I began my career in French by studying 3 years in high school at Marywood Academy in Evanston, Illinois. My credits included one year of study in an "Early Bird" college program at Mundelein College in Chicago. Afterwards I received a B.A. in French from St. Mary of the Woods College in Indiana and then completed a Masters degree in French Language with a focus on French Literature, from Loyola University of Chicago.
During my undergraduate years I minored in French secondary education with an A in student teaching French. Upon graduation I received the Illinois State Teacher Certification for French grades 6-12. My current French teaching Certification includes "Highly Qualified" status with the French Endorsement. In the summers of both 2011 and 2012, I completed two intensive workshops (one with graduate school credit) and certifications for Advanced Placement French Language and Culture, also called French 5. It is comparable to teaching a 3rd year college French class.
Some pertinent facts about my training in teaching, language and literature study, and living abroad experiences are included in the following: I attended and received certification from the Tutor Applied Linguistics Center in Geneva, Switzerland for an innovative Audio-Visual method of teaching French. I subsequently used this method for some years in teaching high school. A few years later I went to Paris and attended special summer courses for intermediate French students and teachers and received certificates from the University of Paris, the Sorbonne. The courses were in French language, civilization, and advanced French conversation. I have traveled extensively in France and in the past 4 years completed an additional 9 hours of graduate level credits in French and Education courses.
Most recently, I completed dozens of hours of continuing education courses, in-service workshops, and several courses at the Alliance Française of Chicago in advanced French language and French film. The Alliance Française is a worldwide French school under the auspices of the French government offering courses from beginner and children's level to the most advanced French conversation, literature, culture and film study, taught by native French speakers.
Some other experiences in French language and related work are: In the summer of 2007, at Lake Forest College, I was part of an interdisciplinary think tank -- a collaboration of College Professors, new and experienced high school teachers of French, Chemistry, Social Studies, English and Drama. I continue to attend French Teacher workshops especially those sponsored by the American Association of French Teachers (I have been a member for many years)-Northern Illinois Chapter. I was a graduate of Loyola in the M.A program "cum laude" and earned honors at the undergraduate level in the National French Honor Society. At Loyola University, I took undergraduate courses in Spanish and several undergraduate Italian courses to pass a required portion of the M.A. in French (with Italian) examination in order to receive the M.A. from Loyola. Through the years, I participated and tutored students who earned awards in the annual high school French contest sponsored by the American Association of French teachers. I chaperoned a group of French students on a trip to Montréal and Québec Canada and to French restaurants and cultural events in the Chicago area. In undergraduate school I even did an internship teaching kindergarten students French.
In August, 2013, I will be beginning my 15th year of teaching high school French. I am currently at a North Suburban High School where I am tenured and in my 8th year. My current schedule includes 2 French level 1 courses, 2 French level 4 courses (advanced French language, grammar and French literature). Additionally, I will again teach AP French -- the College Level or French 5 course for our High School. This is an extremely interesting and advanced class for the highest level students and centers around 6 themes. It demands rigorous preparation in French language, grammar, conversation, literature and culture. Students take the course to prepare for the AP French Language and Culture Exam In the spring. I am very enthusiastic about this and all the classes I teach- even the most beginner level French 1 class. In French 1,2 & 3 we use an audio visual approach with films, audio tapes - a well rounded study of French language, conversation, and grammar. I use technology on a daily basis. The CDs and DVDs for the beginning level classes have dialogues with speakers from the many regions of the French speaking world -- Canada, France, Haiti, Africa, etc., and are very contemporary and engaging. My experience at this high school has been a very rewarding and positive one.
Finally my love and life-long passion for learning and speaking French continues! It is something I can't help but communicate to my students. I spent time in France the last two summers and I have what is considered a near-native fluency in French. I continue to thrive on French - a most wondrous language. My hope is that more and more people learn this most beautiful language.
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