Training Session in Baton Rouge: Children’s Literature as a learning tool [fr]
Our French teachers were offered the opportunity attend a training session on Thursday, February 8th on the use of children’s literature as an education tool, organized by the French Cultural and Higher Education Mission at the French Embassy in the United States, in partnership with our Consulate general in New Orleans and the Louisiana Department of Education.
The session was led by Marie Bariguidjian, who has been dedicated to training teachers and inspiring students for many years. Marie is the author of children’s books and is the Ecole des loisirs’ North American representative. The Ecole des loisirs is the most important and reputable academic reference in France for Educational Nationale (ie. public) schools.
More than a dozen French immersion and French as a second language teachers from across Louisiana were able to attend. After a brief introduction to children’s literature, teachers participated in multiple workshops to learn to integrate books into an academic curriculum based off real-life examples. The session also included a presentation on the website and access to other children’s literature resources with accompanying lesson plans. Participants also had access to all books made available to them.
Children’s literature is renowned for its quality and can be used in bilingual schools in addition to conventional materials. Not only does it inspire a love of reading, but it also offers an opportunity to practice French in a new way.
Our teachers discovered that French children’s literature helps young students approach universal, humanist themes in a manner suitable to their age. Furthermore, it’s an excellent instrument of discovery and diffusion of francophone culture.
Children’s books have an important role both at school and at home. With the Codofil program we hope to expose young students to French outside of school and allow them to have fun while listening to stories in French at home. Therefore, this program was open to parents as well as teachers.
During the session, Marie Barguirdjian met with members of the Parent-Teacher Association from two Baton Rouge immersion schools (Flaim Elementary and Westdale Middle) in order to encourage families to practice French at home. Collective subscriptions to the Ecole des Loisirs publishing house will be made available for families and schools.
In November 2017, following the French Dual Language Fund call for projects with the Face Foundation (an initiative shared by the Consulate), many immersion schools in Louisiana were able to access grants to update or renew their school and/or classroom libraries.
To learn more about Marie Barguirdjan’s work, visit her blog artstramgram.org