Tout commence avec le francais

By Natalie A. Trout
Director of Marketing & Communications

This might be Ali Darley’s first year as a French teacher at Canterbury School, but she is no stranger to the beloved school halls. She spent 13 years in the French program at Canterbury, and is excited to be back at her alma mater passing on her love of the French language to students in Early Childhood and Lower School divisions.

Canterbury’s focus on French has had an impact on Darley’s life, and she hopes it does the same for Canterbury’s littlest students in Early Childhood.

What are the benefits of learning a foreign language in Early Childhood?

Ali Darley (AD): Foreign language study in Early Childhood allows students to develop their second language over a long period of time.  Exposing children to a foreign language at a young age helps to eliminate their inhibitions about speaking the foreign language.  Early Childhood students are at the optimum age for acquiring accurate pronunciation and for recognizing the foreign language as a way to communicate.

Why is French a good language to learn?

AD: French is fun! It provides a good base for learning other languages, especially Spanish, which we also offer at Canterbury. According to the French government, it is spoken by more than 300 million people and is taught in every country in the world. A knowledge of French is beneficial for international business and travel and it is an official language of the United Nations, European Union, and the International Olympic Committee.

What types of activities do you do in EC French?

AD: An example of activities we use in Early Childhood are singing, movement, repetition, reading stories, drawing, watching videos produced in France, and speaking in short conversations.

Anything else you’d like to share about EC French at Canterbury?

AD: We have a great time in French class! The students like to trick me and tell me they’re having a bad day but the whole time they’re giggling and wearing a huge smile! I feel so lucky to work with our Early Childhood and Lower School students.