Assalam alaikoum Dear parents,
I hope that my email finds you in a good health and Iman,
Thank you for taking the time to watch your child’s portfolio presentation of the first French unit this year. We hope that you enjoyed the opportunity to share in your child’s accomplishments in French class so far.
This week, your child began a new unit, Où est mon chien ?, in the French program. This program, Histoires en action ! pour les tout petits, has proven to be a revolutionary new approach to second language instruction. Specifically designed stories that are written in the form of plays become the focus for a range of motivating language activities that help students develop confidence and competence in the language as they progress through each story unit. For young students, the use of stories is a very important way to contextualize vocabulary. It allows language development to be supported and nurtured within the familiar, predictable context of a story that is the focus for the unit’s work, and in each unit of this program, students will learn to perform a play. There are a few songs, chants that help students who learn well through rhythmical activities. They also become aware of rhyming words in the language. The vocabulary that is taught in this method has been carefully selected as it is essential vocabulary for students during the initial stages of their language learning.
Another component of this program is the Gesture Approach, a technique that uses hand signs to help students learn and remember this important vocabulary found in the plays, songs and other activities. Each word is associated with a gesture, so that the language is represented visually and kinesthetically for the benefit of those students who learn best this way.
There is an equal, strong emphasis on the development of all four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) through this program; however, for young students, the written word is gradually introduced and the focus is on oral language acquisition with plenty of pleasant repetition. Those students who can already read in English will have the opportunity to be challenged with written language activities in French that meet their needs. Activities are varied, so that students have the opportunity to work individually, in partners, in small groups and as a whole class.
In order to do well in French this year, your child will:
• participate actively in class, in French only;
• memorize the play;
• work cooperatively with others in the class while answering questions;
• learn the gestures covered in class;
• learn the gesture associations;
• participate in songs, dances, chants, raps and games with enthusiasm;
• complete class work;
• seek help when needed.
In order to support the work covered in class, and to ensure student success and independence, students may practice the gestures and the play, songs. The DVD is a very useful tool to support the program and can be used as the basis for at-home support. Parents may share in the language learning with their children as well!
Students will be assessed on their ability to:
• learn the words in this unit;
• use French spontaneously, both with the teacher and with peers;
• pronounce words correctly;
• answer questions based on the story;
• memorize the play;
• perform the play;
• listen well;
• cooperate with peers while working with a partner;
• participate with enthusiasm;
• complete work on time;
• stay focused and productive in class.
One double-sided pocket folder for work in class
Whole class activities book
List of vocabulary
I am looking forward to working with your child. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions regarding this outline or your child’s progress. Please encourage your child to share with you what and how s/he is learning in French class.
At the end of each unit, your child will make a presentation to you and other family members. Establishing a link between home and school is a very important aspect of this French program, and we hope that you will enjoy this end-of-unit sharing time with the family. In the following weeks, letters will be sent to you describing various aspects of the program.
Jazakoum Allah khairan