THIS SYLLABUS IS IN THE FORM OF A 'TRAVEL BROCHURE'. Please note that it reads better in it's paper form!
Le Français...C'est Magnifique!
Visitez la France!
…Well, not really. But imagine you could. You would want to be prepared to enjoy the fabulous food, people, and culture to their fullest, non? From its wines, cheeses, chocolates, and pastries to its awesome cathedrals, majestic buildings, and charming countryside, la France is as rich in the flavors of its history and culture as a yummy, cheesy gratin.
So let’s dig in. As your French teacher, I am appealing to your imagination and whimsy; I’m asking each of you to suspend disbelief each time you enter this room. Let’s think of our time together as preparation for a journey. Why do I ask this of you? My goal is to share my passion and knowledge of French language and culture with you in the most interesting and meaningful way possible. We may not be able to fly off to Paris tomorrow, but we can do the next best thing ~ bring France and all its wonders to us.
But France is only one place where French is spoken. While my love of French stems from living in France, there are close to 50 other countries in which French is spoken! Our exploration of language and culture will take us around the world.
Assignments, Activities, and Projects
I will assign homework every night. I will check and record homework every day. In the event that you come to class unprepared, you will receive un oeuf on the homework chart. (Please note that this circular object is not a zero, but a ‘goose egg’ that you must fill in the next class in order to receive full credit for the late work.) This system reinforces the necessity of completing all assignments for this course and to the best of your ability. Goose eggs bring down your preparation & participation grade at the end of the term.
Être dans le bain!
The French have a great expression to describe linguistic and cultural immersion – they liken it to bathing! With increasing frequency as the year progresses, I will speak mostly in French. You may feel lost but don’t shut down. Be patient with yourself, smile and guess! You’ll be amazed how much you can understand through gesture and context as long as you are relaxed and open to taking some risks. Let yourself be guided by the famous French proverb: Only he who does nothing makes no mistakes.
LANGUAGE LEARNING 2.0
THIS IS NOT YOUR PARENTS’ FRENCH CLASS! What we now understand about language acquisition and how people learn has transformed how we teach French. Gone are the days of textbooks filled with conjugation tables and workbooks with flat fill-in-the-blank exercises. Here are the YouTube videos, audio clips, and infographics made by French speakers for French speakers. As I give you the tools to become a proficient reader, writer, listener, and speaker of French, we will engage with many authentic resources so that you can get used to hearing spoken French, reading real texts, and communicating (both orally and in writing) in pseudo-real scenarios. Our THEMATIC UNITS build proficiency skills in a cultural and linguistic context.
1. La Bise (MEETINGS + GREETINGS)
2. Café de Flore (FOOD + CAFÉ CULTURE)
3. A. Le Handball + Le Parkour (LEISURE TIME ACTIVITIES)
B. Le Hautbois + Le Smartphone
4. Le Selfie (TALKING ABOUT ONESELF)
Something for Everyone!
Because X needs to hear the words in order to memorize them, Y needs to see the words written out, and Z needs to draw pictures in order to remember them, I have designed a course that will hopefully appeal to various learning styles and allow everyone to feel successful. You can expect assignments, projects, and activities such as:
- Puzzles & vocabulary games
- Interpretative reading assignments
- Dialogues, role plays, and discussions
- Audio + Video interpretation & creation
- CANVAS forum posts + online activities
- Written+ Oral Performance Assessments
- Achievement Assessments
The way it works:
It is not about cramming; it’s about cognition, repetition, and practice! I will require you to try out a variety of study methods so that you can eventually figure out which ones work best for you. Class time is designed to reinforce the learning you do at home. Participation is a MUST. This is not always easy for some people. We will work to create a safe & supportive environment for our learning community in which incorrect answers are considered a welcome part of the learning process and where it’s fine to feel a little funny about pronouncing strange Frenchy sounds. You‘ll find that the risks you take enhance the richness of your French experience.
The CML department uses letter grades to evaluate your performance. The criteria for each grade is detailed on a departmental rubric that I will use to evaluate listening, reading, speaking, and writing tasks. Your performance in all areas of class factor into your term grade! The terms are weighted to reflect the increasing amount of material for which you are responsible:
Term 1 = 10% Term 2 = 18% Term 3 = 25% Term 4 = 31% Final Exam/Project = 16%
Everyday Tools for Success
-- Pencil & pen
-- 3-Ring Binder with the following labeled sections:
- PROJECT ASSIGNMENT SHEETS
- NOTES DE VOCABULAIRE**
- “T.I.N.T.W.O.L” + GRADED WORK
** NOTE: it is crucial that you keep your notes in sequence. I prefer you write them on lined paper, but if you insist on writing in a spiral notebook, make sure your notes are exclusively for this class. The spiral notebook must fit in your binder.
A positive attitude
I keep track of the daily homework checks on the Power School portal!! There’s no excuse for unfinished work!
The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
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