ILOBify: the Francophonie in the palm of your hand!

Posted on Monday, September 21, 2020


The Official languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) presents ILOBify, a repertoire of linguistic tools that will allow you to maintain, improve and perfect your skills in French as Second Language (FLS), whether it be independently, or as a supplementary support to your courses at school or university. All of it in the palm of your hand!

Since the Covid-19 pandemic has been declared, the world is undergoing a profound transformation that impacts our social life in its everyday common practices, our professional routines and operations as well as our perceptions of reality itself. After the initial necessary adjustment, the field of education was forced, just like many sectors of society that are based on close personal contact with their clients, to take the digital turn and put in place mechanisms and procedures in order to re-establish this relationship between the educators and the learners via a number of tools and specialized digital platforms. The information professionals started reorganizing their resources and presenting them in a format adapted to this new reality of remote teaching and communication with the students through the video-conferencing platforms.

At the Julien Couture Resource Centre, the adjustment and adaptation to the new working conditions have been reflected in transferring our services online, such as the conversation workshops or the virtual meetings scheduled throughout the summer to support the OLBI students, current and future ones, and help them pursue their language learning.

Around the world, according to the model calling for various measures to be put in place in order to enable continued pedagogical support and resources for learners and educators alike, many educational institutions started putting forward alternatives to the traditional ways of bringing together and giving access to as many textbooks, tools and other types of content relevant to the needs of schools, colleges and universities. Two particular projects attracted our attention: first, le Kit français, an app developed at the Académie de Besançon with the objective to collect, organize and present a number of websites and tools in order to enable their pupils to pursue their education remotely; then, Télébuff, with its inception explained in a blog entry and describing a French teacher’s collaborative class project. At the onset of this crisis, inspired by these ideas, the JCRC staff first brought together a variety of teaching and learning resources to provide additional support to the OLBI instructors. Throughout the summer 2020, we have proceeded with another selection from the previously assembled resources in order to enable the students enrolled in the FLS courses offered at the Institute to benefit from a tool that will go along with their formal pathway through the university, or will support them as they engage in self-directed learning in the present extraordinary circumstances.

The ILOBify application represents OLBI’s response to this distance-learning challenge as a companion in the virtual learning of French as a second language. We invite you, through ILOBify, to  check out the engaging short videos, view the feature films that will take you on virtual journeys, listen to the current affaires podcasts, from the Indigenous voices to the discussions about Covid-19, discover the platforms with books or articles in free access, and to find advice to make your essays clearer and more organized. Whether you are a professor or a student, we encourage you to get involved and make suggestions within the app itself in order to make it a tool that will constantly respond to your needs and expectations.

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