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Deborah Tucker Staff Photo

Elementary French at CSAS 

               Welcome, Bienvenidos and Bienvenue

to the Elementary Foreign Language page!

 Parents of 4th and 5th graders, please also review the syllabus with your student.  Then please send me an email saying, "We have read and discussed the syllabus."   Merci beaucoup!                                                                                          


Here you will find

   a description of our program

   what to expect from your student,

   tips on how you can support his/her learning

   links to websites where you can find additional information.


CSAS is a Paideia public school where World Languages are core subjects and integral to a well-rounded education.   


Our primary goal is for our students to develop practical speaking skills in the target language - exchanging greetings, expressing desires and needs, talking about their actions and activities and using basic descriptive vocabulary. 


Our program:

Children acquire language when it is presented in a way that they can understand it and that engages their interest.  When students have repeated exposure to words and phrases presented in a meaningful context through the use of action, dramatization, props, gestures, songs, visual clues, games, illustration, story creation, and reading understandable text, they learn more quickly and retain what they’ve learned.  This is “comprehensible input” based on the work of Linguist Stephen Krashen (see link below) and this is how our program is structured. 


Your child’s progress:

The five stages of language acquisition are:  1) silent/receptive* 2) early production 3) speech emergence 4) intermediate fluency and 5) continued language development/advanced fluency.  Kindergartners may be expected to progress through the early production stage while fifth graders should reach intermediate fluency; therefore, you may expect your Kindergartner to tell you individual words such as actions, colors, numbers and greetings and sing songs for you while you may expect your fifth grader to put together greetings, short phrases and questions in order to engage in a simple conversation.


How can I help?

To support your child’s learning, please regularly ask your student to teach you a word, song, greeting, phrase or question s/he learned in class and celebrate the progress.  Look below for a more complete list of suggestions by grade level.  In addition, multiple technological resources are available to provide your student with additional practice.


We are privileged to teach in a school that understands the value of early foreign language instruction and we appreciate your enthusiasm for and support of this opportunity for your child. 


*Much research supports the expectation that children practice vocabulary they are learning during the silent/receptive stage.


How to Help Your Child Study a Foreign Language



-       Ask your child to sing songs, recite poems and act out commands from foreign language class.

-       Ask them to tell you words they’ve learned, e.g. colors, animals, numbers, greetings…

-       Encourage children to “read” any books they bring home.


First and Second:

-       Ask your child to sing songs, recite poems and act out commands from foreign language class.

-       Ask them to tell you words and phrases they’ve learned.

-       Encourage students to use calendar and weather vocabulary in the F.L., using gestures and dramatization.

-       Encourage children to read and translate any books they bring home. 

Be sure to revisit these texts.



-       Ask your child to sing songs from foreign language class.

-       Ask them to tell you words and phrases they’ve learned.

-       Encourage students to use calendar, weather, clothing, body parts, personal information vocabulary in the F.L.

-       Encourage children to read and translate any books they bring home.  Revisit.

-       Encourage students to be aware of pronunciation guidelines.


Fourth and Fifth:

-       Encourage students to tell you in the F.L. the TPRS stories from class.

-       Encourage students to use complete sentences in the F.L.

-       Encourage children to read and translate all books and projects.  Revisit.

-       Encourage students to discuss their pen pal letters with you. 

-       Encourage students to use polite expressions and greetings in French or Spanish.

-       Encourage students to talk about the mini-novel they’re reading in class.


Have your child teach French or Spanish to YOU!  (and any siblings too)


At all grade levels, encourage real-world application for foreign language – reading grocery store labels, speaking in restaurants, watching DVDs in the target language, using the internet.


Excellent website:  Once there, select either French or Spanish and the desired level.


Further reading:


Here you may read more about “Comprehensible Input” and see a video of Stephen Krashen demonstrating what it is and what it is not:  


Why study a foreign language?:  Find a comprehensive list of the many benefits here:

What is TPR?:  “TPR stands for Total Physical Response. The essence of it is the use of commands and physical response to them to provide comprehensible input of a language to learners. The term was coined by San José State University Professor of Psychology James J. Asher, who has done a great deal of research on the effectiveness of this literally exciting approach to language teaching. A significant aspect of its effectiveness is “muscle learning,” wherein the brain of the learner relates body movements to the words she or he hears. After sufficient repetitive input, the learner is able to produce with relative ease the commands she or he has heard and reacted to physically.”  (


What is TPRS?:  “TPRS is a language teaching method based on physical activity and storytelling and  designed to develop real fluency. Students and teachers spend class time speaking in the target language about interesting, comprehensible stories.”  (Karen Lichtman, University of Illinois • • NTPRS, St. Louis, July 21st, 2011)