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Bienvenue à Thomasville

Thomasville Workshop

Thomasville is the land of language acquisition. Its mayor is Madame Thomas. Its citizens are all those who desire a better global language learning environment. Il fait très beau à Thomasville!

A word from the mayor:

This textbook offers a refreshing, effective and innovative methodology for diverse learners of the 21st century. With the use of “image to French” flashcards (vs. “English to French”), the methodology offers over a dozen different staple activities for maximum vocabulary retention. This retention allows learners the confidence and comfort level to go a step beyond the vocabulary and experience the language through meaningful and realistic activities for optimal language acquisition at the beginning level.

The textbook follows the DELF standards that France uses for proficiency of non-native speakers, focusing on the “discovery stage” and the “independent stage”. In the “discovery stage” a learner interacts in a simple way and can speak about him/herself and his/her immediate environment, and can communicate in simple and routine tasks, requiring the most common polite phrases and exchanges of information. In the “independent stage” a learner understands and maintains a simple discussion and gives his/her opinion and is capable of dealing with situations likely to arise in daily life.

Those at the independent stage are invited and ready to take their language skills outside of the classroom setting to use in the target language environment. They are prepared to meet new people, shop, order food, give opinions, ask for help, and experience the culture, fostering a life-long love of learning languages and other cultures.

The methodology also introduces two different reward systems, encouraging participation and fostering motivation.

A teacher’s comment:

Part of what makes your method brilliant to me is that you provide constant reinforcements for accuracy. I too use Euros in the classroom but had not figured out how to use them to encourage speaking until I watched your video . . .

Describe a typical day in your classroom. What types of activities and teacher/student

interactions take place? What does your class look, sound, and feel like?

A typical day is anything but typical. One day I may have a boutique or gift store set up in my room and 46 gift bags to celebrate 46 birthdays. Another day I may have bags of clothing and stick people taped on the floor with students dressing them in a frenzy. Another might involve a city taped to the floor with students driving little matchbox cars. Students may be making their own animations on their family, rather than the common family tree on a poster board. Maybe we’re not even in a classroom. We could be working on videos for our French e-pals outside or filming videos in the courtyard. Perhaps students are in groups with walkie-talkies going around the school with French maps and Easter baskets listening to directions in French trying to find 10 specific eggs strategically placed around the school. On one of my favorite days, there may be an actual café in the room with food, drink, desserts, chefs, servers and customers, €uros . . .

A teacher’s comment:

Ok, so I just watched & re-watched the videos (cafés) you sent me and WOW, u do such a FABULOUS job of teaching these kids French. I think my district needs to send me to [Thomasville] for some heavy training with you . . . Jen and I are trying to incorporate as many of your ideas as possible . . . UPDATE: she is also raving about her Spanish classes since she’s introduced the Euros . . . [Your Ah Bon book] WORKS above and beyond everything else I’ve seen and been trained on . . .

Since I share videos on YouTube and TeacherTube, I get comments from students, parents, onlookers and educators. Here’s what one teacher said about what my classroom looks, sounds and feels like:

. . . I actually showed them your [claque-claque] video from TeacherTube right before we play, so they wouldn’t be confused while playing, and they loved to see the kids their age doing it. They were actually drooling over the furniture & set up of your classroom too! They totally pick up on aesthetics!

Same teacher’s comment after trying this activity for the first time:

. . . the emotion that filled the room was like they just won a million bucks!!! I can’t believe it. I’ve tried many games in the past, with all types of levels and grades and they were never a hit like this! YOU FOUND THE GOLDEN MAGIC POTION!!!! BRAVO . . .

A teacher’s comment:

. . . love ur twist on loto! Merci for introducing me to tout blanc and [claque-claque] and avalanche-never knew about those. I love them b/c I can use them with any grade, on any day, and even to review for a quiz, as long as I have the flashcards made.

A French teen’s comment:

I love what you do! That’s not because I’m French but I totally love the way you’re teaching French! I’m today 17 years old but I would love to have such teaching methods to learn other languages. That’s simple and clear and . . . I don’t know how to say that in English . . . that’s (in French) LUDIQUE. English/German/Other languages teaching methods in France are sooo boring, it don’t encourage children to learn and to appreciate. Here is your methods perfect.