French Academy

A revolutionary learning model for the learning style of today’s students.

  • Has your child left immersion? Or do you find the French program your child is attending not challenging enough?
  • Are you committed to ensuring your child maintains and improves his/her French skills?
  • Would you like to have a clearer understanding of your child’s achievement in French??
  • Do you want an environment where your child will thrive?

Camp Tournesol is launching a French academy which will include optional DELF assessment and certification at the end of the course.  Only a few sessions will be offered in the fall of 2018, to a maximum of 8 students between the ages of 10 and 15.

Register NOW by completing your profile, selecting your session and submitting your payment.

 

Student profile:

Children age 10 to 15 and who are in French immersion or who left the program or are interested in improving their French skills are invited to apply.  The target DELF certification will be the A1, A2 and B1 levels (see below for a description of the levels).

Course structure:

Students will attend 10 weekly sessions at 90 minutes each in a virtual classroom with a maximum of 8 classmates. These sessions will culminate with an intensive immersive overnight weekend at an outdoor retreat North of Toronto. Students are also asked to commit to an additional 30 minutes of reinforcement work per week at home.

The program will culminate with a DELF assessment and certification for those students who have achieved the appropriate level.

DELF: DELF is an official diploma awarded by the French Ministry of Education that certifies the French language competency of candidates outside of France. This diploma is valid for life and is recognized throughout the world. The DELF exam tests the A1 and A2 levels, which are seen as beginner or “basic,” and the B1 and B2 levels, which are intermediate or “independent.” The DALF tests C1 and C2, which are referred to as advanced or “proficient.”

  • DELF A-1: This level recognises basic knowledge. It is the most basic level at which a language is used, called the “discovery” stage. At this stage, the learner can interact in a simple way: he/she can speak about him/herself and his/her immediate environment.
  • Delf A-2: At this level, the language user is considered a social actor. He/she can communicate with others during simple and routine tasks requiring the most common polite phrases and exchanges of information.
  • Delf B-1: At this level, the language user becomes independent. He/she can maintain interaction: understanding and maintaining a discussion and giving opinions. The language user is capable of dealing with situations likely to arise in daily life.

 

Cost:

The introductory price for the first session of the program is $575 plus HST. A deposit of 65% is required to secure a spot with the remainder due 30 days prior to the beginning of the program. This fee includes 10 weekly sessions, all course materials, and the 2-night immersion retreat (including all meals and busing).  The DELF exam/certification is at an extra cost.

Self-assessment:

To ensure that your child is placed in the correct group and in their interest of their overall success, it is a requirement that each child takes the following online assessment. Click here to access the assessment. There is no cost to take this assessment.

You will first be asked to select which of the four levels (A1, A2, B1, or B2) you would like to attempt. Please read the description with your child, and select the test that is most reflective of their current abilities. An honest assessment of your child’s abilities helps us to better place them with peers of the same level, and ensure their utmost success in the program. As such, please only complete the assessment once and without outside aides. Once sessions have begun in September, there is the possibility that your child will be asked to change groups should our staff feel that a different level be more appropriate.

Once completing the test, please send a screenshot of the result of the test to frenchacademy@campt.ca with your child’s name, as well as your preferred session based on his or her result. We will assign the spot on a first come first serve basis.

Director of Curriculum 

Annie Bellemare: Annie is a francophone born and raised in Quebec. She has gained than 10 years of experience teaching and sharing her love of French both in Quebec and in Ontario. She graduated from University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières with a Bachelor degree in Second Language Teaching. After her first university degree, she decided to pursue her studies at the master’s level. She then moved to Ontario to study at the University of Toronto in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, where she completed her Master of Arts in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development. Her thesis was on youth identity and French-language education in Ontario. She is now a Special Education Consultant at Conseil Scolaire Viamonde, in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. She is still very passionate about teaching French and is very excited to work and share her passion with your children.  

Annie joined Camp Tournesol in 2009, participating in all the overnight trips since then (Quebec, France, Algonquin) and having fun with campers at the day camps as a coordinator. In 2018, she joined our senior team as a regional coordinator.

She has assembled a team of seasoned instructors for all our classes and levels who will be with her onsite at the weekend retreat.

Program Description:

This French academy is a blended learning course which combines the convenience of online learning and the intensity of an in-person weekend learning retreat in French. It provides French immersion students currently registered in grades 5 to 9 (or of similar French proficiency) with a unique opportunity to practice their French outside of the traditional classroom and, at the same time, work towards the DELF Junior diploma awarded by the French Ministry of Education.

The course curriculum, which has been developed in consultation with a number of experienced French immersion teachers, has been tailored to meet the specific needs of French Second Language learners. It involves the students learning to communicate effectively in French in a variety of interactive everyday tasks while simultaneously paying increased attention to the quality of language in all four main language skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing). The students will benefit from the small class size, discussions on topics highly relevant to children and teens (volunteer work, games and apps, podcasts, movies, environment, health), and instruction with efficient constructive feedback provided by a French native speaker and highly-experienced FSL instructor. Best of all – the students will participate in the course from the comfort of their home and will get to celebrate their achievement during an intensive weekend retreat organized at the very end of the term!

 

Our goals and key concepts

One of the main goals of French Academy is to help learners redefine their motivation to improve their French language skills. It encourages them to combine learning of French with their hobbies and interests while pursuing a short-term project (obtaining a DELF diploma). In order to facilitate this type of learning environment, the curriculum in French Academy has been designed based on the recent findings that stem from experimental research on the effectiveness of second language teaching. The curriculum draws from a variety of instructional approaches and techniques in order to maximize the opportunities for successful acquisition of a given language feature. The three key concepts that form the basis of French Academy include:

  • Attention to both meaning and language form  – particularly efficient language activities have been shown to draw learners’ attention to how they’re expressing themselves (“form”) while keeping what they are saying in mind as well (“meaning”). This teaching approach was first called “the form-focussed instruction” in 1997 by Canada’s very own leading international expert on instructed second language acquisition, prof. Nina Spada. It has been shown to be particularly well suited to the language needs of students enrolled in intensive FSL programs such as French immersion or Extended French.
  • Task-based learning and teaching – this teaching approach engages learners in interactionally authentic tasks using the target second language. The DELF diploma that French Academy offers to their students in conjunction with the course itself is based on this particular teaching approach.
  • Constructive feedback – frequent and varied feedback provided to the students by the instructor has been shown to play a pivotal role in successful language teaching. The language acquisition resulting from feedback provided during communicative and contextualized lessons is significantly more likely to be successfully transferred to spontaneous language use outside the classroom.

Skills that the students will gain during our course:

The course leads the learners to focus on the following competencies:

  1. Speaking:Use a series of connected sentences to describe one’s living conditions and to relate experiences or events. (Express oneself as clearly and accurately as possible). Communicate in most situations that may arise in everyday life (and while travelling in a French-speaking community). Engage in conversations that are familiar and of personal interest (family, hobbies, travel, school, news)
  2. Writing: Produce simple and coherent texts on topics of personal interest. Produce a variety of written messages (thank-yous, opinions, experiences).
  3. Listening: Understand the main points of clear language spoken by native speakers of French on topics that are familiar to the students and that may arise in everyday life.
  4. Reading: Understand texts that use everyday high frequency words and are related to topics familiar to students. Understand descriptions of events, feelings and wishes.

                               

 
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