If madame, bonjour, and oui are the extent of your French vocabulary, we think you’ll be pretty impressed with the 46 students at Trip ES who recently completed a workshop with a French artist and author… entirely in French.
The students, all 2nd graders, are midway through their third year in the dual language immersion (DLI) program at Trip where they have been learning French, along with the rest of the curriculum, since they started kindergarten at the school.
On Feb. 1, French author Marion Bataille visited the school to read “Bruits,” her latest French-language book on onomatopoeia and words that are made up of associated sounds (for instance, cuckoo and sizzle in English). During the workshop that followed, she taught the students how to create typography cut-outs and collages. Ms. Bataille, whose best-selling books include “ABC3D” and “10,” conducted the workshop in her native language and the students asked questions and responded in their new language, French. During the workshop, the children created alphabet books that they were able to take home, and a number of parents had the opportunity to observe their French-speaking offspring at work.
Gwinnett’s DLI model calls for at least 50% of the school day to be spent learning GCPS’ Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum in the new language with a team of two teachers working together to ensure that students learn the curriculum and develop proficiency in both English and the new language.
“I believe this workshop was a great opportunity for our students to experience an activity incorporating French, reading, and art in a context that is different than our normal routine classrooms,” said Deborah Mercier, one-half of the 2nd grade DLI team at Trip… the half who teaches language arts and social studies in English.
Her co-teacher, Maud Devine, speaks to the children exclusively in French and teaches the subjects of mathematics, science, and literacy. Of the activity, she said, “Marion Bataille a présenté un atelier de lecture et typographie formidable pour les enfants de mes classes. J’ai vu l’expression enchantée de certains enfants lorsque les effets de certaines pages étaient révélés.“ For those of us not in French class, here’s the translation… “Marion Bataille presented a wonderful reading and typography workshop for the children of my classes. I saw the enchanted expression of some children when the effects of certain pages were revealed.”
And the children truly were enchanted. Imani deemed the activity “awesome.” “I got to make a book and see an author,” she said. “So cool! I hope you have more events like that! This was amazing!” Classmate Paris was excited about both the reading and the art workshop. She said, “J’ai fait un livre avec les lettres de mon nom. Je garde ce livre dans mon sac à dos parce que je l’aime bien ! J’ai beaucoup aime le livre ‘Bruits’ parce que la dame a fait plein de bruits qui étaient bien!” In English, “I made a book with the letters of my name. I keep this book in my backpack because I like it! I really like the book ‘Sounds’ because the lady made lots of noises that were good!”
This exciting learning opportunity was sponsored by the Consulate General of France in Atlanta.
Trip is one of six Gwinnett schools with a DLI program. Annistown, Baldwin, Bethesda, Camp Creek, and Ivy Creek elementaries have Spanish-English programs. The schools start the program with kindergarten, and add a grade each year. Families of rising kindergartners can learn more about Gwinnett’s DLI program online. Registration for the 2017-18 school year is open until May 11.