French classes for Double Bay K–2s
French lessons will begin for all Double Bay Public School Kindergarten to Year 2 students from Term 1, 2020. This is an initiative of the school’s P&C Association and represents a great step to developing the language skills of our youngest students
Last year, the P&C Committee gratefully accepted funding to assist in the re-introduction of language classes in to the school. After broad consultation with the school administration, it was agreed that French provides the most-viable and ubiquitous option in terms of equipping children with a language skill they can take through to high school.
Why learn French
French is the second-most learned language in the world. 125 million people study it each year. Among these 125 million people, 76 million study French as their educational learning language and 49 million as a second language. It is the most likely language taught in secondary schools in Australia.
English and French have the same alphabet, share the majority of sounds and have a similar sentence structure. More than 20,000 English words have their origins in French. In fact English speakers already know about 55 percent of French words. Likewise, many English words have found their way into the French language.
French is an official language of the United Nations and of more than fifty international organisations such as the Red Cross, UNESCO, Médecins sans frontières and the International Telecommunications Union, providing a range of employment opportunities for speakers of French.
French, with English, is one of the two official languages of the Olympic Games. All announcements and documentation are presented in both languages.
French classes for Years 3–6?
Currently, the French program is a junior-school lessons only. The P&C does not at this stage have enough funding for French to be taught for all Year levels.
However, the plan is to extend French lessons by a Year-level each year through to 2023, by which time all children at Double Bay Public School will be taught French as part of the regular school curriculum.
If families are interested for their child to either continue learning French or wish to begin, the P&C’s before- and after-school activities (BASA) program will continue to offer ‘Ecolé Melodie’ (French to Music) classes, with a focus on lessons for upper-primary students.
Introducing Ms Barda
Many families would know Ms Barda as the teacher of French and Spanish classes as part of the P&C’s BASA program. She is passionate about providing engaging, effective and early second-language instruction to young children, leveraging her skills as a teacher and musician.
Each weekly lesson will be coordinated in partnership with students regular teacher, with elements of French incorporated in to other aspects of the curriculum, such as the French equivalent names for numerals and letters of the alphabet.
More ways to help
The P&C is currently raising funds to roll out French classes to more students as quickly as possible. You can help create and support an ongoing language component in the school curriculum, positioning students well for their transition to high school. You can donate to our Language Wonderfund project for as little as $20 a month.