The teaching of French is a proud tradition at Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School. French instruction begins in Kindergarten with students having French class weekly through the fourth grade. In fifth grade, students receive French class twice weekly. In sixth grade, our students receive French instruction three times a week and in our seventh and eighth grades, class is four times a week.
Students who have completed the French program will have completed the equivalent of a high school French I class. Upon graduating, students may be able to take French II Honors in high school.
The French program is also responsible for several wonderful events throughout the school year. Each year, our language teachers host French Week, a week-long celebration of French culture. Our seventh grade also takes a four-day trip to the French-speaking city of Quebec, where they meet their pen pals and have an opportunity to speak the language they have studied. In the eighth grade, students have been invited, among other immersion schools, to Milton High School for a French performance.
French Curriculum Highlights:
In Kindergarten through second grade, French is a weekly fun and active introduction to the French language and culture.
Students learn songs and are introduced to basic vocabulary, including numbers, colors and greetings and develop their introduction to French language and culture through games, songs, artwork and language video programs.
Third through fifth grade are transition years, preparing students for the more rigorous language study they’ll encounter in higher grades.
Students complete two books – Promenades I and Promenades II – during these three years. Promenades is a developmentally appropriate French text that includes several puzzles and activities, while focusing on speaking, listening, reading and writing, with a strong emphasis on auditory discrimination, listening comprehension, pronunciation and oral competence. In addition, an aspect of French and Canadian history or geography, customs or culture is presented each month.
Sixth grade serves as a transition to a more rigorous approach toward learning French, stressing the four basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each unit begins with an oral presentation of the new material. The vocabulary is then presented in small, manageable segments, permitting the students to master the new material.
Students begin to learn grammar rules such as verb endings, subject-verb agreement, negation and articles. The French program works with the sixth grade Core Knowledge curriculum to supplement topics students are studying in science and humanities, including astronomy and the French Revolution, as well as French and Canadian culture.
In seventh and eighth grade, we aim for all students to learn how to communicate effectively and confidently in the four language skills: speaking, writing, reading and listening. Each unit focuses on a set of communication goals. Grammar and vocabulary lessons are redesigned to help students achieve those goals.
The Allez-viens program offers a video and audio programs to supplement each unit. Students continue to learn about French history and culture through songs, stories, biography and French films. Classes are conducted, as much as possible, in the target language so students can be immersed in the language.
Our seventh and eighth grade students are encouraged to take part in Le Grand Concours, which is organized by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). This test consists of 70-questions (listening and a written) and is one-hour long. Our students have done very well and have obtained Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.