Welcome to French class at HMMS! 

Madame Fleishman

Room 210  

I teach my classes using a combination of techniques to provide students with lots of comprehensible input (language they understand) in French. The class activities are designed to give students many opportunities to be involved in the French language at or just above their level of understanding. Each language-building activity is designed to introduce or strengthen their understanding of high frequency words and phrases in French. 

By being immersed in comprehensible language, students' brains will have the opportunity to unconsciously acquire, or “pick up”, what they can as they are ready. Students will acquire frequently used words and structures of the language. Bit by bit, the brain organizes all the input (listening and reading), and bit by bit, students will be speaking and writing (output) as they are ready. This happens at different times for different students.  

What really helps a student be successful and enjoy class is making the choice to WANT to learn the language, being POSITIVE, and having FAITH IN THE PROCESS. It really is a choice. Every student can be successful.

Students who are ready can move on to French 2 when they get to the high school.

  • to experience what it's like to communicate in another language 
  • to hear and read lots of comprehensible French
  • to interact in French without pressure and with good effort
  • to be part of a French-speaking classroom community
  • to feel confident and enjoy learning French!

6th Grade: Using movement and gestures, simple daily discussions, simple interviews, class-created stories, songs, short videos and simple texts, students begiacquiring some of the basics. Listening is the most important skill when first learning a language. Reading the texts we create in class also plays a major role. Choral responses are a big part of class, and opportunities for individual speaking are always present but never forced.

7th Grade: In seventh grade, we continue with the same sorts of activities, building our vocabulary and comprehension as we talk about students’ lives and interests, create class stories, and take a look at some aspects of French cultures. We continue reading regularly and have opportunities for individual speaking as students are ready. We begin to notice a few grammar patterns in context, not as isolated lessons. Listening attentively and responding appropriately continue to be the most important skills.

8th Grade: In eighth grade, we continue with activities and conversation that focus on the lives of the students. Although listening comprehension is still at the top, there are more opportunities for reading longer texts, speaking, and writing. Grammar is addressed on the spot, as questions arise in the context of the reading and short writing we do. Eighth grade also includes an introduction (in comprehensible French) to some of the major cities of France and to the culture and geography of Quebec.

Supplies: 1-inch binder

Contact Mme. Fleishman

“Language is acoustical, not intellectual.” – Berty Segal

Why French is Important: 12 Facts You Should Know

Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS) at the University of Oregon 
(I haven't done any fact-checking here, but it's linked to sources)

80 million people around the world speak French as a native language.

61 million of them live in France, naturally. But French-speaking communities exist around the world:

  • Quebec and New Brunswick, Canada

  • Wallonia, Belgium

  • Parts of Switzerland

  • Monaco

  • 24 French-speaking countries in Africa

Amongst EU citizens, French is the fourth most common mother tongue. Or maybe it’s the second most common. It depends on who you ask.

12% of EU citizens speak it. And while the number of French native speakers may pale in comparison to the number of native speakers of Mandarin, Spanish or English, that’s only half the story.

Because . . .

274 million people around the world speak French.

190 million people speak French as a second language, and experts estimate that a total of 274 million people around the world can speak French as either a first or a second language.  Out of that number, 212 million use it daily.

Meanwhile, 1 out 5 Europeans speaks French as a second language.

French is the only language other than English that is spoken on at least 5 continents.

Like English, French is truly a global language.  French is an official language in Europe (of course), but also in North America, South America, Africa, Asia and French Polynesia.

There’s also a small French research station on Adélie Land in Antarctica, Dumont d’Urville Station. The station has a permanent population of 33 people, and primarily studies local wildlife, especially emperor penguins.

The number of French speakers is growing, rapidly.

French may not enjoy the same level of prestige it had in the 17th century, but it’s not a language in decline.  Far from it. In fact, demographic projections show the number of French speakers almost doubling to 500 million in 2025 and 650 million by 2050.

Many of these new French speakers will come from rapidly growing Africa. In fact . . .

Africa is the continent with the most French speakers in the world.

Are you surprised? French is an official language in 29 African countries, where it is generally spoken alongside indigenous languages.

Within the next decade, French could become the most widely-spoken native language in Europe.

According to the France Diplomatie website, “Demographers forecast that France’s birth rate will make French the most widely spoken mother tongue in Europe, ousting German, by 2025.”

Bloomberg ranked French the third most useful language for business.

Only Mandarin and English ranked higher.

Over 87 major international organizations use French as an official administrative or working language.

The list includes the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, the Red Cross, the Word Trade Organization, NATO, FIFA and more.

French is the 6th most common language on the Internet.

4.1% of content from the top 10 million websites it written in French.  As of June 2016, 102,171,481 Internet users were French speakers. This number will probably increase as more and more of Africa gets online.

At least 29% of modern English vocabulary comes from French.

The English language owes quite a bit to French, like over a quarter of our vocabulary. Some sources even claim up to 45% of English words have French origins.

French is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn.

It’s second only to Spanish, which has a simpler grammar. That said, as noted above, English vocabulary has more in common with French than with Spanish.

French is an important language for international business.

There’s no getting around it. French is an important language for international business.  The French economy is the sixth-largest in the world. It’s the third-largest economy in Europe.  And it’s in fourth place in the Fortune Global 500, outranked only by the US, China, and Japan.

French is also an official language for some of the most dynamic emerging economies in Africa. For example, these are the African economies expected to grow the most in 2017, according to Quartz:

  • Ivory Coast/Cote d’Ivoire

  • Senegal

  • Togo

  • Benin

  • Morocco

French is an official language in all but Morocco. And even in Morocco, French is an important language. It serves as “Morocco’s primary language of commerce and economics, culture, sciences, and medicine; it is also widely used in education and government.”

For these reasons, according to the British Council, 49 percent of UK businesses are seeking out French-speaking employees.

                                                                                            Lingua Francas
                                        A lingua franca is a language that is used as a common language 
                                                    between speakers whose native languages are different.

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