My strong French speaking abilities and multicultural background are an asset both for the classroom and the educators’ community in which I have been active. Based on my practical experience and constant professional development that I have been committed to, I feel that I have had the opportunity to develop a sense of my philosophy as a language instructor and educator.
First, I have learned from practical experience how broad standards meet the reality of individual students. I always consider the dynamics and level of each particular group of students in how curriculum is implemented. In order to cater to different learning styles and individual needs, I search for motivating material and I adapt tasks and assignments.
Second, based on constant self-conducted research and formal training received on methodology, I am becoming increasingly committed to communicative approaches to French teaching.
The way I prepare language instruction involves focusing on interpersonal, interpretive and presentational modes of communication, while still paying attention to topics of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. I am striving to educate students who become aware of both fluency and accuracy needs and acquire the tools to pursue these. Culture and authentic documents are introduced to students since level 1.
Activities are mostly conducted in French, so that in levels 4 and 5 students are able to interpret and discuss cultural and social issues in the target language, in Socratic seminars. To avoid using English, we start with TPR and using images in the first levels, and aim for upper levels students to independently be able to use context clues for comprehension, as well as circumlocution and context-provided expressions to communicate. We all know that learning is a two-way commitment, so students’ level may vary, but I am grateful to be able to say that, over the past years, several students returned to give good feed-back about their readiness for college.
As a Sacred Heart educator, I have had opportunities to explore and acquire educational values that go beyond the class, toward a holistic attitude in educating the students for the 21st century world. In my current school, we all have the chance to use technology in everything that we do, from research to teaching, as each of our current students is equipped with a personal computer. Teaching in a 1:1 classroom has also confirmed the importance of personal communication, balancing communicative methods with the opportunities allowed by the tools. My personal goal is to continuously grow and evolve. I use my out-of-school time to remain immersed in Romance language cultures and I use any occasion to maintain a close-to-native level of proficiency in French. I am also committed to professional growth and I actively participate in our school think tanks and AATF networking events.