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Learn French in Paris (9th District): Teaching

The college’s key concern is to get you to speak and comprehend French!

The college aim to help you communicate efficiently and effective in French. They aim to provide you with a strong command of the language and an in-depth understanding of French culture, according to your level of ability.

The Teaching Method

Learn to communicate effectively, correctly and appropriately at the French school in Paris.

The main objective is to develop your learning strategies. This enables the students to transfer the communication skills which they have already mastered in their mother tongue to their native language. Verbal communication is a priority: students learn to listen, understand and to express themselves correctly with good pronunciation.

The French school aim to raise students language level to an efficient standard of communication. This not only requires a perfect command of the language, but also a deep understanding of the cultural context.

The aim is to provide an authentic and communicative environment:
Listening using audio-visual materials, listening exercises, film extracts, television and radio programs, songs etc.

Speaking during French summer courses, meetings, excursions, theatre workshops (drama exercises and improvisation) to facilitate oral ability and overcome inhibitions, work on pronunciation, gestures and fluency.

Reading by understanding and analysing authentic documents such as newspaper articles, professional texts, administrative forms and literary extracts etc.

Writing with a distinct communicative aim leading to an enriched knowledge of the language through varied written exercises.

Grammar is taught through language games and exercises incorporated into the lessons.

The Teaching Methods used are based on the principles of cognitive learning that each of us employs while learning his / her native language. The school teaches the everyday French spoken in France, and so does not limit themselves to the use of textbooks. Why? Despite the benefits of certain textbooks, they can never truly reflect the authentic French language, as spoken in the street, on the television, on the radio, at the cinema, in French culture…
During their stay, students live in Paris, often with French families. This is why the school have chosen to work using documents created by French people for French people as our teaching materials. Initially therefore, the task of our teachers is to make use of the didactic potential of such documents.

This involves:

• Finding features of interest to the class in the document, based on the students’ needs.
• Creating comprehension activities based on the chosen material; followed by analysis of the linguistic content, vocabulary and cultural aspects present in the document.
• Creating opportunities for inter-cultural exchange through dialogue.
• Creating activities that allow the students to reproduce the structures they have learned in a situational context.

At the beginning of this learning process, students may have the impression that their understanding of the document is poor. The role of the teacher however is to help them, through learning strategies that they have already mastered, to focus on elements that they understand. They then enter into a more focused understanding of the document through activities prescribed by the teacher.
For the school the key objective is communication. The aim of the teachers is to bring students to a point where they can understand French, and be understood in oral and written expression. The quality of the work carried out by the teachers allows students to quickly feel at ease with the language. The secret of student satisfaction resides in the fact that they learn much more than just the language. Language is a tool to be used in communicative situations, for discussions of subjects about everyday life, to debate points of view, cultural conventions…
This way, language does not appear as a goal in itself but as a mediator, and as such is more easily remembered.

The school follows the Common European Framework of Reference, a framework developed by the Council of Europe for all modern languages as a practical tool to determine the learners’ general and communicative language competences.

There are six main levels, from A1 (basic user) to C2 (proficient user). Whilst the average amount of time (training and practice) required to go from one level to the next varies with the learner’s aptitude, motivation and prior language knowledge and skills, the first levels require on average an equal amount of time. The higher levels, however, require more time in training to take into consideration the difficulty of the tasks needed to be undertaken.

Levels of Proficiency

A1.1 Beginner 1 /Less than 120 hrs *
A1.2 Beginner 2
A2.1 Elementary 1 /150h – 220 hrs *
A2.2 Elementary 2
B1.1 Pre-intermediate /300h – 400 hrs *
B1.2 Intermediate
B2.1 Upper-intermediate 1 /500h – 600 hrs *
B2.2 Upper-intermediate 2
C1 Advanced /700 hrs – 800 hrs *
C2.1 Proficiency /More than 800 hrs *

* The given number of hours is indicative and is subject to learner’s aptitude, motivation and individual progress

Students are able to use audio-visual materials i.e. extract from films, TV and radio programmes to improve listening skills. Role playing, debates and meetings aim to improve spoken skills. Through understanding and analysing authentic documents such as newspaper and magazine articles, professional documents, forms and literature extracts reading skills are enhanced and written work is developed through a range of activities designed to meet your communicative goals.

