Publication Date

2002

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

Abstract

The materials included in this project have been developed as a result of my emerging understanding of French grammar since I began studying it in 1976. I began teaching a French Activities class in 1986 to eighth graders at St. Andrews and third and fourth graders at an elementary school in Baltimore as a student at Morgan State University. While I was completing my student teaching at Baltimore City College Preparatory School, I found that my students had difficulties understanding textbook explanations. I therefore began to create my own explanations during sessions when students came for after school help. I also sketched different connections on transparencies during classes and later entered them into a computer to adjust them and make them look more professional. Since then, I have also taught French 101 and 102 at Carroll Community College in Western Maryland. I have, however, spent most of my career teaching in Maryland and Virginia high schools.

Currently, I teach at Annadale High School in Virginia, twenty minutes from Washington D.C., where over 2,300 students represent more than sixty countries and forty languages. As a result of our proximity to Washington D.C. most of my classes contain at least one native speaker from France, The French West Indies, Former French Indochina, Lebanon or Africa. Although these students speak French with their relatives and friends, French classes may be their first opportunity to read and write their language in the United States. During my career I have taught French I through IV, Advanced Placement French and am currently implementing the first year of International Baccalaureate French at Annadale.

In all of these situations my students say that my configuration helps them to understand French grammar. Some of them have even returned to me for explanations after moving on to other teachers. They say “we know you’ll make sure we understand it.” Since these illustrations have been such an aid to my students, I am including them here along with the oral presentations I give when presenting them in class. These explanations are followed by a few classroom experiments. Inspired by my learning experiences at SIT, they are intended to create a “safe place” for using the grammatical structures explained, in spoken and written expression. I hope that these materials will help other teachers enable their students to become as comfortable with French grammar as mine have.

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | French Linguistics | Instructional Media Design