The Spike [: or, Victoria University College Review 1957]
One of the difficulties which the student of French encounters is that of speaking and understanding the language with any ease. In order to encourage students to advance in this branch of French studies, the French Club was started at the College in 1947. As a result of the activities of this club many students have made considerable progress towards fluency of expression in French while enjoying themselves at the same time.
The club usually meets four times a year, each stage being responsible for one of the evenings. Over the last three years these meetings have generally taken the form of plays and talks. The students themselves choose the plays they want to act, these ranging from slapstick comedies to Racine's Andromaque. The lighter works are favoured as they allow more for improvisation and originality"—the actual performance often deviates from the script considerably. One of the most successful of these comedies was Jules Romains' Le Docteur Knock which was presented in 1955. The first evening held this year was a departure from the usual pattern as the script and various items were written and arranged by the students themselves. This made it possible to have more members taking part than usual, and it turned out to be a successful venture.
As well as gaining much from the learning of plays, members have had practice in understanding spoken French and have acquired a better knowledge of French topics through the various talks which have often formed part of their soirÉes. Films too have brought students closer to spoken French. Last year French films were shown almost once a week.