Students who are not auditory learners benefit from the use of gestures as an instructional tool. The gestures give these students something more logical to either do or see in order to more easily assimilate the new vocabulary and grammatical structures.
Shy and weak students benefit from being able to speak chorally with the class, giving them opportunity to speak without drawing attention to themselves.
The variety of activities in my class means there is something for everyone. These include written activities, songs, dance, plays, games and conversations.
The conversation time is designed to get students talking about themselves and their lives. This authentic conversation, with new vocabulary provided in context, is the best way for students to acquire vocabulary. They remember vocabulary and grammar structures that allow them to speak about the things that are important to them.
Having vocabulary based on high frequency words allows for frequent repetition of words in a variety of contexts. This repetition gives the weaker students more opportunities to use the language and thus better internalize it and also provides the stronger students with a solid base to build on.
What am I going to teach? What are my beliefs about how children learn?
Learning should not happen in isolation. When one unit is finished, that learning should not then be put aside and forgotten. Each unit needs to be the basis for the next, thus ensuring that concepts are reviewed often and therefore better learnt. A visual representation of this type of curriculum design would be in the shape of a spiral: while learning does continually come back around again in an apparent circle, it is actually also getting higher.
My personal experiences over the past few years living in Asia, working with children from over fifty countries and traveling in a number of countries in four continents becomes a part of the conversation time we have. I enjoy sharing my experiences, especially ones involving the cultural differences of the children I have worked with.
An important part of language learning involves learning about the culture that accompanies the language. In the case of French, this involves teaching the students about life in Québec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, French areas of Alberta, France, French Africa, Louisiana and other countries where French is a spoken language.
To be confident that they are progressing and can use the language in a “real-life” situation.
What will be my relationship with the community, parents, teaching colleagues, administration?
Teaching must be non-competitive. It is truly a collaboration between the student, the parents, the school (including the teachers and the administration) and the community.
I am looking forward to becoming part of the school community and the community at large.
What do I believe is the role of the teacher in the community?
Teaching does not stop at the classroom door. The most effective teachers teach by example. Therefore, if we try to teach them to be responsible citizens, we need to give the example by being involved in something ourselves. If we want to teach them to treat others with respect, we too must demonstrate this. They will see us out in the community (especially in smaller communities) and our actions there will speak much louder than what we preach at them in school.