Paroles d’étudiants

Témoignages d’étudiants (Licence, Master et Doctorat) qui ont assisté à mes cours ces dernières années aux États-Unis

  • Logan Gates, étudiant en Sciences Politiques et Pensées Sociales. Actuellement doctorant en Etudes Religieuses à Oxford University

Of the twelve foreign language courses I took at UVA (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, and Russian) I never encountered as creative and engaging a classroom setting as I found in Professor Bérard’s “Act French!” class. Each week, not only did we press into plot, characters, and themes of the texts we read; we also brought them to life by acting them out – not just reading the plays aloud, but seeking to place ourselves in each character’s shoes, to grasp their circumstances and feel their emotions. In both classes I took with Professor Bérard, she also managed to bring to UVA leading scholars whose work we were engaging in class. Professor Bérard not only arranged for these scholars to give formal academic lectures to the wider University; she also gave us the opportunity to meet them face-to-face. I even was able to perform my own English translation of a French play in front of the playwright herself – who had never heard her play in English before. These creative opportunities immensely heightened my interest in the field and stand out as highlights of my university career.

  • Ebob Besong, étudiante en Littérature française et Politiques Publiques

It is an incredible feat when a professor can bring a part of the world to the classroom, and Professor Bérard literally did just this when she instructed my FREN 3559 class on Caribbean theatre and literature. I had signed up for a literature class, and found myself in a course of the liberal arts. Not only did we study the stories in the plays, and engage with them in discussion, but we looked at the socio-economic surroundings of the play; the history of the country/region; the cultures and customs; and even acted out scenes and interpreted them in numerous ways. As if this was not enough, Professor Bérard invited several of the authors to come to UVA to speak to us about their plays, and to share their experiences in the Caribbean; Professor Bérard succeeded in making the world a much smaller, and approachable, place for us. This level of engagement, passion, and enthusiasm from a professor is truly a special thing. Professor Bérard invited us to be creative as we wrote and formulated ideas, and some of my most prized writing pieces are the ones that her classroom environment inspired, and encouraged, me to produce. Her knowledge of this world, and her strong interest in Caribbean studies, are necessary tools in all disciplines, across all institutions of higher education.

  • Edna Turay, étudiante en Littérature française et en Etudes Internationales et Développement Global. Prépare l’école de droit.

During the fall semester of 2013, I had the privilege of taking a course on Francophone/Caribbean culture with Professor Bérard. As a fourth year student with a minor in French, I had experienced the unique teaching styles of several professors in UVA’s French department. However, no instructor was as thorough, passionate or fun as Professor Bérard. No other Professor challenged me to fully understand the language that I found incredibly difficult, yet rewarding like she could. This challenge was realized through the lens of Francophone literature. While I had heard of authors like Aimé Césaire, Édouard Glissant and Léopold Senghor, I had never studied their works, let alone analyzed their writings in French. Professor Bérard changed all. By the end of the course, I felt more comfortable than ever speaking and conversing on the tumultuous history surrounding Haiti and slavery as well as the French Revolution’s impact on the colony. I was initially very nervous speaking and reading out loud in class, but Professor Bérard created a very comfortable, relaxed environment in which I could freely express my thoughts in French. Her feedback was also outstanding. My writing improved more in that course than it had in the grammar course I was in that same semester. With unexplainable style and grace, Professor Bérard had the ability to make the subject matter jump from the pages. My classmates and I were not only captivated by her presence, but amazed at her patience and overall knowledge of Francophone culture and literature.

  • Robert Morris, étudiant en Littérature française et en Sciences de l’Education

Madame Bérard’s class on Haiti’s past and present was one of the most eye-opening courses I’ve taken in my college career. I had heard about the perils of Haiti in news headlines, but never explored the country further than that until I took her class. What made her go above and beyond other teachers was her guest speakers she brought in during class.  Getting to hear from Haitian students at UVa, a Haitian professor at UVa and a Haitian author gave me specific insight about Haiti from people who had lived there over several years. Their talks discussed some of the difficulties Haiti faces as I had heard from news headlines, however, they also revealed the charm of a country they all loved – an existence of patriotic spirit that I was unaware of before taking her class. I hope to someday visit Haiti and experience its beauties and vulnerabilities myself. We need more professors who are willing to discuss parts of the world that are known very little about.

  • Kim Xuan Nguyen, étudiante en Littérature française et Médecine. Actuellement en Ecole de Médecine.

