French cuisine tasting, Eiffel tower creations, famous French people biographies and fairy tale play writing are just some of the ways students learn how to express themselves in another language. Students delight in developing their language skills in culturally relevant and engaging ways.
ACS offers classes in French and Spanish, beginning with French in second grade and adding Spanish in middle school. Unlike an language immersion school, the objective of our elementary French program isn’t to shape fluent French speakers. Rather, our French program is intended to:
- Expand the children’s global horizons by introducing them to other countries and cultures.
- Introduce students to new language structures, which activate the neurodevelopmental processes in the elementary years’ “window of opportunity” that will help prepare children for advanced language studies in the years ahead.
- Foster an appreciation for the world beyond their immediate experience, and spark an interest in pursuing a foreign language in middle school, high school, college and beyond.
Research demonstrates that early exposure to a foreign language is important to cognitive development in children. The English language borrows heavily from French for vocabulary and syntax and studying French has been shown to strengthen English skills. There are four times as many French cognates in English as any other language.
French is taught by three specialist teachers. Elementary students in second and third grade study French twice per week. In fourth and fifth grade this is increased to three times a week. Our French teachers use project- and activity-based lessons that incorporate vocabulary, culture, geography, music, cuisine, art, and history.
Middle School: French and Spanish
Many of our students opt to continue foreign language studies in our middle school elective program, where they can choose to take French or Spanish for all three years.
Our middle school curriculum, taught by language specialist teachers, includes some of the content found in high school “conversational” and introductory French and Spanish classes.
Our goal is to build a foundation for increased success in high school language studies. Every year several ACS graduates qualify for advancement into second-year foreign language courses in high school.