When the Udavi school students reach the 7th standard, they can choose French as a second language. For this year’s 7th standard, learning French is a game; they play with the new sounds and the grammar rules. The children of 8th standard are already confronted to the difficulty of the task, but it’s a challenge they have embraced with a strong determination. In 9th standard, the students are speaking French as often as possible and their progress is such that once a week, a writing workshop takes place, they express themselves through a song. For the 10th standard, there is no time for leisure; they need to be well prepared for the upcoming board exam. They focus on exercises and textbook lessons.
The two upper standards have to follow the curriculum, but the program for the others is free. Even though there is no fixed curriculum, we design special activities because it is important to acquire strong basis to start speaking in a way that they will be understood. That is why, we are learning a lot through songs, putting a stress on a correct pronunciation. Another medium used is the internet. The computer lab is well equipped and the students have been consulting videos with exercises of pronunciation as well as websites with grammar exercises. The advantage of the computers is that each child can progress at his own pace.Learning a language without exposure is a real challenge, and as their French teacher, I must say that I am very impressed by the motivation they have been showing. Moreover, I am very sure that even if they never have the opportunity to use French, they will strongly benefit from the lessons.As a matter of fact, they are not only learning a language, but also a method of work and a certain rigour in the learning process. The mind is trained to apply itself and become more supple. Also, it is a great opening to other cultures. After all, French is the official language in 29 countries!