Stéphanie Bérard is both a wonderfully passionate teacher and a great role model to her students. I have been a student of hers for two semesters, and I truly appreciate the experience that she has created for us all as an integral, indispensable part of my education at UVA. In every class, she inspires us with her impressive, vast knowledge about the subjects she teaches and the love she has for Francophone Caribbean literature and theatre. As much as we are interested in her international experiences, she takes an equal interest in our lives as students as well. What I appreciate most about being in her class, are the great discussions that we are able to have every day thanks to her encouragement of our own thorough and thoughtful reading preparations before class. Finally, I would like to add that she has always been a great example of confidence, and of someone with a great love for life and culture. She inspires all of us in her class to be the best students that we can be, and prepares us with skills for our professional futures.

  • Elodie Mbpae, étudiante en Littérature française et en Etudes Internationales. Travaille actuellement au Cameroun pour le gouvernement avant de postuler pour un doctorat en littérature française.

Mrs. Bérard (or “Stéphanie”, as some of her students fondly call her) is a dedicated instructor, a good mentor and above all, a role model to many. She enthusiastically devotes her energy and teaching skills towards transforming the learning journey of her students into a positive and meaningful experience. The type of classroom environment she creates is very conducive to learning – that is intellectually challenging, but in the meantime relaxed. She encourages hard work and constantly asks thought-provoking questions; yet she often pauses during class to tell an interesting story or crack a joke; a good joke sometimes becomes an opportunity for her to get her students back on track. In fact, she has a unique way of connecting her jokes to the subject matter. When it comes to her subject matter, Stéphanie is extremely meticulous and knowledgeable. Her approach to teaching is both interactive and diversified using various techniques that aimed at developing the critical thinking skills of her students.

  • Isabelle Choquet, Ancienne doctorante en littérature francophone (thèse soutenue en 2012). Actuellement Assistant Professor en littérature française, Denison University

Stéphanie Bérard was a wonderful mentor to me for several years when I was on the job market. She gave me useful advice and shared her own experience with me, which helped me tremendously with finding academic positions after graduating. As a graduate student preparing to become a professional, I could not dream of a better mentor. She gave me the opportunity to be her assistant in planning the visit of the Company Siyaj which was a wonderful experience. Professor Bérard excels in organizing and managing such cultural events, and has exceptional interpersonal skills. I still highly benefit from the work I did with Stéphanie Bérard as she is a major source of inspiration in my daily work, be it regarding class structures and contents, relations with students, cultural events organization or scholarship.

  • Valerie Aguilar, doctorante à Princeton University, étudiante du programme d’été en Avignon de l’Université de Bryn Mawr l’été 2008.

I had the privilege to take an excellent course with Professor Stéphanie Bérard in Avignon, France in the summer of 2008, entitled: Le Théâtre Noir. I consider Professor Bérard to be an exemplary teacher, a thoughtful mentor to this day, an inspiring professional in the academic field, and a truly gifted, generous, and kind person. Professor Bérard’s course was skillfully designed to incorporate the theatrical productions at the world-renowned theater festival in Avignon. The discussions and lectures she facilitated thoughtfully reflected not only on the books that we were reading, but also the pressing issues being put forth in contemporary francophone plays performed around the city simultaneously. I also remember when she brought a professional translator to our class. It was fascinating to learn directly from her the process through which manuscripts written in French are translated into English. We were able to do practice translations and discuss with her the literary and linguistic challenges of the task. Professor Bérard creatively and beautifully taught us how to improve our French and how to become acquainted with excellent francophone plays by coaching us in mini-dramatizations of the text in class. Finally, perhaps the highlight of the course for me was the opportunity to collaborate with Professor Bérard in a professional conference that she participated in Avignon’s prestigious Maison Vilar. Four other students and I presented reading of plays live, as Professor Bérard wove the narratives into her impressive critical paper presentation.

Témoignages d’étudiants américains de Licence (undergraduate) ayant suivi mes cours à l’Université de Virginie aux États-Unis au printemps 2014.

