It is a well-known fact that a well-designed learning environment, one that considers all of the senses – can potentially increase levels of student and teacher creativity, productivity and well-being. Extensive research has proven that physical settings, including the colour of walls, levels of natural light, height of ceilings and views can have a dramatic and positive impact on everything from motivation to energy levels. When you walk into the new premises of Alliance Française de Brunei in Batu Bersurat you immediately see how the designer has used space, colour, materials, energy and light as tools to create an interesting environment that works to encourage learning and communication.
The French writer Jacques Anatole Thibault (Anatole France, 1844-1924) who won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Literature once said, “Nine tenths of education is encouragement’’ and at this new location, anyone who is eager to know more about French language and culture – will find the resources and a creative environment which is conducive to learning. We had a chance to speak to the Director of Alliance Française de Brunei, Fabienne Sylla-Pousse about the new, more spacious office which will offer people a more diverse range of courses and activities.
On the ground floor of this building, there’s a reception area and offices. There’s also a large multifunctional area which could be used for various events such as French cooking classes, art exhibitions and movie nights every Saturday at 6.30pm for members. Industrial interior design has been cleverly used here and showcases neutral tones, wood and metal surfaces.
On the upper floor, the library is connected to the classroom area by a small bridge – which seems to symbolise the cultural connections that are being formed here. From the floors and staircase to the hanging light shades and shelving units in the library – metal and wood have been combined to create a stunning and inviting environment. The library with its selection of 3,000 books and DVDs is a comfortable area that beckons the reader to stay and ponder the thoughts and philosophies of French writers and poets.
And across the bridge from the library is a staff room and eight classrooms, with a separate room specifically equipped for children.
Earlier this year in March, Alliance Française de Brunei organised a successful Francophonie week to bridge the culture between France and Brunei. The community was treated to an open-air cinema, international music performance and French cooking and dinner in different parts of the capital city including Jubilee Park, Jerudong Park, the Royal Wharf Waterfront and the Alliance Française de Brunei office. 6,000 people turned up to this week long event!
Alliance Française de Brunei currently has 250 members and are welcoming the public to join and enjoy the cultural activities.
France is one of the few European countries that have an embassy in Brunei and the team at Alliance Française de Brunei are committed to promoting French music, food, art and much more. Their goal will always be to encourage more people to gain a better understanding and appreciation for everything that is so fabulously French!
LEARNING FRENCH AT
Alliance Française de Brunei
French for Toddlers (1 to 3 years old)
• Every Thursday 9-11am
• Toddler programs conducted fully in French
• An opportunity to expose your toddler to the French language at the subliminal level, through a French environment. Studies show that such activities provide a head start for children to pick up the language at the later stage in life.
Little Angel Class (3 to 6 years old)
• For kids who are already at school
• A non-traditional learning method where kids play games and teachers communicate only in French to the students in class.
• A fun and creative way to expose kids to French in a positive environment
• Classes are conducted in the evenings for individuals as well as for groups and companies for specific purpose such as business communications, team building, travel to French-speaking countries or merely for social interaction and exposure to the culture.
Alliance Française de Brunei
Address: Unit 1, Simpang 68, Jalan Batu Bersurat, Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan, BE 3719
Tel: +673 265 4245
Fax: + 673 265 2214