September 7 2016

 Dear parents and guardians,

I’m so happy to welcome you and your student to first year French at Stadium.  Please take a moment to look over our class syllabus in the Course Packet.

Our class will be taught exclusively in French. Encourage your student to remain patient and persistent in the first few weeks.  The immersion-method is the most engaging and dynamic method for teaching a foreign language. Students will be expected to be in class every day-- ready to speak, listen, read and write. The class is academically rigorous and students will be challenged.

As a parent myself, I always want to know what I can do to support my son’s progress at school. Here are a few things that I think will help your student succeed in French this year.

  1. Self-discipline with regard to cell phone use.  Talk to them about how important it is to keep their phones off during class time.  I will keep track of student cell phone use during class. Please contact me if you are curious about whether or not your student is playing video games or texting during class.  I will enter the information in the Notes section of mid-term and final grades so that you will be able to accurately judge its impact on their studies.
  2. I will assign short, targeted homework assignments on Monday through Thursday nights. Please let me know if your student is spending more than 20 minutes on French homework. I’d like them to take 10-15 minutes every night and focus on French, but I don’t want the work to overwhelm them. 
  3. Take them to French movies at the Grand or go to Proctor Video and rent them.
  4. It takes a long time to be able to put together sentences in a foreign language, so don’t be alarmed if they can’t say much.  Don’t say things like “Really? You’ve been in that class for two months and you can’t say your name?”  Instead, say “It’s hard at first, isn’t it? I know you’ll get it. Just keep working.”
  5. Encourage them to label items in the house, and create spaces where they can post vocabulary lists.
  6. Since they love their phones, encourage them to get the DuoLingo, TV5, and RFI apps.
  7. Do you all like to cook? Get a French cookbook (in French!) off amazon and try to work through the recipes together. Pull up an online dictionary to help.

 

My position at Stadium is part-time, so I’m on campus from 10:30 to 2:30 each day.  The best way to contact me is by email : sevans@tacoma.k12.wa.us.  I respond within 24 hours, and usually much more quickly.  I am always happy to arrange to meet with you at your convenience.

Thanks so much for your help,

Sandy Evans, Ph.D.

 

Expectations

Knowledge

French 1 is an introduction to the language and culture of the francophone world.  Students will learn the fundamentals of foreign language acquisition—reading, writing, listening to, and speaking in French.  By the end of the semester students will be able to identify and describe in some detail ten different French-speaking countries outside of France. They will be able to form simple sentences in both spoken and written French.  Students will acquire the appropriate vocabulary for talking about language—they will be able to identify adjectives, nouns, conjugated verbs, infinitives, and definite/indefinite articles.

Grading 80/20

Your grade is divided into Formative and Summative work.  Formative work is the work you do in and out of class that will help you master the grammar and vocabulary we are learning.  Examples include skits, homework, and collected classwork. Taken all together, formative work will count for 20% of your grade. Summative work is work you do in class that demonstrates your mastery of the topic. It is worth 80% of your grade. 

Here’s how it works.  Let’s say you do most of your work in class and your homework. So you earn 90% for your Formative grade. Your test/composition average turns out to be a little lower at 85%

Formative                        100%                     x  .20                     = 20

Summative                       88%                       x  .80           =70.4

Grade                                                                                 = 90.4 (A-)

Or, let’s say you’re inconsistent with homework but do well on tests.

Formative                        70%                       x  .20                     = 14

Summative                       98%                       x  .80           =78.4

Grade                                                                                 = 92.4 (A-)

 

If you need extra help, Contact me! Don’t hesitate to send me an email at any time at sevans@tacoma.k12.wa.us . Sometimes I can answer your question over email.  Students should use their parents’ email accounts to write to me.  Emails sent to me by students from student email addresses will receive a reply that cc their parents.

Materials : I’d like you to have a 3 ring binder with a place for French work, a red pen, and a highlighter.  

In class you will use the D’Accord 1 textbook.  I will periodically give you a course packet that you will keep in your 3 ring binder. You will turn these in on the day of the Unit exam.  The work you do in it will be worth 200 points on your Formative grade.  

2 Basic Class Rules :

  1. 100% of the attention in the room goes to the designated speaker.
  2. Be where your body is.  Do not use our class time as a study period for all your AP or honors classes.  Keep your phones in your bags.  Try your best not to sleep. You’ll save yourself an enormous amount of study time by helping me maximize what you learn during our daily hour together.

Phone policy  Do your best to protect your learning environment. I will keep track of your cell phone use so that you will have a relatively accurate idea of its impact on your studies. You can check in at any time to see what I’ve recorded. I will include the number of times you have been on your phone during class in the notes section of your grade.

Grading 20/80

Homework/Friday Quizzes Students should spend 13 minutes Monday through Thursday nights working on French.  Homework will only cover information presented in class.  We will correct in class. I will monitor completion of homework with short quizzes on Fridays that will be taken directly from the homework activities. On the weekend watch a French movie or listen to French music.

Here’s how to do your French homework in a way that will best help you improve :

  1. Get some perspective.  Don’t rush through it.  You want to learn French, right?  Remind yourself that nobody is forcing you to take this class and that this is something you are choosing to do. Use the whole 13 minutes.
  2. Look up new words that you come across in the exercises.  Make a list in your packet.
  3. After you’re done with the worksheet, spend 3 minutes explaining the grammar rule to someone (talk to yourself in the mirror). Go over the new vocabulary words you found.  Make sticky notes and put them at eye level on your fridge or your computer.

 

80% of your grade will be based on your performance on exams, compositions, and speaking assessments.  All of these assessments will take place during class time. Point values for each assessment will increase gradually over the semester, so that what you’re able to do at the end of the semester weighs more than what you did at the beginning.  The intention is to focus on language acquisition as a process and to turn your grade into a measurement of progress.

Exams will be closed book and will cover material from the unit studied. 

Compositions will be open book and will draw on recently acquired grammar points as well as cultural information from the textbook. They are not collaborative, and I will not be able to help you write your compositions.

For speaking assessments students may use notes, but if you read directly from your notes, the highest grade you can receive is a B. 

Late work will be accepted up until three days before the final exam.

Students are responsible for making sure they have turned in all work and taken all exams and compositions