French Language Classes

In Years 7 and 8, we plan to offer French as an elective subject.

In Years 7 & 8, French will become an elective subject. This is an advanced beginner’s course. This course is predicated on students having a working knowledge of simple, common grammatical structures, as well as the ability to express themselves verbally and in written form to give simple information about themselves and content related to their daily experiences. Students who completed Year 6 at DSM can transition straight into this subject. For students arriving from other schools, please refer to the description of French in the Primary School tab for more information about expected prior experience.

The goal of this phase of the program is for students become more confident users of French. They build on their prior knowledge and apply new learnings to fulfil a wider variety of linguistic functions. While the emphasis remains on authentic vocabulary and situations relevant to students’ daily lives, experiences and interests, the repertoire of conversational situations and purposes of texts expands significantly. Students use French to discuss possibilities and make plans, give advice or make recommendations, and give detailed descriptions. Additionally, students move beyond concrete descriptions of the here and now to include recounting past events and making predictions about the future. Students also learn more about the culture of Francophone countries and their social norms through exploring the lives of teenagers across the globe.

Similar to German and English, French is also the main language of instruction of the class. This affords students as much exposure to the target language as possible. This is supported through comprehension strategies including the use of accompanying gestures and visual aids, repetition of key vocabulary and instructions, active learning techniques, regular check-ins to monitor comprehension and explanations in English/German for particularly difficult concepts. In contrast to Years 5 & 6, there is a higher expectation placed on students to use French in the classroom for routine learning situations in order to maximise their linguistic output and consolidate learned vocabulary and structures. Techniques and strategies to aid comprehension and usage continue to be employed to support students to achieve this goal.

At the end of Year 8, students should be ready to move to intermediate language study in which they are ready to become more independent in their language usage. Completing Year 8 would roughly correspond to reaching a level of A2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.