  • COURS : Haïti d’hier à aujourd’hui 

I don’t believe there is another course at UVA in English or French better suited to teach students about Haiti. Bérard knows her stuff and was passionate. There was a wide range of artistic mediums used to learn, which I enjoyed. Guest lecturers provided truly interesting commentary and insight. I learnt new information that will be useful to my future academic/professional pursuits. This was one of my most diverse classes at UVA. She welcomed all backgrounds, and encouraged us to provide unique perspectives. We discuss heavy topics but she kept it as light as possible. (4th year, major in French and Foreign Affairs)

If I could I would study Haiti for the rest of the time I have at the university. This was a fantastic and fascinating class. Madame Bérard always gave constructive feedback. She is engaging, charismatic, and has an exceptional knowledge of the subject matter. She was fantastic at facilitating discussions and encouraging the participation of every student. (2nd year, major in Physics and French)

 Material was fascinating. Very passionate teacher, and conducive to learning. (3rd year, major in Political and Social Thoughts, and French)

 Great professor, great discussions, great films and readings. It was fun and I learned a lot. Super knowledgeable teacher, great reader, very comfortable and open, well planned and organized. (4th year, major in French and English)

I enjoyed everything. It was a pleasure! I am not lauding this class because I don’t want to write. I am praising it because it was truly that fantastic. She really got me interested in Caribbean stories. Amazing atmosphere, EXCELLENT teacher! (4th year, major in French)

I am more interested in Haiti now. I think I’ll visit. (4th year, major in Economics and Foreign Affairs)

I enjoyed the variety of literature and films from Haitian artists. I had not been exposed to it before, and I really loved it! Very comfortable, pleasant atmosphere that fostered conversation and discussion. Clearly knowledgeable teacher and passionate about students and subjects. (2nd year, major in Civil engineering)

Haiti is a country that should be studied more, and Madame Bérard was awesome. The course materials were all interesting and made me think more and differently about Haiti. It made me want to explore Haiti further. (2nd year, major in Physics and Elementary Education)

It is a class I learnt a lot from. It was an intellectually engaging atmosphere. The teacher was really good at asking questions that made us think critically. Her passion motivated us to do extra research on our subjects. (1st year, major in Cognitive Sciences)

Her humor, passion, and overall grasp on the topics that she addresses made this course a great one that goes beyond just being taught the French language. (1st year)


  • COURS : Act French! Les dramaturgies francophones

Madame Bérard is fantastic. The course materials were awesome, engaging, and interesting. The guests she invited were great and the class discussions were always satisfying. She is my advisor and solidified my interest in getting a minor in French. I am also seriously considering a double major. Awesome space for discussions, formulation of ideas, and free speech. (1st year student, Pre-commerce school)

This course was different from everything I have done before with a unique perspective. I had fun learning acting out and refining my French. Things like that are important. The instructor was very enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. It made me want to read more plays. Passion and enthusiasm are key and she has it! (4th year, major in French)

Professor Bérard is amazing. No weaknesses. The course was extremely enjoyable. I enjoyed lectures and the plays we studied. I love Guy [Haitian dramatist invited as an artist in residence]. I really got into theater. Relaxed but scholarly atmosphere. Good balance. (3rd year, major in Comparative Literature)

Very challenging class, but great, useful, and interesting. It was clear, organized and well presented. The instructor is extremely knowledgeable, well organized and prepared and very approachable. Great classroom atmosphere. (4th year, major in Biology and French)

I faced mental health obstacles and Professor Bérard was incredibly understanding, compassionate, and perceptive. She is welcoming and energized, and has a great style. (4th year, major in French)

Stephanie is a lovely professor, smart, enthusiastic, encouraging. She enjoyed hearing alternative viewpoints but would challenge you. I liked it! (4th year, major in Chemistry and French)

Bérard did a great job at balancing acting and analyzing. I loved the course. C’était incroyable! (This was incredible!) (2nd year, major in Civil engineering and French)

I loved learning about French and Caribbean theater. I love acting so getting the chance to express myself was enjoyable. The strengths are how well the class is organized and how motivated the students are. The instructor is kind and cares for her students. I’d like to continue the language and the French culture, and expect to continue learning about this theater. (1st year)

 Great course! Acting and creative writing were the best. Madame Bérard is a great moderator of group discussions and really helped us understand the texts. (3rd year, major in Aerospace engineering, minor in French)

 Very knowledgeable about the subject matter, passionate, creative readings of texts. Great variety of content and relaxed atmosphere. Having Guy Régis Junior was a pleasure, to see how he works professionally. (2nd year, major in French and Economics)

 I was amazed with Guy Régis Junior. Please bring more directors. (4th year, major in French and Global Studies Development)