The Lesson Plan

From the Desk of Mrs. John

Bienvenue! Bienvenido!

"A different language is a different vision of life.” -Federico Fellini

The Big Five!

Well, well, well, here it is! The fifth issue of "The Lesson Plan"! This was no small feat, let me assure you! I hope that you are finding this newsletter helpful and full of information to help you and student. To mark issue number five, we're going to address five different issues and give five different takes for each! Enjoy!

The Five Content Strands of Foreign Language

Very often in the foreign language classroom, no matter what the activity, students can be heard asking the following question: "Why do we have to do this?" The answer is very simple: because the standards say we have to.

What are the standards? The standards are those guiding principles that help teachers determine what students need to know and be able to do in a given content area. In the state of Georgia, the standards for Modern Language have been modeled after the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) standards, and they are:

  • Communication (speaking, reading, writing, listening)
  • Culture (life practices, beliefs, and traditions of the speakers of the target language)
  • Connections (integrating and highlighting other content and subject matter through foreign language)
  • Communities (extending the foreign language experience beyond the classroom)
  • Comparisons (comparing language, structures, ideals between the native culture and the target culture)

These standards, also known as the "Five Cs of Foreign Language", and are widely used as a model for foreign language instruction throughout the nation.

Five Ways Parents Can Help Students with Foreign Language

Parents frequently ask how they can help their student with their foreign language of study. Here are five great suggestions:

  • Have your student teach you something in the target language! Could be a short phrase, a simple greeting, a funny expression--it doesn't matter! By teaching you, it reinforces the language for them.
  • Expose your student to people from varied language and cultural backgrounds. The more they are exposed, the more they will see the value of what they are learning.
  • Provide videos, music, or books in the foreign language. Look for movies with subtitles, and children's books for beginning language learners.
  • Use podcasts downloaded from iTunes. They have a large library of foreign language podcasts that students can listen to for greater listening comprehension practice.
  • And the big kahuna: travel abroad! Although clearly this is not an option for everyone, encourage your student to seek out opportunities to travel to the target country for greater experience with their language of study.

Classroom Snapshots

Five Mid-Semester Concerns

  • Many students are NOT completing homework! They are missing opportunities to practice content and improve their scores.
  • Participation is also important! Your student needs to participate to learn the material! It's also a great way to earn extra credit.
  • Students need to get to class on time! Late students will be locked out of class and expected to get a detention/referral from the attendance office.
  • Students must manage their behavior during class. Some talking is permitted during class, but during instructional time, students are expected to be quiet and pay attention. Please talk to your student about appropriate classroom behaviors.
  • Make sure your student is getting enough rest at night. Studies show that high school students need between 8-10 hours of rest nightly to function at their best. It also helps to curb the urge to snooze during class.

French Club Minute

French Club has been meeting regularly during the school with the onset of the Instructional Focus period. Here are five French Club activities have either been approved or are currently taking place:

  • Lollipop Fundraiser! This fundraiser is expected to bring in at least $500 for the club. If your French Club student still has money, have them return it ASAP.
  • Guest Speaker from EducateHaitiNow! came and spoke to students on Wed Oct 2 during IF period.
  • Club shirts were received and distributed to students.
  • School Supply Drive for EducateHaitiNow! is currently under way. If you would like to donate any new, unused school supplies, please bring them in by Fri Nov 1.
  • Our first installment of our International Film Festival was held on Wed Oct 22 after school. We watched He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, featuring French actress Audrey Tautou.

Anyone know a chef or a cook that dabbles in French cuisine? We could really use one for an immersion day that we are planning for March! If you know anyone who would be willing to donate their time and their cooking talents, please email me at

The Long View: Foreign Language & College

In the first issue of The Lesson Plan, Middlebury College was featured as the premier college for foreign language study. Going back to that theme, here are five more schools that rate highly for their undergraduate programs for foreign language.

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Stanford University
  • Yale University
  • Indiana University, Bloomington

For a quick overview on these and other top-performing colleges for foreign language study, visit

hablamos espanol! nous parlons francais!

Students playing Matching/Concentration to learn vocab in French.

F1 concentration .mp4