Our Goal and Keys concepts

The main goals of the Brouillet Academy is to help learners grow their French skills towards bilingualism in an academic and engaging environment.

It encourages them to combine learning of French with their hobbies and interests at a level that is reflective of where they are and where their language journey is going.

In order to facilitate this type of learning environment, our French language programs stem from experimental research on the effectiveness of second language teaching. We draw 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 our programs 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.
  • 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.
  • Working in students’ Zone of Proximal Development – education theory points us to the Zone of Proximal Development as developed by psychologist Lev Vygotsky, which essentially translates to pushing students out of their comfort zone, towards where they can grow with guidance. By giving students entry points where they are currently succeeding in the language, and pushing them to that next step, their language skills are developed in such a way that they never feel lost or out of control, and they feel comfortable to take risks when communicating in French.

4 takeaway skills

Our programs focus on the four main strands of language learning: speaking, writing, listening, and reading.

  1. Speaking: In all programs, students are communicating orally in French. Whether it be about describing everyday experiences, events in their lives, or about their personal interests, students put to use their French “tools” to get the message across.
  2. Writing: Writing is another focus of French language production, second only to speaking. Depending on the program, students could be expected to produce simple and coherent texts on topics of personal interest, or produce a variety of written messages (thank-yous, opinions, experiences).
  3. Listening: This goes hand-in-hand with all of our French programs, as students are actively listening to native speakers on topics that are familiar to them and that may arise in everyday life. This could be as simple as understanding the instructions to a task, to listening actively to an opinion or story, and retaining key points they’ll need to respond to.
  4. Reading: Comprehensible French input is key to helping students develop their language skills! Students could be working with texts that use everyday high frequency words and are related to topics familiar to students, including events, feelings, and wishes.

 


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