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
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.