Wednesday 7 September 2016

September 7, 2016


Hello and welcome to all new and returning parents. My name is Anne Durante and I am the French specialist teacher for Grades 5,6 and 7 here at Cloverdale Catholic School.  Many of you are already familiar with how the French program works here, but I will introduce it again for anyone who would like to learn or be reminded.

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 teaching French as it is the most successful at getting students to use a second language 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 Grade 5 the students will be learning a version of the story of the three little pigs (Les Trois Petits Cochons).   In Grades 6 and 7 they will be learning a play called "Le chat et la lune"( The Cat and the Moon). Many of the vocabulary words will be familiar to the students, but we will be working on the use of these words in different contexts and in spontaneous conversation. 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).

A main goal for your children is the use of spontaneous French in contexts relevant to their lives. I will often be dedicating a portion of class time partner/group practice during which they practice their French with each other.  I encourage your children to be taking risks and attempting to speak as much as possible and as frequently as possible, even outside of class time.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at the school number or at I look forward to a wonderful year!

Anne Durante