The French program offers students a valuable educational experience and the opportunity to develop a basic usable command of the French language that can be expanded through further study or contact with French speaking people. Skinner Elementary Montessori has developed its own phonetic French program modeled on the Montessori method for teaching English. After a year or two of French phonetics, the students are ready for beginning conversational French and more advanced grammar.
Primary: The primary linguistic aim at the Primary and Kindergarten level is oral comprehension and the mastery of the basic sounds of the French language. Through directed activities and using a French phonics system, children learn the letters and the corresponding sounds that go with each letter. This allows them to begin reading the French readers.
Elementary: Phonetic readers and activities are continued to review and reinforce the French sound system. Thematic units integrate culture and a variety of language concepts into a topic area that is interesting and gives the student a reason to use the language. The lessons allow the students to practice French and prepares them to use it in a variety of contexts. The students love showing off their accomplishments by participating in the National FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School) Contest which is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). The students compete with other students across the nation who are also studying French.
In 2011, one of our students was awarded 1st place in Division 1A (1st to 3rd Grade) in the National French contest. Seventeen of our school students placed nationally in the top ten percent and swept the regionals.
In 2006, Skinner was fortunate to have nine students qualify for the speaking portion of the FLES contest. All nine of our students were so successful they placed 6th, 7th, and 8th nationally in their respective age groups.
In 2007, Skinner was fortunate to have nine students place in the speaking portion of the FLES. Our students placed in the Division 1A (grades 1-3) nationally 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th. Congratulations to our students and teacher!
In 2008, Skinner was placed in the top 10% Nationally with more than 6,000 elementary students participating in the FLES. 23 of the Skinner elementary students qualified for the speaking portion and all 23 placed 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th 7th, 8th, and 9th in Division 1A (grades 1-3) and 5th, 7th, and 9th in Division 2A (grades 4-6).