Monday 15 December 2014

December 15, 2014

For those of you who would like to know how to support your student's learning in French at home I have posted on my blog the link to the AIM (Accelerated Integration Method) website where you can order a copy of the student DVD for the play we are learning this year.

Simply click on the link, then on the green bar which shows the options for Products and Resources. You then need to click on Student Resources, and scroll down until you find the appropriate STUDENT DVD for your child. This will be the STUDENT DVD for Les trois petits cochons for Grades 5 and 6, and the STUDENT DVD for Comment y aller for Grade 7. If you have a child in both grades, or in Grade 6 who will be continuing next year, you can order the DVD for Comment y aller as it has the vocabulary for Les trois petits cochons as well. The cost of the DVD is $15 and it includes the full vocabulary list with proper pronunciation and gestures. It also has the raps, songs and the play gestured and performed. It does not have the english translations as the program does not rely on translation as a method but on the intuitive acquiring of language through gestures and context. I do check comprehension with them in class, and they can always ask me what a word means anytime through the day.

I hope you all find this helpful. Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas. Joyeux Noel!!!

Anne Durante

Wednesday 26 November 2014

November 26, 2014

Bonjour tour le monde!!

      We are now almost in December and your children have just completed their second quiz. This quiz was on numbers, days of the week and weather (Grade 7 only).  If your child received a mark of less that 50% I am giving them a chance to retry the quiz. These students have already received a slip notifying them of the opportunity for a retest tomorrow November 27th. 
      The grades on the report card you have received recently are based on the first term quiz, oral questions assessed in class, and their level of participation in French class. Language learning requires frequent use and repetition, therefore, it is very important that your children persist in speaking with me at all times in class when i am gesturing, and that they do their best to speak only in French. 
       It gives me so much joy and excitement when I pass the students in the hallway and we can have a brief conversation in French. C'est fantastique!!
       If you want to have extra practice at home, I do have 3 copies of the main vocabulary on DVD to be lent out. Right now 2 of them have been lent out, but let me know and I will retrieve them to be passed on. 

Anne Durante

Tuesday 14 October 2014

October 14, 2014

Bonjour tour le monde!!!

We have completed the first quiz in French and they should be coming home over the next week. I am not asking for them to be signed and returned but just that you ask for it and take a look to see how your child is doing. Over the coming classes we will be beginning the oral component of assessment in which I will be asking the students oral questions that we have been practicing since the beginning of the year. Your child will also be assessed on their level of participation in French class, so please encourage them to speak with me at all times that I am gesturing the words!!! When they speak, they learn, and the patterns of the language become more natural to them. Every effort they make to use the language will be rewarded with learning.

Merci beaucoup,
Anne Durante

Monday 8 September 2014

French 2014/15

September 8, 2014


      My name is Anne Durante and I am the French specialist teacher for Grades 5,6 and 7 at Cloverdale Catholic School. As we launch into the new school year, I would love to introduce myself to any new parents or parents who I have not yet met. I have been working as a Special Education Assistant for 3 years now at the school, and last year started teaching the French as well. I was raised in Ottawa, which is where I learned my French, and moved to BC in 1993 in order to attend graduate school at UBC. I ended up taking a detour from my original plan of research chemist and moved into the challenge of education. I obtained my BEd at UBC and originally taught at St. John Brebeuf High School for 3 years. Having married another Catholic teacher, I left teaching in 2000 in order to have my first child.  I now have 4 children and, when the youngest started Kindergarten, moved back into the field of education at this wonderful school.

     The program I am using to teach French is called the AIM program (Accelerated Integration Method). It is the direction that many schools are moving towards in French as it is the most successful at getting students to use French more quickly that any other approach. It uses gestures in order to bring students into comprehension without reverting to English. Each and every word we use in class has a gesture, and through repetition and the use of the words in different contexts the children acquire an understanding of the words and patterns of the language. The primary and most important way that your children can succeed in French is by speaking with me at all times as I gesture and speak. They also need to practice speaking French only in class, which is very challenging at this stage, but necessary in order for them to start "thinking" in French.

     The program for the year is centered around a play. In Grades 5 and 6 the students will be learning a version of the 3 little pigs. In Grade 7 they will be learning a play called "Comment y aller" about a girl who is trying to get to Paris to visit her friend. The use of drama, music, raps and dances are useful tools for language acquisition and for keeping it fun.

      There will be very little homework in this class. I want the students to put all of their energy into the speaking and participating in class.

The 2 main rules:
1) Speak French only
2) Speak with Madame Durante at all times she is gesturing for everyone to speak.

I look forward to a wonderful year! I can be contacted at

Anne Durante