This year, we have launched with my colleague, Afaf Abdin, a new conversation course for our French and English speaking students in our two international Master programmes at IUGA: ICUP-Urbano (International Cooperation in Urban Planning) and UCI (Cooperation Internationale en Urbanisme). The course was called Talking about stadia: the polyglot project. We invited students to question the words describing stadium and city in French (tribune), English (naming) but also in various languages such as Arabic (sâha, tarwid), Italian (tifo) or Urdu (markaz).
One needs to be polyglot (tongue and culture) to cooperate at international level in terms of planning. That is why in Master 2 UCI, teaching is done mostly in French with several courses given directly in English. In ICUP-Urbano, teaching is English only with some language courses in a second language (mostly French). The polyglot project was a way to practice this second language. A planner must be a translator of ideas and terms between languages but also within his own language.
The polyglot project was a way to practice a language (written – oral) i.e. Learning a language. The polyglot project aimed to introduce a cooperation attitude between two masters groups i.e. Learning to cooperate. The polyglot project aimed to apply this knowledge to a worldwide urban issue: stadia, i.e. Understanding a social and economical phenomena through its technical vocabulary.
Groups and topics
The thirty something students were organized in groups of three students mixing the two master programmes, nationalities (14!) and disciplines (architecture, planning, geography, sciences of education, etc.). Each group could study four words or a specific subject and had to write an essay in French and English. Groups have been encouraged to write in a third language.
Amongst the topics selected:
– pre-game rituals in American colleges, Twickenham (rugby stadium in London) and Buenos Aires football grounds,
– the Arabic word tarwid and the French (se) dresser to understand the logics around the body in football grounds,
– safety in European football grounds,
– survival of ancient games in nowadays cities (bouzkachi in Afghanistan and Highlands games in Scotland),
Final presentation was held the 26th of January 2018. Some of the essays will be published in this very blog. One can access the full texts on a dedicated blog: Les mots du stade.
Note: The Master ICUP is part of an Erasmus programme. Mundus Urbano (MU) is an interdisciplinary Master of Science programme specialising in International Cooperation in Urban Development, jointly offered by four European universities, with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union (Erasmus Mundus Master Course, EMMC). It addresses the dynamic challenges faced throughout the world due to rapid urbanisation processes.