (Japanese and English) in Japan and New Zealand, she has worked as an English teacher in Japan, and in teaching non-native speakers in secondary schools in New Zealand.


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Bronwyn Wood (Victoria University Wellington)


Dr. Bronwyn Wood, PhD, has a background in social science education (geography and social studies) and textbook, curriculum and resource development in this area. She researches in the fields of education policy, citizenship education, youth sociology, youth politics and geographies.

She is currently a senior lecturer for the VUW School of Education.