Students who complete two years of this course may be ready for French 2.
Parlez-vous français? Even if you don’t speak French, you are already familiar with many French words that we use in English. Have you ever been to a restaurant and looked at the menu, or maybe you prefer picnics? Have you traveled and stayed in a hotel and maybe even bought some souvenirs? English owes about half of its vocabulary to French. (If you’re not sure why that is, come to French class for the answer.) French is also the most-learned language worldwide giving many an advantage in future endeavors.
This course is an introduction to the French language and francophone culture. All four of the language skills, listening, reading, writing, and speaking will be incorporated as students learn pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar to achieve a communicative purpose.
In this level, students learn to communicate in real-life contexts about everyday topics. The overarching communicative goal of this course is, “If I met a native French speaker, I would be able to talk about myself (my life, my hobbies, my friends, etc.)”. In order to meet this goal students are encouraged to use French as much as possible. Rather than isolating grammar, it is integrated into instruction according to the vocabulary and structures needed to perform a communicative function. Through the language learning process, students develop an understanding of how their own language is structured and the unique aspects of a different culture.
Students who complete two years of Middle School French may be ready for French 2 in high school. This course covers the same topics of a high school French I, but at half of the pace allowing for more time to practice. Middle school students tend to need different instructional strategies and activities to build a strong foundation in language.
Building a strong foundation early in language learning is advantageous for several reasons. It’s easier on the brain and helps in longer retention. The study of language is a tremendous exercise for the brain and learning. If students desire to pursue college, language placement tests may be necessary. The depth and length of exposure will be helpful.
The text will serve as the spine for the course. I will add additional authentic materials such as videos, audio recordings, infographics, and readings to enhance the material. Cultural topics and themes will be added to round out the course.
Since the class meets once a week, our time together will be primarily focused on speaking either as a whole group or in small groups as a way to practice this necessary skill. Class time will also focus on some main structural and vocabulary practice. Students will be given note-taking outlines that will serve as both an organized way to record information and a study guide.
During the week, students can expect approximately two hours of outside study to reinforce what was covered in class and in preparation for the next class. Homework may include listening activities, grammar exercises, vocabulary practice, quizzes (both graded and self-checking), writing activities, and speaking assignments. Links for additional practice will also be given. At the end of each unit, students will be asked to complete a project-type assessment.
Who should enroll?
There is no prerequisite. Students in grades 7 and 8 who wish to begin a formal study of language but not at a high-school level pace are welcome to enroll. This slower pace is also suitable for students who already have a full schedule but wish to begin studying French. In addition, students who are new to online learning and online language learning would find this course beneficial.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
Students’ grades will reflect all of the language skills. Each student will have practiced and know what is expected so they can adequately prepare. Some homework assignments will be graded more for completeness so that I can offer feedback before a more formal assessment. Rubrics for other assignments are provided so students understand how their work will be graded. Students are welcome to email me with questions about any assignment, and if needed, we can schedule time for additional help. Periodically, I will send progress reports to both students and parents. Parents will also receive any email correspondence between student and teacher.
I believe communication is important for success in an online learning environment. Both students and parents are encouraged to notify me 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.