The French language and culture are inextricably linked to the growth and development of Western ideas and structures of power. The philosophy of Voltaire, Descartes and Jean-Paul Satre has precipitated movements such as The Enlightenment and Post-Modernism. The rise of many political institutions and actors, such as the United States of America, can be traced to the influence of France and the language of her people.
French is spoken throughout the world: from the islands of the Caribbean to the plains of Quebec, from the hills of Lebanon to coast of West Africa. French remains an important language for international trade and diplomacy. Global organisations such as the United Nations, Red Cross, and UNESCO all recognise French as one of their official languages. In this vein, announcements at Olympic events are delivered in both French and English.
At Barker students engage with many aspects of this rich and vibrant culture. Activity-based learning occurs through music, drama, film and interactive demonstrations (such as French cooking). The school also offers opportunities for students to host French exchange students and participate in trips to France.
Students are sometimes surprised to learn that prominent French speakers include:
- Queen Elizabeth II (monarch)
- Arnold Swarzenegger (actor)
- Kylie Minogue (singer)