CHMS French

Madame Twichell Conniff

Bienvenue à la classe de français!

In French class, our goal will be to acquire the French language. “Acquiring” a language is a bit different than “learning” a language. Acquiring is something that happens to you naturally instead of something that you force to happen. When you learn how to speak your first language as a baby, you acquire it naturally by listening to other people speak it around you for a very long time; not by studying it in a textbook. Therefore, the majority of our class time will be spent engaging in French--and relatively little time will be spent using English.

Les Règles (The Rules):

  • Be on time.

  • Be respectful. Be kind.

  • Be prepared.

  • Participate in French as much as possible!

  • No gum chewing or eating in class.

  • No cell phones in class.

How does language acquisition work?

The ice under the water represents what you can understand in French (spoken or written). The ice above the water represents what you can produce effortlessly in French. The water surrounding the ice is what you do not yet understand. As you read or listen to the language and understand new words, water freezes onto the ice below and it grows bigger, pushing more ice up above the water. With enough comprehensible input, you will be able to speak more and more French automatically. So, focus on understanding the meaning of what you hear and what you read. Language you hear and understand will soon rise to the surface.

Les Fournitures Scolaires (School Supplies):

  • A wide 3-subject notebook that can be used for 7th & 8th Grade French

  • A strong 2-pocket folder for keeping homework assignments and returned assessments

  • A pencil pouch filled with pencils and erasers (brought to class every day)

  • A roll of clear scotch tape OR a good glue stick (to stick things into your notebook)

CESU World Language Mission Statement:

“Our mission is to prepare students to participate in local and global communities with an international mindset. We believe that in a world shaped by global politics and economics, global literacy cannot exist without modern language and culture instruction. The study of world languages and cultures enriches and enhances lifelong learning experiences and achievements, while promoting greater intellectual development.”

"You can do it!"


Take RISKS: Speak French NOT English. You’ll need to take risks and try things that might make you uncomfortable. Be Brave! Everyone else in our class is working hard and taking risks too. Be Kind to everyone in this learning process!

Keep the FLOW! Listen Actively with your eyes, ears, and body. We’ll sing, make up stories, create gestures, and it is important that everyone participates and keeps the FLOW! It’s also important that you don’t disrupt the FLOW by blurting out in English, having side conversations or distracting/disrupting the class.

Don’t SINK: The only time you are acquiring French is when you are getting “comprehensible input”- that means that you are listening to or reading French that you understand. If you are listening and you don’t understand what’s going on, you’re not learning. If I say something that is unclear, please signal me! I will say it again slower, write the word and its translation on the board, or clarify. It is my job that you understand. We are in this together!

Les Devoirs (Homework):

Homework is typically assigned each night we have class for grades 7 & 8, and it should take between 10-20 minutes to complete. Homework assignments are checked or collected each class period. If a student is not prepared with the assignment, zero credit will be given. Incomplete assignments are expected to be turned in the following class day in order to receive credit. If three assignments in a row are not completed, Saturday School will be recommended. Please know that I do not assign homework over school vacations. If a student is absent from class, it is their job to either check with a friend, email me, or check their team homework calendar to see the assignment and make it up. I cannot stress enough the importance of making up missed work in a timely manner; the longer it waits, the harder it gets.

Les Notes (Grades):

Grading will occur in a variety of ways: class work/participation, daily warm-ups, projects, quizzes, tests, and homework assignments. Students will receive a standard score (1-4) in all areas of language acquisition (listening, reading, writing, and speaking). The 7th and 8th grade French classes are the equivalent of the High School French 1 class, split over the course of two years. Students who wish to move on to French level 2 in High School will need to meet the standard by the end of each school year. There will also be a final exam at the end of each year to help determine student placement for High School. Please know that I will send all corrected assessments home with students and I highly encourage you to ask to see them.

Professeur: Madame (Twichell Conniff)

téléphone: 802-434-2188 Ext 419

adresse e-mail:

salle de classe: 122A

pronoms: Her, she, hers, they, them

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela