IndyFrench Teaching Philosophy

Our teaching philosophy is based on the following observations:

  • People have different learning styles and we adapt our teaching to what works best for each student, using a variety of material.

    We use a combination of written material, visuals, games, pictures, flashcards, audio CDs, magazine articles, grammar exercises, and oral repetition.  We work on vocabulary, grammar, reading, conversation, oral comprehension, oral and written expression and, of course, pronunciation.  For children, songs and games are at the core of the program.  Young children learn French quickly and effortlessly and their vocabulary retention capabilities are very high.  For older children, who are already learning French at school and need some help, we reinforce what they are learning by following their program of studies as well as enhancing it with additional detailed information, grammar practice and cultural material.

  • The best way to learn is to be totally and intensely immersed in the target language.

    Immersion is used during the class, which means that French only is spoken in class to keep the brain tuned to that language during the whole lesson.  We avoid using translation, unless occasionally necessary.  Some grammar points may be explained in English at the beginner level, but only until students are able to follow such discussions in French.  Children may choose a French name.  They then adopt a "French" personality and get into character at the beginning of each class.

  • Culture is an intrinsic part of learning a language.

    We use authentic French and Francophone material as often as possible.  With children, we sing songs that I learned as a child and play games I enjoyed playing with my friends.  When we learn animals' names, we also learn the sounds they make, which surprisingly are different!  We celebrate French holidays, observe traditions and point out cultural differences and similarities.  With adults, culture is a constant topic as students are naturally curious about things they heard or saw in their travels or while reading.  We often discuss cultural variations between American, French and other nationalities' ways of life.