Ever think about adopting a snail or escargot as the French call it? Well, here is your chance. Come learn some basic French while having fun and taking care of your new escargot. Ok, it’s just the shell. It will be up to you to create a persona in French, of course, for your new pet.
This course will introduce students to the basics of the French language and culture in a fun, engaging manner. Students will adopt a snail (just the shell) and personify their pet all in French. By learning basic vocabulary (colors, activities, food, clothing, etc.), students will create a home and document the life of their snail. Additionally, students will learn to speak some basic phrases and talk about their pet. The course aims to lay the groundwork for later, for more formal language study. Starting a language at a young age helps the brain assimilate the language better.
The live class will be dedicated to learning and practicing the course material. We’ll use games, songs, and roleplays to make our time together interactive. I will upload documents and provide links for extra practice. To reinforce learning throughout the course, students will also be adding information about their pet snail so that they have a finished product in French at the close of the first semester. In addition to creating their snail’s home, students will be given pages for a book to create “Mon escargot et moi” for additional practice with the material. Students should expect no more than an hour of work during the week.
Who doesn’t love a good story? How about a good story told in French? Believe it or not, you can understand stories with basic French vocabulary and images. Some prominent language researchers believe that the best way to help students to develop fluency and accuracy in a language is to expose them to large amounts of comprehensible input. Using this method, called Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS), students listen and read stories with the intent to understand. When students do this with the intent to understand they acquire the language. The brain stores these words and structures (almost) effortlessly and permanently because stories generate multiple connections.
In this course, students will continue to listen and read novice level material. They will have repeated exposure to high-frequency vocabulary and structures making language acquisition more natural.
Each semester will feature different stories and a reader.
Our class time will feature lots of French. We’ll do pre-reading activities, listening activities, games, movie talks, reader’s theatre, and post-listening/reading activities. During the week, students will have websites to use to practice vocabulary and read the stories. We will use an e-course for the chosen reader which provides not only the reader but also corresponding activities. Students will complete summarizing activities, and several book related exercises to help maintain interest. A final, culminating project will be assigned to showcase their learning and their French.
Who should enroll?
Students in 4th-7th grades who want to learn some basic French should enroll. They do not need to complete the first semester of An Introduction to French in order to register for the second semester.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
Students are given weekly practice activities to reinforce class material. I encourage students to complete and turn in the work as practice, and I can give feedback and encouragement. At the end of each semester, students will present their work to the class. No formal grades are given, but upon completion of at least 60% of the course work, students will receive a certificate.
I believe communication is important for success in an online learning environment. Both students and parents are encouraged to let me know as soon as possible if there are any questions or concerns. Keeping an open line of communication is essential; I want to see everyone be successful. Please email me so I can best serve you and your student.