President’s Report to AGM of Albury-Wodonga Alliance Française

 July 2016 to June 2017 was again a busy and successful year for the Albury-Wodonga Alliance Française.

Committee: A new committee was elected at our Annual General Meeting in August 2016:

          President: Karral Miller

          Vice President: Carol Smith

          Secretary: Phil Sefton

          Treasurer: Paule Gauquié

          Committee members: Consuelo Merluzzi, Vivienne Paramore & Clare D’Arcy

I wish to publically acknowledge the time voluntarily given by our Committee members, not just at the monthly meetings, but also the extra hours spent ensuring that we are offering our members high quality, well organised services and events. It was more demanding this year because one of the Committee members underwent lengthy treatment for illness. However other members rallied to take over her duties. As President I thank them for their commitment, enthusiasm and hard work.

Membership: From 1st July 2016 to the of the end of June 2017, we had 114 (92 in previous year) financial memberships, with 94 (77 in previous year) different people participating in our classes at various times during the year.

French Classes: In 2016 and 2017 we have offered the same classes: 5 separate, 2-hour, evening classes – Beginners (A1), Continuing Beginners (A2), two Intermediate (B1), Advanced (B2) plus a 1-hour conversation class. 

We continue to conduct classes at Age Concern, where we have the flexibility to offer different levels of classes at the one time, thereby allowing students to select the level appropriate to them. Age Concern has also generously provided space for us to have our library on permanent display and storage for our extensive collection of DVDs, leading to increased access by students.

DELF exams: In November 2016, one candidate sat for DELF qualifications (compared to 12 in 2011, 6 in 2012, 4 in 2013, 5 in 2014 and 15 in 2015). The low number in 2016 was due to students being otherwise committed at the time and a steep increase in fees. The cost of the exams, which is set by Alliance Française Paris, is borne by the participants but Alliance Française Albury Wodonga subsidises the process by paying the local examiners.

Thanks must go to Marion Bennett who has been our capable DELF organiser and examiner for many years. We funded Claire Rogers to attend four days of training in April 2017 to successfully gain qualifications a DELF examiner to assist Marion.

We’re proud of the fact that we’re one of only two centres outside the capital cities which offer DELF/DALF exams, and see this as an important activity of our Alliance.

Governance

During the 2016/2017 year the Committee have continued to review and refine policies and processes in accordance with set goals. This has led to development of more efficient online registration for classes and events and the more rigid application of satisfaction surveys particularly for those who leave classes during the year. There has been greater communication with our students and the data gathered will be used for planning courses and future directions. We are also increasing our communication with the Alliance Française organisation nationally and the Fondation in Paris in order to keep informed and to comply with the organisation’s 2020 Plan.

 Evaluation

During November 2016 current students and those who had left during the year were invited to fill in a survey  to evaluate the quality of teaching, curriculum and level of participation in classes and other events organised by AF Albury Wodonga. The results gave us an insight into student needs and our performance and were used to inform development of our program.

The great majority of the feedback was very positive and we have taken onboard constructive critiscism and suggestions. As a summary, 64% of participants were extremely satisfied or very satisfied with AF Albury Wodonga and a further 24% were satisfied.

Another survey was undertaken of those who dropped out of classes at the end of Term 1in 2017. Historically there is a large number of students mostly at the Beginner level who do not complete more than a term or two of instruction. It is hoped that the data obtained from continued surveys of this group may assist in identifying and addressing the problem.