Studying a language is an exciting prospect. It’s like breaking a code and then learning how to use it to speak to people who may be different from ourselves. Having a second language opens up new opportunities in life as well as develops areas of the brain that will help students in other fields. Whatever the reason for learning a language, the benefits will be numerous.
This course will build on the foundation established in the first level, in the skill areas of reading, speaking, writing, and understanding (listening) French. Topical units will be built around interpersonal communication, presentational speaking and writing as well as interpretive activities in reading and listening. Students will be able to sustain a basic conversation on a variety of topics, asking and responding to questions and making recommendations. They will be able to understand and follow basic conversations of native French speakers. In addition, they will be able to understand the main idea of more complicated authentic documents and be able to give presentations on a variety of topics.
Various aspects of the Francophone world and French culture are woven into each unit as well. Students will develop personal strategies to build their vocabulary and continue to refine their pronunciation. They will also be given useful online links to help them practice and build their skills. Much of the focus in French 2 is in expressing and describing past events. Learning the use of reflexive verbs will help them be more descriptive of their own routines and feelings. To make their communication more effective and efficient, students will also learn how to use pronouns.
The class sizes are limited to 12 in order to allow for optimal communication within the classroom as well as teacher oversight on assignments. I believe that students are successful when they are comfortable and at ease. Therefore, I make an effort to work with students at their level of comfort, working with them until they are ready to go to the next level.
Face-to-face live class time is limited to one hour per week; therefore, the weekly assignments are designed to keep students actively working with French during the week. I use lots of interactive videos, audio recordings and other authentic French resources to accomplish this. Developing accuracy in pronunciation and learning grammatical structures of the language are incorporated into the lessons and assignments. The course is rounded out by exploring the vast contributions the French have made in history, art, literature, and culture and why it is spoken as a major language on every continent in the world.
The class is structured around the weekly live meeting. Students can anticipate having about 3-4 hours of homework each week. Five weekly assignments are posted that build on what was presented in class, preparing the student for the upcoming meeting. In class, students can anticipate needing to ask and answer questions based on the weekly assignments. Language structure is provided to guide the interaction in class. The units last 3-4 weeks with an assessment project/test at the end of each unit. In addition to regular weekly assignments, French 2 students and higher keep a weekly written journal.
Who should enroll?
Students in grades 9-12 who have completed French 1 or its equivalent can enroll. Please contact the teacher if you have questions.
- A quiet environment for live class (i.e. not in a noisy area like a coffee shop)
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- A scanner is helpful for turning in assignments
Evaluation and Feedback
Weekly assignments receive the complete score, unless some correcting is needed. So, if students do their work, including the corrections, they will get a perfect score for their weekly assignments. On the assessments, more details are taken into consideration. If a student is working well and within their abilities, I give high marks.
Most weekly homework is graded the week it is turned in. Unit projects sometimes take longer, but I am patient when students have technical difficulties (which often show up with the bigger projects). I do try to give feedback and corrections in French on the assignments. My goal is to make myself available to my students during the week should they have trouble with any assignments.
I encourage parents to reach out to me as they have concerns or questions. They can anticipate a note from me should their student get behind in their work. If I communicate with the student about their work, I will always send the parent the email too, so that they can keep up with the student’s progress. A progress report goes out at the end of December; the final grade goes out in May once the final test has been graded. I do have a Facebook page where I post random information about French: “All that’s French”.