Grammar is taught through language games and various communicative exercises and is seen as a tool rather than an end in itself. In addition the college offers a theatre workshop sessions once a week to encourage confidence and expression, by placing an emphasis on the use of gesture and intonation.

The college divides students into six theoretical levels of ability, adapted in line with the Common European Framework. At the end of each week, the teachers evaluate student progress and propose changes into different classes according to the student’s proficiency and individual progress.

A student of average linguistic ability should allow 4/6 weeks to complete either the Beginner or Elementary Levels, 6/12 weeks to complete one of the two Intermediate levels and a further 12+ weeks to complete the Advanced levels.

In reality a student chooses to attend a Languages for Life course, a short duration group or private course according to their linguistic goals, personal wishes and time constraints.

Afternoon Workshops *

These are the extra classes students can book on any of the Intensive Course options offered…

Duration : 3 lessons per week
Class size : Max. 14 students
Timetable : 14:15 – 17:15 hrs
To assess your leve : See our Language Ability Chart

*Workshop availability depends on the number of students.

Monday
~ Oral
Required language level: All levels
Oral comprehension and expression activities: dialogues, songs, interviews, role plays, case studies, phonetics etc.

~ French Culture and Civilisation
Required language level: All levels
Introduction to French culture and civilisation through a range of in-class activities: history, music, architecture, films etc.

Tuesday
~ Grammar/Writing skills
Required language level: All levels
Written comprehension and expression focusing on grammar points, conjugation, grammar and vocabulary exercises, dictation, grammar games etc. Personal letters, business correspondence, essays, reports, summaries, creative writing etc.

~ Phonetics
Required language level: All levels
Pronunciation and sound differentiation exercises, a range of activities to improve diction, reading aloud etc.

Wednesday
~ Oral
Required language level: All levels
Oral comprehension and expression activities: dialogues, songs, interviews, role plays, case studies, phonetics etc.

~ Speaking with Drama Techniques
Required language level: B2 to C2
Simulations, improvisations, role plays and a theatrical approach to texts.

Thursday
~ Extra Practice
Required language level: A1 and A2
Written and oral communication review for beginners.

~ DELF / DALF Training
Required language level: B1.1 or above
Written and oral exam preparation for the French DELF/DALF certificates.

~ Business French
Required language level: B1.1 and above. Written and oral communication activities specific to the business and professional sector. Communicate in authentic contexts: memos, meetings, phone conversations, CVs, letters, emails, planning business trips, presentations, negotiations etc.

Friday
~ Parisian Culture and Civilisation
Required language level: B1.1 and above
Explore Paris on visits to famous sites and hidden gems.

Homework

Students are assigned homework on a regular basis throughout the course, to help them review material studied and to prepare for classes on the following school day.

Class Size

The maximum class size is 14 students.
Generally a class will be 7 to 12 students, depending on student ability in any one week.

Class Duration

Each lessons = 45 minutes duration

DELF & DALF Exam preparation

Registration must be done at the Alliance Française (Mon – Fri, 9:30 hrs to Noon and 14.00 to 16.30 hrs)
Set registration dates apply for each exam offered throughout the year.
Contact the CESA office for current details.

First Day

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Sample Timetable / Standard Course

09.00 to 13.00 hrs / Monday to Friday

Paris (9 th District) School Teachers

The school uses native French speakers who are trained to teach French as a foreign language.

Paris (9 th District) School Students

The language students are drawn from a wide range of countries across the world, of all ages from 16 yrs +. The majority of students are in their 20’s and 30’s, but a sizeable number are in their 40’s and 50’s depending on the time of the year.