Friday 9 October 2015

October 9, 2015

Bonjour tout le monde!!

Shortly after the oral assessments the classes will count up the little cards which they have received for speaking only French and for working well with their group or partner in class. This is a fun activity which gives them a chance to practice oral questions and counting in french.  At the end of the counting there will be a draw and raffle for some prizes.  The prizes include French-themed pens and some Twizzler treats.  As I am handing out food, I am including the ingredient lists for the candies included.  They are all made in a peanut-free facility.  If you are not comfortable with your child eating these candies, they have the option of picking the pen as a prize instead. 

The ingredients are in a link provided in the upper right hand corner of the blog. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. 


Anne Durante

Friday 2 October 2015

October 2, 2015

Bonjour tout le monde!!

The first quiz for the year will be starting for French classes next week. This quiz tests for comprehension of basic vocabulary words as well as matching responses to questions.  Grades 6 and 7 will also be quizzed on their comprehension of some basic sentences. The quiz schedule is as follows:

Grade 5    Monday, Oct. 5
Grade 6    Monday, Oct. 5
Grade 5/6 Tuesday Oct. 6
Grade 7P  Tuesday Oct. 6
Grade 7N  Wednesday Oct. 14

Shortly following the quiz I will be starting the oral assessment of the term.  We have been practicing this in class.  I am providing a link to a copy of the question/responses for all the grades on this blog under the title "Questions et Reponses2015".

Anne Durante

Monday 21 September 2015

September 18, 2015

Bonjour!! Welcome back to another year of French language learning at CCS!!

      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 4 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 story "The Boy who Cried Wolf"... but with a twist! 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 will be used to aid in 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 during class time.
2) Speak with Madame Durante at all times that she is gesturing for everyone to speak (all times I am speaking in French).

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

Friday 22 May 2015

Le 21 mai, 2015

Bonjour, tout le monde!

We have had a busy couple of months in French.  Over March and April the students continued to learn and practice the French for their play presentations, which are now almost complete.  I am very proud of all they have learned both in vocabulary comprehension and pronunciation this year. Wonderful job! This coming week we will be having another reading/comprehension assessment as they have another quiz (based on the play). The schedule for the quiz is as follows:

Grade 5T - May 25
Grade 5/6 - May 26
Grade 6 - May 28
Grade 7N - May 27
Grade 7P - May 25

Please continue to encourage them to speak as much in French as they can, especially with me in class.  We have been practicing conversational French and it is wonderful to see their attempts and communicating their own ideas and experiences. Feliciations!!!

Anne Durante

Wednesday 4 March 2015

March 4, 2015

Bonjour tour le monde!!

     As you have probably heard from your children, last month we hosted a performance by well-known French children's performer Will Stroet.  It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to hear and practice saying the French by singing and doing actions for several songs. 

     The French marks coming home this term are based on quizzes which have assessed the numbers, days of the week and weather (Gr. 7 only), as well as comprehension of the vocabulary to date as it is used in various sentences.  I also assess them on their participation and cooperation in class.  As I have continually emphasized to them, they will develop fluency in French the more they actually use it, so I am looking for every attempt they make to speak with me, and especially the risks they take in speaking French when it is not being required (i.e. any time they use their French to have a spontaneous conversation with me or anyone else).

     The next quiz is happening this week and is based on exercises we have been doing in class.  The schedule for the classes is:
Gr. 5     Monday, March 9
Gr. 5/6  Friday, March 6
Gr. 6     Friday, March 6
Gr, 7N  Friday, March 6
Gr. 7P   Thursday, March 5

      We are now starting more intense small group work on the reading and performing of the plays for each grade.  I am looking forward to seeing the combination of the French and the wonderful personalities of your children as they have an opportunity to practice and perform the play for their peers. It is going to be a fun third term!

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

Anne Durante