11
spring 2012
Language Skills French
The limits of my
language mean the
limits of my world.’
LudwigWittgenstein
Language learning provides so much more than
a means of communication. Students have the
opportunity to open up their minds and themselves
to new cultures, people and countries.The world
becomes a much smaller place when we take a step
outside our own linguistic boundaries.The French
Department at Ruyton endeavours to give students
a broad knowledge of the French language, as well
as of French-speaking cultures. At all ages and year
levels the girls are encouraged to speak only in
French.This risk-taking is paramount to their
language learning. As they develop, they learn that
it is okay to make mistakes and, importantly, to learn
from them. Promoting this approach helps the girls
develop their fluency, as well as their confidence in
their own ability.
Using AIM (Accelerative Integrated Methodology)
from Prep to Year 8 allows the girls to develop their
language abilities in a safe and fun environment.
AIM, developed in Canada specifically for teaching
French as a second language, is an innovative
programme based upon first language acquisition.
AIM adds a kinaesthetic and visual dimension to
learning French, catering for all learning styles.The
continuity of this programme from Prep to Year 8
allows students to develop conversational skills
within a familiar body of vocabulary, giving them
the opportunity to learn to function entirely in
French within the classroom setting.This readily
demonstrates our Department’s commitment and
approach towards learning French.
With an approach such as this, the girls have the
best possible start to their language career in
French at Ruyton.
Madame Pam Grant,
Dean of French
Mademoiselle Isabel Zumbé is on an exchange programme from Geneva,
Switzerland, and is in the LOTE Department at Ruyton for 2012, while Ms Alice Bray
is in Geneva.
I thought that the exchange programme would be a great opportunity to live and
work in Australia for a year. I had participated in seminars on Australian literature
at University and I wrote about Australian literature for my Master’s thesis, so I
was particularly interested to visit Australia. Planning the exchange was a long
and time-consuming process, which lasted over a year! The schooling system in
Australia is different from the one we have in Switzerland. My school in Geneva
is a co-educational state high school and our students are from a variety of social
and cultural backgrounds, which makes it a fascinating and challenging place to
work. I would be at school only for my assigned teaching hours and for
school meetings. Most students are bi-lingual or even tri-lingual, which is not
unusual in Geneva and Switzerland in general.
I have found Ruyton to be a friendly school with a close-knit community, which
is very new to me. My LOTE colleagues have made me very welcome and have
helped me integrate into the teaching body. I teach French to the girls at Ruyton
which is a novel experience as all my students in Switzerland were Francophones.
I find it fascinating how the girls here acquire the language and I find it
challenging to anticipate the difficulties they may have and how I may be able
to help them. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this exchange
programme.There is a lot to learn and to share, and it enriches not only the
teacher but also her students and colleagues.
Mademoiselle Isabel Zumbé,
French exchange teacher
Madame Alice Bray is on the teacher exchange programme in Geneva,
Switzerland. Here are some snapshots of what she has been doing!